Victoria’s Pride Centre cornerstone laid on Stonewall anniversary

The Victorian Pride Centre has cemented LGBTIQ pride in Australia, laying the cornerstone of South-East Asia’s first Pride Centre.

The Victorian Minister for Equality, Martin Foley, Mayor of Port Phillip Dick Gross and the Pride Centre Board Chair, Jude Munro poured and marked the first cornerstone of the building in the presence of dignitaries, supporters and community members.

The ceremony took place on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which is seen as the birth of the modern gay rights movement.

Jude Munro AO, Chair of the Pride Centre said the development of the centre was a sign that people would not be returning to the society of the past.

“The LGBTIQ community has no intention of returning to the closets of the past. The Pride Centre sends a strong message of equality and pride to our community, to Australians and our region.

“We are here as equal citizens celebrating pride in our achievements, our history and future. The laying of the cornerstone marks our place with a very tangible symbol of Pride.”

The laying of the cornerstone was proceeded by a traditional smoking ceremony with a Boon Wurrung representative, the traditional custodians of the land on which the Pride Centre is being built.

“It was extremely important to all involved in the project to mark this significant day with a cleansing of the land. Our First Nations peoples’ histories and culture inform our futures, as does the histories of our LGBTIQ leaders. This is why laying the cornerstone on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall is so significant.” Munro said.

Stretched over 6,000 square metres and four floors, the Pride Centre’s will be a safe space, where the community can feel empowered to be who they are and be connected to a range of inclusive services.

When it opens – planned for late 2020 – the Pride Centre will welcome up to 500,000 members of the LGBTIQ community and its allies per year.

Equality Minister Martin Foley said housing several LGBTIQ+ organisations in a shared space would lead to collaboration and shared learning.

“This new centre will offer many LGBTIQ organisations not only a secure home but spaces to encourage shared learning, resourcing and collaboration. I’m delighted to see construction already starting and look forward to seeing it up and running.” Foley said.

Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross said the city was proud the centre would be located within their community.

“Inclusion and diversity should be the cornerstone of every community. The City of Port Phillip is proud to have contributed $13 million towards the VPC as it will play an incredibly important role in promoting and supporting these values we hold dear while providing a safe place for LGBTIQ people. We are excited to participate in the latest milestone and are looking forward to the VPC opening its doors on our very own Fitzroy Street.”

Image: Native plants mark the Pride Centre’s cornerstone Commissioner Ro Allen, Jude Munro Chair VPC, Louise Hansen, Hansen Yuncken, Minister for Equality Martin Foley.

OIP Staff