2018-19 Grants Round Now Open!

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After another successful Aurora Ball in 2018, we’re now we are seeking applications for our 2018-19 Grants Round.


Aurora is calling for applications from organisations wanting to run projects that will benefit the LGBTIQ community, and we need you to help us spread the message!


Our Small Grants are for projects up to the value of $7,500 and must begin in early 2019 and be able to wrap up by October 2019.


This year, we are also delighted to add two new Special Grants to our offer with the generous support of PWC Australia and Westpac. These new Special Grants are $5000 each year over two years (valued at $10,000 in total), targeted towards vulnerable groups in our community.


To date, Aurora has given over $900,000 to projects across NSW and we look forward to adding to that amount again this year.


The 2018-19 Grants Program is open for applications until 5pm Monday 5th November 2018.


All of the details are available at http://www.auroragroup.com.au/grants/


Know any incredible organisations or projects that could do with a boost? Please encourage them to apply by 5th November.

Over $65,000 in Grants to be Given Away By Aurora for 2018

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Christmas has come early for seven LGBTIQ community groups, who will share in $65,000 of funding announced today by Aurora.

In 2018, Aurora is delighted to be supporting:

  • The Women and Girls Emergency Centre – to develop new support services for LBQ women experiencing violence across wider Sydney.
  • Bolton Clarke aged care services – to research and develop a handbook for NSW aged care services on providing best practice care to LGBTIQ people.
  • Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre – to deliver a series of community forums and events aimed at bridging the gap between the younger and older LGBTIQ communities across their region.
  • Outstanding LGBTIQ Short Story Competition – to develop an e-book of winning LGBTIQ Short Stories and run a new mini-story competition during the 2018 Mardi Gras Festival.
  • Dress for Success Sydney – to purchase appropriate clothing and to develop initial transgender Dress for Success workshops – helping transgender women into the workforce with confidence.
  • Northcott Innovations – for the collaborative development of disability and sexuality programming for the LGBTIQ community, driven by community members themselves.


Aurora will also continue giving special assistance to its key funding partner – Twenty10, incorporating the NSW Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service (GLSC), to deliver services and support to young people across central and western Sydney.

With the help of generous donors, Aurora raises money at its Annual Ball and other events throughout the year.  This funding is used to fund important projects for the LGBTIQ community in NSW.

Since Aurora was founded back in 1999, it has awarded close to $900,000 in grants from youth outreach, to counselling, inclusion, education, and creative projects.

Aurora is funded entirely through donations by supporters – anyone can donate online at any time at https://www.givenow.com.au/auroragivingprogram.


Quotes attributable to the Chair of The Aurora Group, Alison King:

“We were excited to receive a record number of funding applications this year.

“It was a tough job choosing just seven organisations to fund.  There is so much incredible work being done by our LGBTIQ community that is worthy of support.

“This year’s grant recipients represent a broad cross-section of the LGBTIQ community – we are supporting domestic violence services, aged care services, young people, people with a disability, transgender women, and creative projects.

“The more money we raise, the more great work Aurora can support, so I encourage people to donate online now – a perfect Christmas gift!  And, of course, everyone should come to our glamorous events next year.  Stayed tuned for further details.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Aurora has been privileged to help a number of the hardworking organisations that are there for the LGBTIQ community, day in, and day out. 

“The beauty of Aurora, is that the money raised goes to the coalface: to organisations and programs working to support a broad cross-section of the LGBTIQ community across NSW.  The funding we provide lets those organisations get on with what they do best: supporting our community.”

18 December 2017



Aurora Opens Applications for 2017 Small Grants Program

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Applications now open for The Aurora Group’s 2017 Small Grants Program

LGBTIQ organisations and projects could be eligible for grants of up to $7,500 each.

Applications are welcome from across NSW.

Aurora’s Small Grants funding is awarded to organisations and projects that benefit the LGBTIQ community. We are looking for innovative applications that cover a broad range of areas focused on inclusion and support for our community.

In addition to its Small Grants Program, Aurora gives special assistance to its key funding partner – Twenty10, incorporating the NSW Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service (GLSC).

Since Aurora was founded back in 1999, we have awarded over $800,000 in grants across NSW, from youth outreach, to counselling, inclusion, education, and creative projects.

Anyone who would like some advice about writing an effective application is encouraged to attend Aurora’s first ever Grant Writing Workshop, on Tuesday, October 24.

Information about Aurora’s 2017 Small Grants Program can be found at:

Applications close on Wednesday, 8 November 2017.

For the second year in a row, Aurora’s Annual Ball raised more than $100,000. The funds generously donated at that event go towards our Small Grants Program, ensuring the whole LGBTIQ community benefits.

Aurora funds its Small Grants Program entirely through donations by supporters – anyone can donate online at any time at www.auroragroup.com.au.


Quotes attributable to the Chair of The Aurora Group, Alison King:

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Aurora has been privileged to help a number of the hardworking organisations that are there for the LGBTIQ community, day in, and day out.
“The beauty of Aurora, is that the money raised goes to the coalface: to organisations and programs working to support a broad cross-section of the LGBTIQ community across NSW. The funding we provide lets those organisations get on with what they do best: supporting our community.
“Applications from organisations that have never applied before are particularly welcome.”


The Aurora Group is a charity that raises money to help support LGBTIQ community organisations and projects.
The funds raised are distributed by Aurora as grants to organisations that work with LGBTIQ people and communities.
Recent grants have supported:

  • Headspace in Maitland and Wollongong – proving youth outreach and mental health training
  • Inner City Legal Centre – LGBTIQ youth legal advice
  • GenQ – an LGBTIQ youth group in Gosford, for Outreach and collaboration with PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
  • The Gender Centre – a new film about the experiences of transgender people in the workplace
  • The OutStanding Short Story Competition – focused on telling the stories about the LGBTIQ community
  • ACON’s ‘Smoke Free, Still fierce’ project – helping lesbian and gay women quit tobacco

Aurora also gives special support to its key funding partner – Twenty10, incorporating the NSW Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service. Last year Twenty10 reached out to 10,000 people providing mental health, legal and housing services, including helping young people who have been kicked out of home because of their sexuality.

True to its roots, Aurora continues to raise money by organising unique events. These events are important fundraisers, but they also bring fun, glamour, and joy to the LGBTIQ community.

(PDF of media release)

MEDIA CONTACT: Dan Doran 0427 464 350 dan.doran@auroragroup.com.au

2017 Aurora Ball Theme Announced

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Don’t be late for this very important date!

Come with us, dear friends, and take a trip down the rabbit hole to an elegant world of glamour and intrigue, at this year’s Annual Aurora Ball. We’ve just lifted the lid on the theme for this year’s spectacular – A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.


This year’s theme is full of possibilities. Be as elaborate or simple as you like. Bring your own contemporary spin to the classic imagery, in the uber-cool vein of Tim Burton perhaps. Above all, think elegant and Aurora Ball 2017 Theme Postersophisticated.

“You could delve into Lewis Carrol’s wild world for your inspiration, or simply don some truly stylish millinery,” Aurora Group chairperson Alison King said.

And while it’ll feel like an elaborate, decadent tea party full of wonderful characters, we’ll have something a bit fancier to pour in those cups. The spread will be quite scrumptious too.

Get lost in a world of wonder in our spectacular new home, the Sydney International Convention Centre. It’s a modern and chic venue offering spectacular 270-degree views of the sparkling city skyline, the very best in event technology and state-of- the-art facilities, and a superior entertainment experience.

“The International Convention Centre is new, grand and conveniently located to public transport and parking,” Ms King said. “It’s an important part of Aurora’s continued growth and success. We can’t wait for people to see the Grand Ballroom in all its glory on June 24.”

The story of Alice and her Mad Hatter is a true coming of age tale, about a young girl who tumbles into the unknown and emerges a strong and fearless person.

“We like to think Aurora has a bit in common with that,” Ms King said.

“Eighteen years ago, this organisation began as the ambitious idea of a group of friends, full of hope and promise. Now we find ourselves on the cusp of change and better placed to serve the LGBTIQ community than ever before.

“We’re growing up, and so too is the Annual Aurora Ball. We’re moving to an exciting new home, we’re upping the ante and heightening the stakes, and as a result we’ll be able to continue our work in the support of important LGBTIQ initiatives.”

Most importantly, the night is about giving back to the community where so many of us have found our feet, discovered acceptance and flourished. As a community we’ve experienced significant steps forward over the years. To reflect on where we were almost two decades ago when Aurora was born is staggering. But for all the achievements we’ve made together, there is still much to do.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party embraces our philosophy of supporting the LGBTIQ community through events of celebration.

You can help support our work and important beneficiaries by joining us for this night of wonder.

“We’re excited to help as many important LGBTIQ community organisations as we can through funds raised at this year’s Aurora Ball. That this fantastic event continues to grow is both wonderful and a testament to the possibilities of community engagement.”

The important date you need to remember is Saturday June 24, and you won’t want to be late to book tickets.

And they’re on sale. Now.

WHERE: Sydney International Convention Centre, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney
WHEN: Saturday June 24, 6.30pm
PRICE: $245 per person, per ticket plus booking fee
BOOK: http://www.auroragroup.com.au/events/2017-aurora-ball/

We have exciting Aurora Ball news!

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Over the years, we’ve grown significantly – and so too has our Annual Aurora Ball.

From its humble beginnings at Paddington Town Hall, this premier and much-loved LGBTIQ fundraising event has gone from strength to strength.

Now it’s time to write our next exciting chapter. This June, we will stake our claim on a brand new home in the Grand Ballroom of the Sydney International Convention Centre. Let us set the scene for you.


You’ll feel on top of the world.

On a crisp evening in late June, you’ll arrive at a soaring foyer in the heart of Darling Harbour. From there, you’ll glide up to the top floor and be greeted by breathtaking 270-degree views out across Sydney’s sparkling skyline and harbour, in a modern, ultra chic and sprawling space with nine-metre ceilings and all of the very best in event technology.

Check out this video tour of the Grand Ballroom to get a sneak peek of what it’ll be like.

You’ll be inspired by the colour, movement and entertainment of our fantastic theme… but we won’t you tell you what that is just yet. Trust us – it’s a really good one.


Bold, ground-breaking

This year’s Aurora Ball will be one of the first major events to be staged in this newly built, state-of-the-art and far superior venue. From the catering to the lighting and audio-visual, it’s the BEST of the best.


It’s a win-win

The International Convention Centre venue is shiny and new, utterly grand, conveniently located to public transport and parking, and an important part of the Aurora Ball’s continued charitable success. We’re so thrilled to be able to evolve, grow our events and help even more worthy LGBTIQ community grant recipients as a result.

Why are we shifting?

Put simply, we’ve outgrown our old home at Town Hall. Last year’s record-breaking sell-out of tickets in just two weeks highlights how hotly in demand the Aurora Ball is and we’re committed to making it possible for as many of you, our supportive community members to attend as possible.

With the International Convention Centre, we can add a limited number of new tables.


Our new home is also more affordable. We get much more bang for less buck. That element, coupled with the extra guests we can welcome, puts us in a position to raise even more money for our community grant recipients.

We can’t wait for you to see it in all its glory on June 24.

Stay tuned for news about our theme in just a little while. Looking forward to seeing you at the Ball.

Alison and the Aurora Board

Aurora’s 2016 Grants Spread $60 000 In Support Throughout NSW

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After raising a record amount at this year’s Annual Ball, the Aurora Group has announced over $60 000 in grants to support the LGBTIQ community over the coming year.

Seven Small Grants of up to $5000 have funded projects in Sydney, Gosford, Maitland and Wollongong.

“2016 has been a tough year for many in our community, but we’ve also seen our donors step up and give generously,” said Aurora chairperson Alison King.

“It’s inspiring to connect the incredible work being done by community organisations on the frontline, with the generosity of our family of donors.”

The full list of projects funded by the 2016 Small Grants program is:

  • Headspace Wollongong: training peer facilitators to lead the Rainbow League group, a youth group for 16-25 year olds in the Illawarra region.
  • Headspace Maitland: training, support and a video about youth LGBTIQ experiences to be developed in the Upper Hunter region by the ‘All 4 One’ youth group.
  • Regional Youth Support Services (GenQ): four LGBTIQ outreach workshops for youth in the Central Coast region
  • Inner City Legal Centre: a pilot project aimed at improving young LGBTIQ people’s access to legal information and support.
  • Gender Centre: a short film on the experiences of transgender people in the workplace.
  • Outstanding LGBTIQ Story Competition: revamping the submission process and social media strategy for the competition in 2017.
  • ACON: supporting phase II of the ‘Smoke Free Still Fierce’ campaign and outreach.


In addition to these Small Grants, Aurora will provide $30 000 to its major grants recipient, Twenty10 incorporating the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service for core projects that benefit the LGBTIQ community.

Aurora funds its grants program entirely through donations by supporters – anyone can donate online at any time at www.auroragroup.com.au.


15 December 2016


Media Contact:  Michael Vaughan, 0413 473 773, michaelv@auroragroup.com.au

Aurora Group Announces a Premier Fashion Event for 2017 Mardi Gras

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Today Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras unveiled its 2017 festival season, including Aurora’s new premier event [Style] aGender – A Gender-Queer Fashion Parade to be held on 24th February 2017.

Aurora’s exciting new fashion event is designed to celebrate Australian queer (and queer-friendly) fashion brands, while generating conversation about the changing space of gender-queer style. Guests can enjoy canapés and cocktails in the [Style] aGender VIP Lounge before taking their seats for the [Style] aGender Runway Show presenting thought-provoking pieces worn by unique models. They can then follow the show with [Style] aGender Fashion Talks, where a panel of industry pros and community identities will consider the spectrum of gender fluid style and the unique aspects of dressing queer bodies.

“Can fashion be used to challenge the binary limitations of masculinity and femininity and make space for other forms of identity? Can we harness it to creatively resist and queer the norm? The Aurora Group is bringing together the thinkers, trendsetters and style icons of the queer community to explore this concept with a Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival fashion event showcasing collections from local style front-runners and influential designers.”

Alison King, Chair, The Aurora Group



Enjoy drinks and canapés in the VIP lounge, our premier destination for fashion media, models, celebs, style stars, community icons and special guests.


Curated by fashion industry insiders, the runway show collection explores queer identity through fashion subcultures, design and the emerging trends of gender fluid style.


Industry pros and community identities will reflect on the spectrum of gender-queer fashion at our Fashion Talks panel discussion. Join the conversation and spark your imagination.


Level access from street through to venue entrances. Designated audience spaces for wheelchair users. Accessible bathroom available. Assistance animals welcome.

[Style] aGender Tickets


Front Row Runway Show
VIP Lounge Drinks & Canapés
Official GOLD Gift Bag
‘Fashion Talks’ Entry


Second/Third Row Runway Show
VIP Lounge Drinks & Canapés
Official SILVER Gift Bag
‘Fashion Talks’ Entry


General Admission Runway Show
Lobby refreshment bar
‘Fashion Talks’ Entry



February 24, 2017 at 7pm – 10pm (doors open at 6:30pm)




901 Bourke Street, Waterloo, NSW



Aurora Appetite Fundraising Dinner for the Gender Centre

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The Aurora Group announces Appetite Dinner fundraising event on August 31 2016 at Claires Kitchen in support of The Gender Centre.

Hot on the heels of the record-breaking 2016 Aurora Annual Ball that raised over $100,000, the Aurora Group is back with the second installment of the Appetite Dinner series at one of the community’s most-loved restaurants, Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon, on Wednesday 31 August.

Launched in February 2016, Appetite Dinners are Aurora’s newest event offering, delivering intimate evenings of fabulous food and wine while showcasing LGBTI community groups for pinpointed fundraising.

Appetite offers the familiar qualities Aurora supporters have come to expect. What sets it apart from the glamor of the Aurora Annual Ball is its intimate nature, providing guests with the chance to get to know each other and collectively target their support for a worthy cause.

“The focus for this Appetite Dinner is the crucial work undertaken by The Gender Centre within the trans community,” said Aurora Chair Alison King. “Money raised on the night will fund a project allowing them to hold a series of educational lunches across Australia with key journalists and media decision makers that shape public opinions on trans issues in the wider community. We believe this to be important work as media coverage of the trans and queer communities should be appropriately informed and considerate.”

“We do a lot of really important work in the trans community and the Aurora Group helps to make that possible,” said Eloise Brook, a Director of The Gender Centre. “The feeling of those who work at The Gender Centre is that when Aurora gets involved, there is an incredibly positive effect on our community. I’m looking forward to the Appetite dinner, because we have an amazing story to tell; one of change and how to do things differently.”

On the night, Claire’s will be putting together three courses of fine French fare and matching wines for guests to enjoy. Aurora will be providing some fantastic raffle items, including a Same Love photography package, a return visit to Claire’s Kitchen, and a one-week coastal getaway at the beautiful Lobster Cottage in Sawtell.

Tickets are $150pp (+ $3 booking fee) and given that the debut Appetite Dinner sold out in just a few days, the Aurora Group recommends supporters visit the online booking page and secure tickets today to avoid disappointment.


Event Details

Aurora Appetite Dinner

Supporting the Gender Centre

7pm, Wednesday 31 August 2016

Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon

35 Oxford St, Sydney, NSW

Cost: $150+BF (includes three courses and matched wines)

Buy tickets: https://auroragroup.nationbuilder.com/appetite_dinner_august_2016

Join Appetite on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/1763210920596849/

Record-Breaking Aurora Ball Raises Over $100 000

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The “Menagerie” themed Aurora Ball on Saturday evening raised a record amount of over $100 000 for the LGBTI community.

“We’re so grateful for the generosity of our guests in their giving at this year’s Ball – through our raffles, auctions and direct donations over $100 000 was raised,” said Aurora Chairperson Alison King.

“The Ball is always joyful, but the generosity of this year’s guests means we can be really ambitious with our grants program for the next twelve months.”

Guests gave a standing ovation to keynote speaker Tiernan Brady’s call to be the “golden generation” that moves from decriminalisation through to full marriage equality.

The safari suited MC Bob Downe introduced shows from Trevor Ashley and Rhonda Burchmore, a primate-inspired iOTA, and a surprise performance by some of the roller-skating cast of Xanadu the musical.

“I want to thank again our event partners, sponsors and media partners for helping make this year’s Ball such a success.”

The 2016 Aurora Ball Gold Sponsor was Michael Kauter from Strategic Political Counsel, with Silver Sponsors Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and Michael Tiyce from Tiyce & Lawyers.

The Aurora Group’s event partners are the City of Sydney, The Caterer – A Sydney Company, Ovolo HotelsVintage Blue Wine, 32Hundred Lighting, and Same Love Photography.

Aurora’s long-standing media partners are SX and SameSame, the Star Observer and GayRadio.com.au.

Aurora will open applications for its Small Grants program in around September, providing up to $5000 grants for projects supporting the LGBTI community in New South Wales.

Media Contact: Michael Vaughan, 0413 473 773, michaelv@auroragroup.com.au

iOTA, Trevor Ashley and Rhonda Burchmore – oh my!

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We wanted to share the news with you – iOTA, Trevor Ashley and Rhonda Burchmore are providing the entertainment at this year’s sold out Aurora Ball!

Performer iOTAOver the past decade iOTA has earned a reputation as a magnetic performer who can command an audience from the stage, on the big screen or fronting his own band. He has four Helpmann Awards and six studio albums (along with six ARIA nominations) under his belt. We’re thrilled he’s coming to the Ball.

Trevor and Rhonda
Trevor Ashley is known and loved for his award-winning performances in major productions like Les Miserables as well as his own creative works like FAT SWAN and Diamonds Are For Trevor. Over a brilliant 30 year career Rhonda Burchmore has starred in lead musical roles, performed at London’s West End, recorded five albums, received a MO Award and ACE Award, and was acknowledged for her service to the performing arts and community with an OAM in 2014.

Trevor and Rhonda have enough star power to light up Sydney Town Hall solo, but are fresh from teaming up for their show Twins at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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