Councillor Anna York has announced that the Inner West Pride Centre has found a home in Newtown.

The idea for the Inner West Pride Centre was first established in 2017. Community activist and Labor candidate for Marrickville Mat Howard has been a key figure in the development and advocacy for the importance of a Pride Centre in recent years. Through activism and an online community campaign for the creation of an Inner West Pride Centre, Howard has been able to generate significant support and community backing for the Inner West Pride Centre.

The idea for a Pride centre was born from conversation amongst the LGBTQI community in the Inner West. This included the 2017 Rainbow Roundtable. According to York, what became clear from this community discussion was that isolation was a significant factor in the experiences of people in the Inner West. York stated that “the need to have a physical space and a community hub for connection, support and potentially to access services were identified in that community discussion.”

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 With integral community-based LGBTQI organisations like Rainbow Families and the Metropolitan Community Church being based in the Inner West, along with a proud population of LGBTQI people, the area has long been a hub for LGBTQI people. A survey conducted by the Inner West Council also showed that 87% of respondents believed that it was “very or extremely important to have a Pride Centre in the Inner West.”

The Inner West Pride Centre will be housed at Newtown Town Hall, with an as yet unannounced organisation running the centre.

The Inner West council describes the Newtown Town Hall as being in need of “significant, complex remedial work.” This means the building will need to be vacated by its current occupants, the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre – who have agreed to move their residence to a building in Darley Street Newtown.

Mat Howard expressed that the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre “is one of the best friends we have in the LGBTQI community.” Counsilor Anna York stated in her announcement that “It’s very exciting that the opportunity to give the Pride Centre a home in Newtown Town Hall has opened up” and that “there is no better home than Newtown” for this new Pride Centre.

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