The Victorian Pride Centre – Australia’s first and world’s second multi-purpose LGBTIQI centre – is heading towards a year-end opening.
On Tuesday, Victorian Pride Centre Board Chair Jude Munro, Hansen Yuncken director Richard Hansen and the construction team took part in the ‘Topping Out’ ceremony to mark the completion of the structure.
In the construction industry ‘Topping Out’ is the tradition of placing the last beam, these days it is the placing of a tree, signifying completion of the construction of the outer structure of the building. At the ceremony, a native Acacia Blackwood and Coastal Banksia indigenous to the Port Phillip area were planted on the rooftop terrace.
Minister for Equality Martin Foley, City of Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss and Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality Ro Allen, joined the ceremony virtually on live stream along with hundreds of viewers.
“Today marks a key milestone in our journey towards building pride. We now have a solid iconic structure that reflects our value and our worth. We never could and we will never be stopped from achieving our vision for a brighter future,” said Munro.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I became Commissioner was work with the government to leave a lasting legacy for LGBTQI communities in Victoria. I’m beside myself that this is happening,” said Ro Allen.
Minister for Equality, Martin Foley saw the structural completion of the Pride Centre as an important message to demonstrate Victoria’s commitment to the LGBTIQ+ communities to build an equal and inclusive state. “The Victorian Pride Centre is a structure that represents the best of our community values – resilience, solidarity, and community connection – during these unprecedented times when our communities need it most.”
City of Port Phillip Mayor, Bernadene Voss said that the Council had contributed around $13 million to the building that is coming up on Fitzroy Street in St Kilda. “I can’t wait for the opening of the Victorian Pride Centre later this year; it will be a party for the ages! Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in this historic landmark,” said Voss.
The construction commenced in June 2019, and continued in the last few months with strict physical distance measures in place due to the COVID-19 crisis and resultant restrictions. Due to the rapidly changing scenario as a result of COVID-19, no date has yet been set for the opening. The aim is to open by the end of 2020 is what Star Observer was told.
The organisations that will be housed at the new Pride Centre include, Thorne Harbour Health, Switchboard, Minus18, Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council, Australian Lesbian, and Gay Archives, JOY94.9, Transgender Victoria, Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
Watch the livestream of the Topping Out Ceremony at https://www.facebook.com/vicpridecentre