St Kilda Is Getting Australia's First Pride Centre

Modelled after San Francisco’s LGBTI Community Centre, it will highlight queer culture, provide services and offer a safe gathering space.

Australia is getting its first Pride Centre. About time. After announcing the idea as part of the 2016/17 budget, the Victorian Government has revealed the centre's location: St Kilda.

79-81 Fitzroy Street will become a community hub dedicated to highlighting queer art and history; bringing together advisory, health and support services; providing community spaces and offering a safe environment. It'll be modelled after San Francisco's LGBTI Community Centre, though that's just a starting point. In fact, the government is thinking bigger than its US predecessor when it comes to size.

The St Kilda spot was chosen after extensive consultation with the LGBTI community to find the right site, although, given that the suburb has played host to the annual Pride March since 1996, it shouldn't come as a surprise. Currently vacant, it has been secured for at least the next 20 years. The government has pledged $15 million towards what'll be called the Victorian Pride Centre, with work expected to begin in the next 12 months.

"We will own this site in perpetuity — and march by it every Pride March knowing it is ours," offered Victorian Pride Centre Board Jude Munro AO.

"The Pride Centre is long overdue — it is exciting news for the LGBTI community and yet another welcome addition to St Kilda," said Victorian Minister for Equality Martin Foley. "Our LGBTI community has a lot to be proud of, I congratulate everyone involved and we looking forward to see the site come to life."

Published on March 19, 2017 by Sarah Ward

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