Victoria’s groundbreaking Pride Centre is officially open

victorian pride centre
Photos: Victorian Pride Centre, Victorian Government

Australia’s first purpose-built LGBTIQ+ community hub, the Victorian Pride Centre, is officially open to the community.

The Pride Centre, located on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, is Australia’s largest hub of its type for queer communities. The centre is now housing fifteen of the state’s LGBTIQ organisations and officially opened on Sunday (July 11).

At the centre, the public can also access inclusive services, social opportunities, LGBTIQ+ history and queer art and culture.

Pride Centre chair Hang Vo said the Centre is a “permanent, safe home” for LGBTQIA+ community members and groups.

“We’re all here in this place where we’re visibly here, and we’re here to stay,” Vo said.

“We have a communal home for organisations as well as a safe place to come to together to meet, celebrate and commemorate.”

Vo said the Centre will allow everyone to access a range of services without shame and stigma.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Equality Minister Martin Foley also raised the rainbow flag at the Centre on Sunday.

“To everyone who has had to hide, to everyone who has had to fear, to everyone who’s had to be not quite themselves, this is your space,” Andrews said.

“Every space in Victoria is your space, because equality is not negotiable in this, the most progressive part of our nation.”

The Victorian Government has invested over $25 million in the Pride Centre, after the City of Port Phillip council donated the land.

Premier Andrews also announced funding on Sunday for a new event, Melbourne Pride 2021. The one-day street party is planned for the city’s inner north.

The event will be held on December 5, to mark the 40th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality. It will then return annually on that date.

LGBTIQ organisations move in to Victoria’s Pride Centre

Fifteen LGBTIQ+ organisations are now based at the centre including health services, queer media and entertainment and others.

Minus18, the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council, Transgender Victoria, Switchboard Victoria, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Thorne Harbour Health and bookshop Hares and Hyenas have all moved in.

The Australian Queer Archives will also be based at the centre, allowing the public to easily access its collection.

The centre also includes a theatrette, gallery and a range of other event, social and co-working spaces.

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