New Pride Centre a positive for Greek and gay community

first_imgVictoria is set to become home to Australia’s largest LGBTI community centre, which will be funded and established by the state government.The announcement for the $15 million Pride Centre was made by Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this week as part of the 2016/2017 Victorian Budget.“Equality is not negotiable in Victoria,” said Mr Andrews. “Victoria’s LGBTI community has a lot to be proud of and I congratulate everyone who has worked hard to make Australia’s first Pride Centre a reality.”In an interview with Neos Kosmos, president of Melbourne’s Greek and Gay community group John Tzimas welcomed the funding commitment, and said it would greatly benefit and convenience the community.“We think it’s a great idea; it’s a one-stop shop for all gay issues pretty much, because it will house all the services that are needed, which are currently spread all over the place,” he said.“Greek and Gay will also benefit because we as an organisation will have somewhere to meet; we’ll have one place to go when we need a number of different things.”As well as being a central location point for LGBTI advisory, health and support services, and a space for queer art and history, Mr Tzimas said it would go one step further in creating greater visibility for the community. In an interview with SBS, the Victorian AIDS Council’s (VAC) CEO Simon Ruth said he had witnessed similar centres in the United States become important hubs for LGBTI communities.“We have some incredible community organisations in Victoria, and it’s so important to have the autonomy of an LGBTI-run space where we can come together and support each other, as well as provide a safe, welcoming space for our community members,” he said. “We’ve been discussing the concept of a Pride Centre with Minister Foley and Commissioner Allen since their appointments under the Andrews government, and we’ll be delighted to work with the government on furthering the project.”The centre’s construction will be heavily based on consultations with the state’s LGBTI community, which will have input on its design, location and the time-frame for its establishment. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more