Bendigo’s Islamic community will soon have the safe space for locals to pray, congregate and hold events – both cultural and sporting – as construction of the city’s first Islamic community centre gets underway.
Premier Daniel Andrews today joined Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards, the Bendigo Islamic Association and members of the local community to mark the start of works of the construction of the Bendigo Islamic Community Centre.
Since the gold rush in the 1800s, people of the Muslim faith have called Bendigo home, and this will finally give the local Islamic community a formal place of worship and celebration.
The first stage of construction includes the region’s first mosque and a multipurpose centre designed to hold sporting competitions and other cultural celebrations – a space that will be welcome to Victorians of all faiths.
The Andrews Labor Government contributed $400,000 though the Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund to help build the sports and community hall. The fund supports Victoria’s many faith organisations feel connected to their traditional culture.
Across Bendigo we have also supported a number of other important initiatives that both support social cohesion and draw visitors to the City, including $2.5 million for the Great Stupa and $250,000 towards Dai Gum Loong, the world’s Chinese longest dragon.
Victoria is a proudly multicultural state, with more than 200 languages spoken and many faiths. Almost every second person in Victoria was born overseas or has at least one parent born overseas.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Victoria’s greatest strength is its diversity – we’ll always give Bendigo and its many proud communities the support they need to grow and prosper, including the right to practice their faith in their own place of worship.”
“Standing alongside Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Great Stupa, the Bendigo Islamic Community Centre will be a further testament to the vibrant and diverse multiculturalism of this great city.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“I am proud to have lived in Bendigo all my life. The Bendigo that I know embraces diversity and multiculturalism – the construction of Bendigo’s first Islamic Community Centre will further enhance the city we all know and love.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“Bendigo is proudly multicultural – our great city would not be what it is today without the contribution of so many different cultures. Today’s milestone is a significant moment for the ongoing development of Bendigo.”