The excitement’s really building around the Victorian Pride Centre as it counts down to completion in 2020.

As the buildings physical form continues to grow, so does its capacity for unity and sustainability, with Minus 18 and JOY 94.9 signing up as the first two LGBTI tenant organisations.

“The Pride Centre’s home may be in Victoria, but the potential nationally to reach out is something we have in our minds even now as we look into the future.” Pride Centre Communications Advisor Justine Dalla Riva told Star Observer.

“We talk about building the pie as opposed to taking a bigger slice, and having national organisations in the pride centre means there’s the potential to collaborate even more in a way that will build our capacity to connect with our communities and all the organisations within.”

Located in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, the Pride Centre will serve as a hub for LGBTIQ groups and organisations. Paving new directions for our shared future as we honour a brave and difficult past.

“Three Pride Marches ago, only a few people had heard of the idea,” Pride Centre Chair Jude Munro AO told Star Observer. “And in the second year we had the designs for people to see. At that point people started to become sceptical about whether or not it would happen.

“Then we got the grant, but people were waiting to see what would happen when we got the money together.  We’ve gone from curiosity through to hope, to scepticism, and now we have reality.”

Building Pride

The voices of our community are so important. This is the reason why we are building the Victorian Pride Centre. Hear what our community have to say and why we need your support now and into the future.Thanks to Jo Bangles, Alvi Ahmed, Tony Lee, Jake Lewis, Tex McKenzie and Michelle C. Sheppard for sharing their stories and thoughts!#buildingpride

Posted by Victorian Pride Centre on Monday, 9 December 2019

During Pride March in 2020 the community will be able to march by the building site knowing the centre will be completed that time the following year.

“While we continue construction, we are also contemplating how the building will work once opened, which is something people have asked since they first heard of it,” Munro laughed.

“It’s understandable because people wouldn’t have been able to envisage the space and how it will be used, or how the community would occupy it.” she continued. “And now resident organisations are signing up as well as smaller organisations who can access the space on a monthly or weekly basis for performances, meetings or faith based services.”

Organisation or individual, the Pride Centre will mean different things to us all. Co-working spaces available within the centre will create opportunities for smaller organisations or individuals who are looking for a presence at the centre.

“The financing model is to have commercial organisations that may or may not be specifically focused on the LGBTI community be the lease revenue and help cross subsidise the LGBTIQ organisations in residence,” Munro said

Building works continue at the Pride Centre site. Photo by Dean Arcuri

“For many organisations there are great opportunities to share customer relationships and management systems, which will maximise fundraising capacities for us all, when in the past we’ve worked individually.

“We will be carrying significant debt as a not-for-profit company charitable organisation, but we will be seeking bequests and fundraising to ensure our loans are reduced in size. While we have our finances organised, for the benefit of future boards we have to make that as reasonable as possible.”

Last month Mayor of Stonnington Cr Stephen Stefanopoulos handed the Pride Centre a cheque for over $65,000 following the Night of Pride Gala Fundraiser. You can see Star Observers gallery from the night here.

“I am hoping that this will be the start of an annual event where other mayors around the city will see how much they can raise for the Pride Centre,” Munro said. “Mayor Stephanopoulos has led the way in that support and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Over the past month, three tenants have been announced. With leading provider of primary health and community care services in the inner south east of Melbourne, Star Health taking the second floor and national LGBTIQ organisations Minus18 and JOY 94.9 on the first.

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