Native plants mark the Pride Centre’s cornerstone
Native plants mark the Pride Centre’s cornerstone

The Victorian Pride Centre has cemented LGBTIQ pride in Australia, laying the cornerstone of South-East Asia’s first Pride Centre.

The architecturally iconic Pride Centre will be a vibrant community hub and a beacon of hope and inclusion to all Australians and beyond.

The Minister for Equality, Martin Foley MP, Mayor of Port Phillip Cr Dick Gross and the Pride Centre Board Chair, Jude Munro AO poured and marked the first cornerstone of the building in the presence of dignitaries, supporters and community members. This signals the start of major building works.

On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, the laying of the cornerstone is another symbol of an end to decades of invisibility.

Jude Munro AO, Chair of the Pride Centre said, “The LGBTIQ community has no intention of returning to the closets of the past. The Pride Centre sends a strong message of equality and pride to our community, Australians and to our region.

We are here as equal citizens celebrating pride in our achievements, our history and our future. The laying of the cornerstone marks our place with a very tangible symbol of Pride.”

The laying of the cornerstone was proceeded by a traditional smoking ceremony with a Boon Wurrung representative, the traditional custodians of the land on which the Pride Centre is being built.

“It was extremely important to all involved in the project to mark this significant day with a cleansing of the land. Our First Nations peoples’ histories and culture inform our futures, as does the histories of our LGBTIQ leaders. This is why laying the cornerstone on the 50thanniversary of Stonewall is so significant.” added Ms Munro.

Stretched over 6,000 square metres and four floors, the Pride Centre’s scale reflects the size of the struggles faced, as well as the resilience and vibrancy of LGBTIQ communities.

“This new centre will offer many LGBTIQ organisations not only a secure home but spaces to encourage shared learning, resourcing and collaboration. I’m delighted to see construction already starting and look forward to seeing it up and running.” Minister Foley

Post marriage equality, discrimination and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia continue to impact the lives of LGBTIQ people, with a recent survey showing over half access wellbeing and mental health services in Victoria. The Pride Centre will be a safe space, where the community can feel empowered to be who they are and be connected to a range of inclusive services.

The Pride Centre will catalyze the community, fostering innovation and collaboration. It will be home to up to eight major LGBTIQ community organisations and support over 40 smaller community groups. It will provide unprecedented access to technology, resources, and shared learning opportunities to benefit this and future LGBTIQ generations and their allies.

When it opens – planned for late 2020 – the Pride Centre will welcome up to 500,000 members of the LGBTIQ community and its allies per year.

“Inclusion and diversity should be the cornerstone of every community. The City of Port Phillip is proud to have contributed $13 million towards the VPC as it will play an incredibly important role in promoting and supporting these values we hold dear while providing a safe place for LGBTIQ people. We are excited to participate in the latest milestone and are looking forward to the VPC opening its doors on our very own Fitzroy Street.” City of Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross