The Victorian Government is celebrating and empowering Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ communities – with more support for the iconic Midsumma Pride March, and new funding to support emerging leaders across the state.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Equality Harriet Shing today attended the annual Pride March in Melbourne – the Labor Government’s ninth since coming to office – to stand with every member of Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ communities in every corner of the state.
“It is an honour to march with Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ community at the Pride March – we want every single queer Victorian to know that they are welcome, supported and celebrated for being exactly who they are,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.
The Government has invested $275,000 to bring this year’s March to life, alongside $935,000 in new funding for dedicated LGBTIQ+ programs as part of our ongoing commitment to building safe, strong and inclusive communities.
Applications are now open for the 2023 LGBTIQ+ Leadership Program – which, for the first time, will be tailored to regional and rural participants, allowing leaders to develop their skills and build their networks to address the unique experiences and needs of LGBTIQ+ communities in the regions.
The Leadership Program will support at least 25 leaders from across the regions to develop their expertise in a safe and supportive environment that will address their unique experiences and needs.
Grants are also open for LGBTIQ+ organisations and groups across Victoria to strengthen their operations, with $700,000 of LGBTIQ+ Organisational Development Grants on offer to support groups’ sustainability, develop inclusive practices, and strengthen their engagement with diverse LGBTIQ+ communities.
Grants of up to $25,000 are available for new or emerging LGBTIQ+ groups, and up to $50,000 available for long-established LGBTIQ+ organisations. This year’s program will prioritise activities and groups supporting LGBTIQ+ multicultural and First Nations communities, people with disability and regional rainbow communities.
“We’re determined to continue our support for LGBTIQ+ leaders and organisations right across Victoria,” Minister for Equality Harriet Shing. “We are a state that is recognised around the world for LGBTIQ+ visibility, inclusion, and diversity, and our Pride matters.”
Since 2014, the Labor Government has invested more than $115 million into health and wellbeing, pride events and community organisations that support and celebrate Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ communities.
But there’s still more to do – that’s why we’ll deliver a $22.2 million package to support the LGBTIQ+ community, including funding for icons like Midsumma, JOY 94.9, Minus18, the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and peer support service Switchboard, making more Victorian health providers Rainbow Tick accredited, and addressing the needs of older LGBTIQ+ Victorians as they age.
“Achieving equality is going to take all of us, and it’s fantastic to see continued investment in LGBTIQ+ leaders, organisations and groups throughout Victoria so they can keep making fantastic contributions to the cause,” said LGBTIQ+ Communities Commissioner Dr Todd Fernando.
Emerging LGBTIQ+ leaders from regional and rural areas can learn more about the Leadership Program and apply by visiting: www.vic.gov.au – closing date 13 March 2023. Organisations interested in a Development Grant can visit: www.vic.gov.au – before 10 March 2023
Image: Pride Progress Flag (sourced)