Mark Fenech, owner and creator of Projekt 3488 – a bespoke iconic building in Warburton, Yarra Valley, that has become a stunning wedding and event destination – believes in equality with every fibre of his being.
Photo: Mish Edstein
“This place and the events and people that it has held have opened my mind. I didn’t set out to be a wedding venue but with each couple that came through – be they traditional, LGBTQIA, non-identifying – I came to see that providing a safe place for people to express their love, no matter who they were was actually what Projekt 3488 was truly meant to be about. It breaks my heart that people ring to enquire about the space and their first question is ‘are you gay-friendly?’
Photo Mark Fenech
Through Projekt 3488 and Equality Projekt we’re saying loud and proud – YES!
It’s ok to be you. This is my contribution and I want people to know they are loved, they are celebrated, and they can celebrate,” says Mark.
Photo Laura Manariti
Projekt 3488 is in many ways an ‘installation of self’. It is also Mark’s home, with his industrial design edge, native sculptural garden and hand-picked treasures and collectables defining this as a unique space unlike any other.
Equality Projekt, a competition offering one LGBTQIA couple a wedding package worth more than $70,000, is Mark’s way of showing pride in difference. More than 25 aligned suppliers offering the best in their category, have joined him in his Equality Projekt campaign, which had its genesis in the announcement of the plebiscite for marriage equality.
Photo Rick Liston
“Initially I was sceptical about the motives of the plebiscite, so it was a truly joyful day when same-sex marriage was made possible. I was in tears. I’d been thinking about marriage equality for 20 years – experiencing how it felt for me to not have the right to marriage, seeing how it made others feel who were being denied the right and knowing traditional couples who refused to get married until everyone had equal rights. When people of all identity started coming here and feeling safe, I started to know my first true sense of family.”
Couples can self-nominate via the online entry form (submitting a written piece, photo or video entry), or can be entered by family and friends. “Anyone, of any identity, can enter a LGBTQIA couple and we will celebrate together. Love is irresistible, and the winning couple will have a beautiful, memorable, inclusive celebration in a stunning venue with the crème of suppliers crafting their day beyond their wildest expectations. "We will ensure it’s the party of the year!”
“When people enter Projekt 3488 they often don’t know what to make of it, but as they feel into the building, they are transformed by it. Love is transforming too, and I want everyone to feel their place here and be who they are.”
Photo LJM Photography
Entries close: Tuesday 30 April 2019
Winner selected: Tuesday 14 May 2019
Wedding Ceremony: Saturday 7 December 2019