Queer Formal builds belonging

3 January 2023

Shine at a Queer Formal, join an empowering female-led book club and bliss out in a wellbeing garden thanks to local heroes making a difference with Connected Communities Grants.

We provide grants to help schools, non-profits and community groups support the needs and aspirations of diverse communities in the City of Melbourne.

Working together, we can help make our neighbourhoods more connected, equitable and inclusive, and give people a greater sense of belonging.

This year we’re supporting a Queer Formal staged by Minus18, an organisation that champions life-affirming inclusion for LGBTQIA+ young people.

Event lead Miller Soding said the formal will feature DJs, drag artists, singers and dancers, a dinner and a non-stop dance floor, alongside fun activities designed to help attendees make friends and affirm their identity.

‘Queer Formal is a sparkly, unforgettable night where high school-aged LGBTQIA+ young people can dress up, bring a date and feel celebrated and part of a community. It’s an electric night of queer youth joy,’ Miller said.

‘The event gives young people a chance to be themselves without worrying about experiencing bullying or feelings of isolation, that they may experience at their own high-school formal.

‘We created this night so everyone who attends can feel beautiful and proud, and so that they’ll remember this pivotal time in their life in a positive, affirming way.’

The Queer Formal will take place on Saturday 1 July at National Gallery Victoria. Learn more at

Meet more grant winners

Here are a few more of the exceptional projects we’re supporting with Connected Communities Grants in 2023:

  • Meals with Impact will provide jobs and training for new migrant women and culturally appropriate meals for people experiencing food insecurity through the Magpie Meals Project.
  • Hotham Mission will launch a female-led book club called ‘WomEmpower’ at North Melbourne Library.
  • Circus Nexus will bring people together through its Team Turbo project.
  • Gotcha4Life Foundation will help build mental fitness in our municipality.
  • The Salvation Army will build a wellbeing garden on Melrose Street in North Melbourne.

For more information, visit Community grants.

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