Motafrenz Car Club

Australia's premier motoring club for the LGBTIQA+ community!

Event Recap: Pride Centre Tour

Words by Chris Gallagher

Saturday 16 July dawned  – well, antarctically blustery.  Despite the unpromising weather, twenty-four members and Frenz rugged up and headed to Fitzroy Street, St Kilda after lunch for an exclusive behind-the scenes tour of the new Victorian Pride Centre.  Our host and tour leader was Bree McKilligan.

The Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-built centre for Australia’s LGBTIQ+ communities.  It houses major and important LGBTIQ+ resident organisations, and provides flexible and multi-use spaces for hire, including, meeting rooms, rooftop terrace, co-working spaces, a theatrette and gallery.  It is built on land given by the City of Port Phillip and partly financed by a grant from the Victorian Government and donations from many contributors.

We were all hugely impressed by the building which was the joint  work of local St Kilda firms Brearley Architects and Urbanists and Grant Amon Architects. Bree cut through the high-falutin architecturese and explained that the Centre was conceived as a series of tubes which draw the eye from the entrance right through the building and provide a series of spacious and well-lit areas that are flexible in purpose.  In other words, a place for the community whatever the intended activity, whether performances, film, art exhibitions, practical office space or meetings.  JOY now has its offices and studios there.  The building is also consciously designed to minimise its impact on the environment.

The Centre’s crowning design feature must surely be the central atrium and lantern which floods all three floors with natural light.  It is a broken ovoid shape representing a hatched emu egg.  But it also has a practical purpose, carrying the main staircase and enclosing a bank of arena seating ideal for speeches and lectures and the like.  Of particular interest to members was the ground floor conference room which was furnished with a donation from Motafrenz.  A plaque acknowledges our contribution.

Our tour ended with an inspection of the rooftop terraces with their panoramic views over St Kilda and the bay.  That space would make an ideal party venue when the weather is kinder and less windy.

Bree our host emphasised that the Pride Centre is open to any and all LGBTIQ+ organisations.  Our impression is that it would offer a functional venue to hold larger Motafrenz events such as the AGM.

After thanking our host for a most informative tour, the five committee members who had brought their cars in participated in a photo opportunity which Bree had requested and organised.  These photos will be published on the Centre’s website at pridecentre.org.au.  We had intended catching up with our friends from Car Gays Australia but the timimg made that impracticable.  So the discerning sweet tooths among us ended a very pleasant afternoon with coffee and cake at the renowned Monarch Cake Shop in Acland Street.

Motafrenz Webmaster

Back to top