After two formative years for Victorian Pride Centre, Hang Vo steps down as Craig Bell is appointed new Chair

Friday 30 June, 2023

The Victorian Pride Centre (VPC) is entering a new phase of our journey as Australia’s first purpose-built home for LGBTIQ+ communities and organisations. This June VPC says farewell and thank you to our wonderful outgoing Chair, Hang Vo, who has stepped down from the Board after four years, including two as Chair. We are excited to announce that Craig Bell has been appointed as new Chair and will be officially starting the role in July 2023.

We thank Hang for her incredible work leading the Victorian Pride Centre from our official opening in July 2021 through its final stages of construction and first years of operation. During that time, we have seen the building transform into a vibrant community hub and home for LGBTIQ+ organisations. Hang has provided deeply valuable, consistent, and thoughtful guidance, leadership, and support for Board, staff, volunteers, committees, and the broader community. While Hang will be stepping away from her role on the Board to focus on her other professional and personal commitments, she will always have a welcoming home at the Victorian Pride Centre.

Hang Vo:

“It’s been a privilege to serve alongside incredibly talented and passionate directors, staff, volunteers and supporters who have together created the Pride Centre to be the inclusive and welcoming home for all LGBTIQ+ peoples it is today. 

It has taken an incredible community of supporters to raise the capital and build an award-winning state of the art centre, create a permanent home for LGBTIQ+ communities while navigating a once-in-a-generation global pandemic! From the sod turning ceremony in June 2019, to the official launch in July 2021 to our first rooftop party during Pride March in February 2022, we are reminded of the strength and pride of our communities.  We will continue to raise the rainbow flag, fight for our rights no matter what obstacle stands in our way. 

Under Craig’s stewardship as the incoming chair, together with a highly skilled board and CEO, I am confident the Victorian Pride Centre will go from strength to strength.”

Craig Bell is the CEO of CoINVEST and current director, and previous Chair, of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, and has been a Board Director at the Pride Centre since July 2022. He will bring 30 years’ experience in strategy, finance, and ICT to the role of Chair, which will be invaluable in our next phase of operation as an important resource and accessible, permanent home for all LGBTIQ+ people. Craig will lead a group of Board Directors who bring diverse professional and personal experience to the governance of the Pride Centre.

Craig Bell:

“It is an incredible honour to be the new Board Chair of the Victorian Pride Centre (VPC) and lead such a remarkable organisation into an exciting future. A future that has been started by Jude Munro, and most recently Hang Vo, as our previous Chairs. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hang for her support to me personally, as well as her amazing contribution as Chair and a Board Member of the VPC.

Through collaboration and community engagement, we will continue to strengthen our programs, events, and initiatives, ensuring that our Pride Centre remains a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change. In times when we are seeing more intolerance and discrimination towards our community, the Pride Centre needs to be, more than ever, a safe haven, one where every LGBTIQ+ person has a place where we are welcomed, valued, respected and celebrated. The Board and the VPC team will ensure that we continue to fulfill our vision by amplifying LGBTIQ+ voices, connecting our communities, building up our resident organisations, and ensuring the Pride Centre is sustainable as a community asset for future generations.

I am thrilled to embark on this journey and I look forward to working alongside my fellow directors and the VPC team as we harness the extraordinary potential of Australia’s first purpose build Pride Centre.”