We’re showcasing equity this International Women’s Day through our investment in inclusive spaces. See how it’s giving a voice to Victorians.
Understanding the needs of women through challenging stereotypes and getting curious about any bias leads to a better and more inclusive world.
Equity means to understand that women may have different needs based on their social, economic, cultural and political background and to accommodate them in all senses. From there, a truly equal world becomes more attainable.
One way to do this is through creating inclusive spaces where everyone can contribute and feel welcomed. Here are a number of inclusive spaces the Victorian Government has invested in across the state.
Barwon Heads Arts Hub
It’s a trend happening around Victoria, converting unused space into something new. With a $1 million investment along with a contribution of $427,000 from the City of Greater Geelong, an old kindergarten site in Barwon Heads has been turned into the town’s coveted Arts and Community Hub. It’s a community space giving a voice to local artists across the Bellarine Peninsula and giving more opportunities to showcase their work. A first for the area, the Hub welcomes all types of artistic fields including visual arts, music, drama, theatre, dance, poetry and literature.
Bundalaguah-Myrtlebank (Bundy) Hall
Most people would have heard the rocking tunes echoing off Gippsland’s rolling hills long before seeing the famous Bundy Hall – located right in the middle of a cow paddock. Opened in 1954, the hall brings together locals between Sale and Maffra, helping them connect, marking itself as a welcoming place for all to use regardless of singing prowess. When it’s not offering live performances, the hall serves as a meeting place for the Country Women’s Association and offers other activities such as weekly yoga classes. Making the hall even more accessible to everyone, additional funding from Latrobe Valley Authority has provided accessibility improvements such as safe entry ramps, undercover outdoor areas and parking upgrades.
The Euroa cinema offers the hottest ticket in town, opening its doors to its loyal community regardless of their age or ability. Being a regular social outlet, the small country town has made sure that its popular cinema is now inclusive and accessible – with cheap tickets, wheelchair spaces and sensory-friendly screenings. Understanding the needs of their diverse community members, the joy of entertainment can be experienced by a lot more people, especially with more affordable tickets on offer. The inclusive cinema has parking out the front, a flat foyer that leads right into the cinema, disability toilets, and dedicated spaces in the cinema for people with wheelchairs and prams.
Garvoc Community Hall
Originally a safe place of refuge for support services during the 2018 St Patricks Day Fires, the Garvoc community saw the need to make its spacious hall a place for all community members. Still retaining its original links, the $400,000 refurbishment connects the community with Garvoc CFA and Garvoc Residents Group. Accommodating the needs of the wider community, the new hub now includes meeting rooms for local groups to gather or those needing a space for an event. The addition of change rooms for parents and an outdoor play space for the Family Day Care services provides a respite for parents and is managed by Moyne Shire Council.
The Rex Theatre
Not just a charming cinema, Charlton’s Rex Theatre is now a hub that benefits people of all backgrounds. First opened to the Charlton community in the 1930s, it was home to many locals wanting a night out at the pictures. Contributing to the town’s history, the theatre has survived floods and a decline in movie goers during the pandemic. Despite its misfortune, the hub still stands strong and with recent support now hosts local debutante balls, school speech nights, informal community group meetings and varied performances, from drag queens to concert pianists. The space offers more possibilities for participation and as a result, has developed creativity and fulfilment in the region.