Aurora Dinner raises $51,000
The Aurora Group's 2012 annual dinner raised over $51,000 for community groups.
The Titanic-themed event, hosted by TV personality Brendan Moar and comedian Lesley Hancock, was attended by numerous state and federal MPs, members of the LGBT community and a host of entertainers including key-note speaker comedian Tom Ballard.
Ballard gave a hilarious and moving speech entitled "Love and Equality and Diversity and Bullshit".
"Following queer politics is a rollercoaster," Ballard said.
"One day you’re marching for marriage equality, buoyed by hope and joy and a sense of impending progressive change in the air, the next you’re listening to every political commentator saying that the likelihood of any same-sex marriage legislation passing through the parliament is little more than zero.
"One day the Finance Minister Penny Wong announces that she and her partner are going to be parents, the next day Campbell Newman is stripping away the rights of same sex couples in Queensland to access altruistic surrogacy."
Ballard also said that while marriage equality looms large in all our minds, we also need to worry about the poor standard of sex education in our schools and the high rate of suicide among same-sex attracted young people.
We strive for equality, just as our predecessors have done for hundreds of years. We celebrate diversity," Ballard said.
"And now, more than ever, we must continue to do all in our power to ruthlessly dispel the odious bullshit that stands in the way of a common goal: justice."
He concluded his speec by saying, "But first and foremost we are human beings and we are citizens and by fostering that community through activism, commentary, donations of time and money and quite simply by not shutting up about the things that we believe in and know are right, together we can be stronger than bullshit will ever be."
Marcus Bourget Chairperson of The Aurora Group said in a statement" “The Aurora Group and its guests set sail on board the Titanic in true style while paying homage to the marvel of the maritime world".
"The Annual Dinner is our major fundraising event for the year and the Aurora Directors are thrilled at showcasing the charm and allure of the nautical world yet raising an exceptional amount of money.”
Wayne Cox, Aurora's newly appointed Events Director added: “As I looked around the room I was so proud of everyone who was there and the wonderful things we can achieve when we come together as a community".
Funds raised will go to its major beneficiaries, Twenty10 and the NSW Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service. The group will also be calling for GLBT community groups to apply for small grants for projects which benefit the LGBT community.