Today marks the first birthday of the landmark Victorian Pride Centre, Australia’s first purpose-built community hub for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and gender diverse, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) communities.
The Victorian Government invested more than $25 million to deliver the Centre – one of the biggest of its kind in the world – which celebrates our LGBTIQ+ communities, honours their past, and supports organisations and groups driving equality across the state.
“We’re supporting LGBTIQ+ pride like never before, the Victorian Pride Centre is bringing people together from all over the state through visibility, inclusion, and celebration,” said Minister for Equality Harriet Shing.
Located in St Kilda, the community-run centre houses major and important LGBTIQ+ resident organisations and provides flexible and multi-use spaces for hire, including meeting rooms, a rooftop terrace, co-working spaces, a theatrette and gallery.
In its first year, the Victorian Pride Centre has brought together LGBTIQ+ communities and allies through a range of social events, including following the February Pride March where more than 1,200 people visited the Centre for its first large celebration.
In addition, the Centre’s gallery space has attracted a range of art exhibitions, highlighting the diversity and resilience of Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ communities.
The Victorian Pride Centre in St Kilda is accompanied by a virtual Pride Centre. This online directory of LGBTIQ+ resources and events will support LGBTIQ+ people to celebrate who they are and connect with each other, wherever they are in the state.
“The Victorian Pride Centre is already providing a safe space for Victorians to be their authentic selves. I am excited to see how the Centre will continue bringing our wonderful communities together,” said Victorian Pride Centre CEO Justine Dalla Riva.
The Government has made significant progress towards equality in recent years, removing discrimination from legislation, delivered adoption equality legislation, a historic apology to Victorians convicted for homosexual acts and delivering the Victorian Pride Centre – however there is more to be done.
“The Victorian Pride Centre has become what we hoped for – a special place for us all, a true home for our communities and a wonderfully diverse range of dedicated LGBTIQ+ groups and organisations,” said Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities Todd Fernando.
Earlier this year, the Government released Pride in our future: Victoria’s LGBTIQ+ strategy 2022-2032 – Victoria’s first long-term plan for LGBTIQ+ equality.
For more information about the Victorian Pride Centre and to access the virtual Pride Centre, visit: www.pridecentre.org.au for details.
Image: Victorian Pride Centre – courtesy of City of Port Phillip