Melbourne, Australia, 28 April 2020 – Australia’s first and the world’s second largest purpose-built LGBTIQ Pride Centre is structurally complete.
Victorian Pride Centre Board Chair Jude Munro AO was virtually joined by Minister for Equality Martin Foley, City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss and Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality Ro Allen, to mark the ‘Topping Out’ of the Victorian Pride Centre.
Jude Munro AO and Hansen Yuncken director Richard Hansen joined the construction team on site today to mark “Topping Out” which was live streamed to our community due to physical distancing requirements on site. Topping Out is a time-honoured construction tradition that signifies the moment a structure reaches its highest point and involves the placement of a tree at the tallest point of a building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits displaced in its construction and to bring good luck to its occupants.
A native Acacia Blackwood and Coastal Banksia indigenous to the Port Phillip area were hoisted onto the roof-top terrace. Coastal Banksia’s form part of the Centre’s garden design and will feature throughout the Centre. Construction of the Pride Centre has continued under strict physical distancing measures. The continued construction of the Pride Centre has provided a sense of hope and is a positive light at the end of the tunnel during these uncertain times for the community.
The Pride Centre will house a number of major LGBTIQ organisations who are currently working hard to provide a range of support services to the LGBTIQ community during these difficult times. These organisations include Thorne Harbour Health, Switchboard, JOY 94.9FM, Minus18, Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Transgender Victoria, Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council and Star Health.
Quotes Attributed to Minister for Equality, Martin Foley
“The Victorian Pride Centre is a structure that represents the best of our community values – resilience, solidarity and community connection – during these unprecedented times when our communities need it most.”
“The structural completion of the Pride Centre demonstrates our commitment to building an equal and inclusive state for, and with, LGBTIQ communities in Victoria.”
Quotes Attributed to Victorian Pride Centre Chair, Jude Munro AO
“Today marks a key milestone in our journey towards building pride. We now have a solid iconic structure that reflects our value and our worth. We never could and we will never be stopped from achieving our vision for a brighter future.”
Quotes Attributed to City of Port Phillip Mayor, Bernadene Voss
“We’re incredibly excited about the ‘Topping Out’ of the Victorian Pride Centre, the physical and spiritual home of Victoria’s LGBTIQ community. Council has contributed $13 million to this building, which means so much to so many, and we couldn’t be prouder for it to be in St Kilda. I can’t wait for the opening of the Victorian Pride Centre later this year; it will be a party for the ages! Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in this historic landmark.”
Quotes Attributed to Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality, Ro Allen
“The first thing I wanted to do when I became Commissioner was work with government to leave a lasting legacy for LGBTIQ communities in Victoria. I’m beside myself that this is happening.”
IMAGES/VIDEO: The event was live streamed to the Victorian Pride Centre’s facebook page (@vicpridecentre) and can be downloaded for footage. Image credit: Serge Thomann.
Image 1: Acting CEO Justine Dalla Riva live filming chair Jude Munro for Topping out ceremony webinar. Image 2: Chair Jude Munro AO with Richard Hansen director at Hansen Yuncken performing topping out ceremony on site with construction workers in the background.
About the Victorian Pride Centre
The Victorian Pride Centre is a unique initiative that celebrates, bolsters and protects equality, diversity and inclusion. It is set to forge a new chapter in the narrative of Australian Pride by bringing the LGBTIQ community together in a single and powerful space. It will be home to practical and supportive services as well as being an international tourist destination. The Victorian Pride Centre Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation structured as a company limited by guarantee.
For further information contact Renee Thompson, Communications Coordinator 0415 726 262 or firstname.lastname@example.org