The Anti-Violence Project Victoria (AVP) will take up residence in the GLBTI community hub Melbourne City Village in Bourke St this week.

The ALSO Foundation offered the AVP a hotdesk in their office space which will be shared with the Victorian Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard among other community groups.

AVP convenor Greg Adkins said the move was an important one for the organisation to connect further with the community about the importance of reporting violence.

“It’s a significant step forward,” he told Southern Star.

“It’s about community collectivism. Our volunteers can spend time in the office to better network with the community and work with other organisations to produce better outcomes.”

The AVP set up a reporting site last year for anyone who experiences homophobic violence but does not feel comfortable reporting directly to police.

To date, the AVP has been working largely from the homes of volunteers.

ALSO Foundation president Jason Rostant said, with International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) approaching and the AVP’s heavy involvement in the day, ALSO was happy to offer support.

“Given we have the possibility to offer space, it is a great opportunity to develop that relationship with the AVP,” he said.

“The good thing about the City Village is we’re all under the same roof and it’s great to have those links.”
The ALSO Foundation is also working on the With Respect project with the AVP which is looking to develop an anti-homophobia campaign.

In related news, the AVP has joined forces with the Melbourne Queer Film Festival for a special presentation of the documentary Holding Hands.

The film will screen at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image this Saturday, March 27.

A Q’n’A panel discussion will follow with Victoria Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Advisory Unit manager Sergeant Scott Davis, Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria researcher Liam Leonard and GLBTI Ministerial Advisory Committee chair and member for Albert Park Martin Foley on the panel.

The film tells the story of Sydneysiders Craig Gee and Shane Brennen who were victims of a savage homophobic attack near Oxford St, Surry Hills in December 2007 and the effects of the violence on their lives.

info: For more on Holding Hands, visit www.mqff.com.au

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