The Jacinta Allan Labor government has unveiled a significant initiative to support and celebrate Victoria’s LGBTQI communities with a $400,000 Pride Events and Festivals Fund for 2023-24.
On Wednesday, Equality Minister Harriet Shing announced the funding that will have two funding streams – $10,001 and $25,000, for large LGBTQI events and grants of up to $10,000 for small events and festivals.
“We’re working to create a Victoria where every person feels respected, included, visible and safe,” Shing said in a statement.
“Now more than ever, rainbow community events and festivals that promote inclusion and combat discrimination play a vital role in strengthening community networks, promoting pride and celebrating the rich history and stories of LGBTIQA+ people from all walks of life.”
The Pride Events and Festival Fund first debuted in 2018 and has since then supported around 185 LGBTQI events across the state.
According to the government, it was encouraging applications from “LGBTIQA+ people with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, faith communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, older LGBTIQA+ people, bi+ communities and other LGBTIQA+ groups.”
Over the past year, LGBTQI events in Melbourne and regional Victoria have been targeted by far-right and neo-Nazi groups.
Victoria’s Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ Communities Dr Todd Fernando emphasised the importance of Pride events for the community.
“Pride events and festivals support our diverse LGBTIQA+ communities to come together and celebrate being their authentic selves,” said Fernando. “The events build connection and support wellbeing for LGBTIQA+ people and their families, partners and friends and we particularly need community events this year.”
In September, Shing announced $15,000 grants to 13 community groups, organisations and artists to host LGBTQI events in regional Victoria as part of Victoria’s Pride festival. The projects selected included a youth Pride prom at Bass Coast YMCA, a Midsumma event in Gippsland to celebrate regional and rural deaf LGBTQI people, Pride Fair Day in Wangaratta and Queer-ways augmented reality maps in Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton.
Victoria’s Pride festivities across the state will culminate in a one-day street party at Gertrude and Smith Streets precinct in Fitzroy, North Melbourne on February 11, 2024.