Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is supporting the LGBTIQ+ community to become more empowered.
The Pride March is a sea of sequins, feathers and rainbow flags as it drifts past Melbourne’s new Victorian Pride Centre. The centre hums with activity. The powerful Freedom is Mine photographic exhibition is on display, legendary queer bookshop Hares & Hyenas trades on the ground floor and radio station JOY broadcasts live from the balcony.
For Melbourne’s LGBTIQ+ communities, this symbolic space is a haven. Yet marginalised people often struggle to feel safe and included. Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is hoping to change this. As the largest community foundation in Australia, through the generous gifts of others, they have been able to support organisations like the Pride Centre address discrimination and to foster inclusion, understanding and respect.
“As the community foundation for Greater Melbourne, it is important for us to support and participate in collective fundraising for community infrastructure projects such as the Victorian Pride Centre,” says Dr Catherine Brown OAM, CEO of the Foundation. “We hope our work creates a more caring, respectful, inclusive and resilient Melbourne for all people to live safely and without fear of discrimination.”
According to the Pride Centre’s CEO Justine Dalla Riva, “The support of the Foundation has been integral in assisting us to create an exciting, accessible, multifunction hub that will sustain the LGBTIQ+ community into the future.”
GiveOUT, whose annual fundraising day addresses the lack of funding for LGBTIQ+ organisations, is also able to continue its important work thanks to support from the Foundation.
“It gives organisations like ours the resources they need to continue their services and programs, and meet the growing needs of their community,” says co-founder Ben Giraud.
Many Coloured Sky’s work with vulnerable LGBTIQ+ asylum seekers and international students will also go on thanks to the Foundation. “These people can face complex, intersecting forms of discrimination,” says Karyn Bosomworth, Program Manager at the Foundation. “Many Coloured Sky helps this community find support and employment.”
A sense of safety, belonging and trust are essential for a thriving society. And with your help – through planned giving, a bequest, gift or donation, no matter how big or small – the Foundation can continue to support people and communities across the city. As Dr Brown explains: “By giving to the Foundation you are joining a community who is working to make greater Melbourne an inclusive, more resilient and sustainable city for everyone.”
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