Australia has voted and Tinder has announced that Daylesford, the rainbow capital of Victoria, has been named as the future home of The Big Rainbow.
The regional town came up against stiff competition during the recent shortlist round, which saw more than 16,000 public votes cast from across Australia, and now Daylesford has emerged as the leader ahead of fellow shortlisted towns – Broome (WA), Hay (NSW) and Katherine (NT).
The Big Rainbow, Australia’s first “Big” landmark dedicated to the celebration of regional LGBTQIA+ pride and inclusion, was first unveiled in Sydney earlier this year, with a call for submissions to find its new home somewhere in regional Australia.
Daylesford, the Traditional land of the Dja Dja Wurrung people, is already known as the home of Chillout Festival, one of the longest-running events in the country that celebrates regional LGBTQIA+ pride and will welcome The Big Rainbow as a symbol of equality and unity.
Submissions and votes poured in thick and fast from supporters in each stage of the search, with community leaders lending their voices to help bring The Big Rainbow to Daylesford.
“We are absolutely delighted that so many Aussies took part in the search for The Big Rainbow’s new home and that Daylesford has been named as the fitting regional home,” said Tinder Australia Country Director, Kristen Hardeman.
“This impressive landmark will live in the town as a beacon for diversity, inclusion, and self-expression for the regional LGBTQIA+ community. We’re really looking forward to working closely with the passionate people of Daylesford to bring The Big Rainbow home over the coming months.”
While Daylesford is named as the new home of The Big Rainbow with the majority of the 16,000 votes, Tinder has confirmed that Hay, NSW was an incredibly close second.
“We also want to congratulate the people of Hay for their steadfast support of this project and for all of their hard work championing their town and the Big Rainbow. The final vote was extremely close, so they should be very proud of their efforts!” added Kristen.
Hepburn Shire Council will soon initiate a period of community consultation to find the best suited location for the latest addition to Australia’s 150 “Big” landmarks – the first of its kind to celebrate and represent the nation’s vibrant and widespread regional LGBTQIA+ community.
“We are so grateful for the support that people across the country have shown us in voting for Daylesford to be the home of The Big Rainbow,” said Mayor Cr Tim Drylie from Hepburn Shire Council.
“We have a long history of supporting our LGBTQIA+ community and visitors to our town and we hope that The Big Rainbow will be an example of what it means to show love and support to everyone. We’re looking forward to having the community help us decide where The Big Rainbow will live.”
The Big Rainbow landmark is part of The Big Rainbow Project, which builds on Tinder’s continued commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community in Australia.
The project, which has been developed with the help of community advisors and experts, aims to raise awareness of the challenges LGBTQIA+ Australians can face in regional towns, where lack of visible communities & the geographic distance from urban celebrations can contribute to increased feelings of isolation and disconnection.
In addition to the landmark, Tinder has earmarked AU$100,000 that will be donated across various regional community organisations to support programmes for the regional LGBTQIA+ community.
While the home of the Big Rainbow is now locked in, Tinder is in the final stages of an ongoing consultation process which will inform the selection of community organisations who will receive financial support. For more information, visit: www.bigrainbowproject.com.au for details.
Image: Tinder’s Big Rainbow Shortlist Towns Road Sign Map (supplied)