Built on a history of migration, collaboration and innovation, Australia has long been a ‘melting pot’ of cultures, with diverse ideas and traditions integral to its way of life.
Bringing Australia’s diverse and progressive culture to life are purpose-built construction projects to house communities, ideas and experiences – one example is the Victorian Pride Centre built by Hansen Yuncken, which opened its doors in 2021.
In recognition of the project’s significance and success amongst the community, the project was recently awarded Team of the Year in KONE’s 2022 Victorian People in Property Awards.
Hansen Yuncken chief executive officer Peter Salveson said: “Underpinning our corporate values is a desire to make a real difference to the communities in which we work.
“The $36-million Victorian Pride Centre project ticks all the boxes when it comes to engaging local and diverse communities, and we are extremely proud to have brought this important hub to the St Kilda neighbourhood.
“Having our strong and collaborative team recognised as part of the KONE People in Property awards is extremely rewarding and a great acknowledgement of a collective mindset and delivery – a reminder that we are better together.”
Victorian Pride Centre chief executive Justine Dalla Riva said the building was a milestone for the community.
She added: “It represents progress, openness, becoming and belonging.
“The opening and operation of the Pride Centre is a step towards equality for LGBTIQ+ communities – it’s a place that embodies our key values of support, celebration, belonging and pride in form and function.
“The Victorian Pride Centre has become a hub of community activity, collaboration, and celebration.
“Our social events have brought a sense of togetherness for our communities after a couple of disjointed years during COVID.”
Another example of how communities can be constructed through building development was Hansen Yuncken’s Greater Shepparton Secondary College (GSSC) project in Victoria.
During the peak of COVID, Hansen Yuncken donated $10,000 to Shepparton Foodshare to bring food to the tables of local families living in isolation.
A 1,270-litre freezer, worth more than $8,000, was also provided to the Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project to support their work with youth facing food insecurity.
Hansen Yuncken was able to create opportunities to employ Shepparton residents living with disability, to plant beautiful mature trees across the site, through social enterprise ConnectGV.
The money paid to ConnectGV for the project has since allowed them to provide meaningful long-term employment for workers within their nursery complex.
Salveson continued: “Not only did Hansen Yuncken have the opportunity to support the Shepparton community while constructing GSSC, part of our project delivery team involved school alumni who attended Shepparton High as students themselves, many moons ago.
“Bringing those team members back to help transform a place that holds memories for them was very special, it was nostalgic for them and certainly strengthened the community connection in the build.
“After Victorian students have faced an undeniably challenging past couple of years of remote learning during COVID, a world leading education hub like GSSC will be a game changer for Shepparton students to seize new opportunities.
“With some of our most crucial and culturally defining sectors being left behind, Hansen Yuncken is excited to be playing a key role in Australia’s post-pandemic recovery through meaningful, considered and relevant construction.
“Project by project, we are reinvigorating life back into Australia, across rural towns and capital cities alike.
“We are thrilled to win KONE’s People in Property award, and excited to continue working with communities to deliver complex projects with pride.”