The Victorian Pride Centre is delighted to be formally open!
The centre was officially launched this morning by Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Equality Martin Foley, and Mayor of the City of Port Phillip Louise Crawford. The launch was proceeded by a smoking ceremony and welcome to country by Boon Wurrung Senior Elder, N’arweet Carolyn Briggs. As the new home of Koorie Pride, the Victorian Pride Centre was honoured to open at the conclusion of this year’s NAIDOC Week.
The Pride Centre is Australia’s first purpose-built centre for LGBTIQ+ people and will house a range of community organisations as well as house spaces for art, culture, events and collaboration. It is a place of belonging, support and pride for the state’s diverse LGBTIQ+ community.
VPC Chair Hang Vo said “Today is an important milestone for our community. As Australia’s first purpose-built pride centre, this is where everyone can come together, honour the past, celebrate the present, and work towards a more inclusive future.
“We are open, welcoming to everyone, with a culture founded on diversity, inclusiveness and belonging. We are so thrilled to be the new home to a broad community of organisations, groups, vital services and social spaces,”
“We thank the many supporters whose generosity have ensured this beautiful centre could be built. To the Victorian Government, City of Port Phillip, our founders, corporate supporters and individuals, members of our sub committees and working groups and those who have donated or volunteered we thank you for joining with us in building this stunning communal landmark,”
Inaugural VPC Chair Jude Munro said “Today is an historic moment for our community. Our diversity is our strength and I know the centre is well placed to serve its mission and to be a vibrant place of pride for generations. As a co-founding member of Gay Liberation it’s fitting that as we celebrate we also acknowledge the history of criminalisation and discrimination many in our community have been subjected to and the people not with us today. As we party and prepare for the even brighter future we are building together we recognise how emotional it is for so many in our community to have reached this day,”
VPC CEO Justine Dalla Riva said “we look forward to welcoming the community to our centre. Whether you come to visit one of our tenant organisations, attend a meeting or attend an event we look forward to being the centre that brings together the vibrant diversity of our community. We have staff and volunteers representing all of our community ready to welcome you, to help with information, connection and advice; kindness and care.”
The VPC welcomes members of the community to plan a visit either at Melbourne Open House (24/25 July) or through a range of tours now available to be booked on our website. As the centre is a working home for organisations not all areas will be open for the public, but these tours provide the best chance to see the building for yourself.
The virtual Pride Centre is the place to connect with the VPC wherever you are- you can find us on www.pridecentre.org.au