Yesterday (Sunday 4 February), a Victorian Premier led the iconic Midsumma Pride March for the tenth time, and dozens of LGBTIQA+ organisations will receive grants to help people in every corner of the state celebrate who they are.
Premier Jacinta Allan and Minister for Equality Harriet Shing announced the grant recipients alongside thousands of LGBTIQA+ Victorians while leading the annual Pride March in Melbourne.
“We’re proud to have led every single march since coming to office, and I’m even prouder that we’ve fought for equality every single day,” said Premier Jacinta Allan. “We talk the talk and we walk the walk – because in Victoria, equality is not negotiable.”
Thirty organisations will receive grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 to host film festivals, interfaith gatherings, sports tournaments, and more, as part of the Victorian Government’s Pride Events and Festivals Fund.
Half of the activities will be held in regional Victoria, and recipients include Junctions Support Service who will co-host a Pride Cup event in Northern Victoria, and Ballarat Frolic Festival who are hosting Rainbow Storytime.
The Government has always walked alongside LGBTIQA+ communities to make clear that in Victoria, equality is not negotiable – words that were spoken the first time a Premier ever led the Pride March in 2015.
“The annual Pride March is where everyone can see the visible acceptance, love, and support for LGBTIQA+ communities – as well as the sharing of our stories and the celebrations of our strength,” said Minister for Equality Harriet Shing.
Since then, the Government made a world-first apology to victims of homophobic laws, campaigned tirelessly for marriage equality, made it easier and fairer for trans and gender diverse Victorians to update their birth certificates, and delivered record support for Pride events across Victoria.
In 2021, the Government delivered the Australian-first Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda which helps LGBTIQA+ Victorians by supporting the organisations and groups that advocate for their rights and needs.
The Government also launched Pride in our Future, Victoria’s first long-term plan for LGBTIQA+ equality – setting the agenda over the next ten years to ensure all Victorians are safe, free and equal.
“The Pride March is a huge day on the calendar each year and attendance has more than tripled since 2014. I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to show love and support for our Rainbow communities,” said Member for Albert Park Nina Taylor.
While the Government’s historic work was driven forward thanks to the creation of a Minister for Equality and the appointment of a Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities, it’s the efforts of LGBTIQA+ communities who have truly made Victoria the proudest state in the nation.
For more information about the grant recipients of the Pride Events and Festivals Fund 2023-24, visit: www.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Midsumma Pride March – courtesy of Midsumma Festival