JOY 94.9 congratulates the Victorian Government on their commitment of $15 million for a new Pride Centre


JOY 94.9 congratulates the leadership of the Victorian Government in announcing funding for a new Pride Centre for Melbourne, particularly Minister for Equality Martin Foley, the Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality Rowena Allen, and the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

“We have been encouraged by the consultation to date on the Pride Centre proposal, and the possibilities for an innovative approach that brings our community together, not just in a physical sense, but also in a digital sense. It can be a Pride Centre of the future”, said JOY 94.9 President Jed Gilbert.

JOY already has strong engagement across the LGBTIQ communities, providing over 300 free community service announcements for LGBTIQ groups across Victoria each year, as well as specialised shows and content. Australia’s only LGBTIQ radio station, JOY 94.9,  is run by over 300 volunteers and a handful of staff.

JOY also helps achieve a diverse sound in representing diverse LGBTIQ communities. The Pride Centre can make it even easier to collaborate, and help every Victorian LBGTIQ organisation reach new people, especially in this new media and digital age.

“It’s about building digital communities as well as physical communities. We’re really interested in what this means for the equality agenda in Victoria, and how we can beam out this equality not just across Australia, but also across the world – particularly in countries that have appalling LGBTIQ human rights records. This Centre offers a new chance for engagement and learning across our Asia-pacific region as Melbourne is seen as a leader”, said Mr Gilbert.

JOY 94.9 also needs a permanent home and has been undertaking a property review since 2015. The station is currently in the City Village, owned by City of Melbourne, however JOY understands that this property is subject to an upcoming council review.

Speaking on JOY 94.9 on Wednesday night, Gender and Sexuality Commissioner Rowena Allen said regarding JOY’s permanent home status:

“This announcement tonight has all of those factors in play. We have been working with the City of Melbourne on [JOY’s] behalf.

“This is very front and centre, and there is no way [myself and Minister Martin Foley] are going to let JOY off air, and we’re going to make sure there is continuity and balance that with the right building and the right place. Now the work begins”

JOY has also been working with the Victorian AIDS Council as they assess their options after the sale of their South Yarra property.

“Moving an entire radio station is not a small job, so time really is of the essence with this proposal”, said JOY 94.9 Program Director, James Findlay.

“We have some key technical requirements that we’ve been feeding into the consultation process, and we look forward to continuing to play a key role as the community consultations role forward on this important initiative for the LGBTIQ communities.”

JOY 94.9 looks forward to reviewing the feasibility study once it is released, and working with the Victorian Government, and our community partners, to make the Pride Centre a reality.