Gretel Killeen to host the Aurora Group’s Annual Ball – “Yesterday Once More”

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MEDIA RELEASE: 23 April 2013

All will be glittering gold at the Sydney Town Hall on Saturday 22 June 2013 for Aurora’s 14th Annual Ball, an evening of fabulous entertainment, food and wine, hosted by the incomparable Gretel Killeen.

Presenting ‘Yesterday Once More’, The Aurora Group will explore the history of its iconic venue, inviting guests back to a time when the Sydney Town Hall played host to bohemian artists’ balls. Frequented by all classes, the eclectic crowd included artists, writers, models and muses. The first post-war Artists’ Ball was in 1922 to raise money for soldiers injured in the war. It caused controversy because of the ’unseemly conduct’ of its guests, a story all too familiar to the GLBTQ community that Aurora supports!

“Inspired by fundraiser events of the past, we are very excited to offer our guests an opulent and lavish night, with art deco influences and a stellar line of guests,” says Wayne Cox, Events Director of The Aurora Group. “We are particularly excited to announce our host, Gretel Killeen, as well as our plans for growing the Aurora family.”

Gretel Killeen joins the event as not only a vocal GLBTQ and human rights supporter, but as an acclaimed entertainer and MC. Gretel has hosting experience extends from the Logie Awards, to her famed seven-year stint as Big Brother Australia host and to her new role as Director at TEDx Sydney. Her support for GLBTQ rights has seen her host the Sydney Mardi Gras, and she has been a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

While celebrating the past, Aurora is also looking to the future, offering for the first time a discounted “Youth Table” to guests 30 and under, who have never been to an Aurora Ball before. Ten tickets will be offered at a reduced rate of $150, so that younger members of the community can enjoy this wonderful event and an opportunity to support their community.

An homage to the community’s history and origins, the event is an opportunity to showcase Aurora’s historical contributions and future directions.

“Each year, Aurora holds the dinner in late June to mark International Stonewall Day,” said Cox. “On the evening of the 2013 Aurora Dinner, we will toast this date as well as the 35th Anniversary of Mardi Gras.”

The Aurora Group is pleased to confirm that food and wine partners Bayleaf Catering and The Oak Barrel are back on board for this year’s Annual Ball, and are thrilled to announce a new event partner, the Radisson Blue Hotel Sydney.

The Aurora Group is also excited to announce new Aurora Chairperson Adam Niewand. Adam has been a Director of the Aurora Board for over three years, contributing enormously to the organisation in his position of Board Secretary. With a professional background in event production and senior management roles, Adam has played a key role in numerous aspects of Aurora’s work and fundraising already and is the natural choice to be Chair.

Outgoing Chair Marcus Bourget, who stepped down due to increased work commitments, will stay on the Aurora Board as an Associate Director.

Tickets to the Ball are $225 and are on sale now. Corporate and Community tables are also available. Tickets are limited, and booking early is strongly recommended due to past sell- outs. Further information is available at www.auroragroup.com.au and to book email bookings@auroragroup.com.au or call (02) 8323 4041.

The Aurora Annual Ball is a fundraiser for Aurora’s charitable grants programs, for GLBTQ projects across New South Wales. More than $30,000 raised through Aurora events has been given to a range of vital organisations as part of the 2012–13 Small Grants program.

UK cabaret starlets Frisky and Mannish announced for Fat Tuesday

Critically acclaimed UK cabaret act Frisky and Mannish have been confirmed to headline Fat Tuesday, the upcoming fundraiser for The Aurora Group, one of only two performances in Sydney as part of their Australian tour.

The British musical comedy duo have received rave reviews worldwide for their intelligent, bizarre and hilarious pop music parodies. Sell out sensations at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Comedy Festival and on their worldwide tours, they have also made several television appearances in the UK and performed on the popular BBC Radio 1 Scott Mills show.

Frisky and Mannish have been described as ‘wildly talented’, (The Independent), ‘a constantly evolving force of musical nature,’ (Metro) a ‘global phenomenon’, (The Times), ‘clever, inventive, polished, prodigiously talented and extremely funny,’ (Time Out Sydney) ‘skillfully layered and musically surprising,’ (The Guardian). The Aurora Group urges the community not to take the critics’ word for it, and to find out for themselves.

This latest addition complements the already stellar line up at Fat Tuesday which includes entertainment commentator Andrew Mercado as host and performances from singers Monique Montez and Jacinta Gulisano, with more still to be announced.

Event Director Wayne Cox says, “Having an international act of this calibre as part of the Fat Tuesday entertainment line-up is great news for Aurora, and our supporters. If you haven’t seen Frisky and Mannish before you are in for a real treat.”

Tickets to the evening are on sale at $120, inclusive of a sumptuous three-course meal and a selection of wines from Aurora wine partner Oak Barrel.

Fat Tuesday is a fundraiser for Aurora’s charitable grants programs, for GLBT projects across New South Wales. More than $30,000 raised through events like Fat Tuesday has been given to a range of vital organisations as part of the 2012–13 Small Grants program.

For more information please contact:
Jeff McBride 0431 219052 / 
jeff@auroragroup.com.au
Katie Hoskins 0423 506404 /
katie@auroragroup.com.au

 

Fat Tuesday
Tuesday 12 February 2013 @ 6.30pm
Slide, 41 Oxford Street, Sydney
Tickets $120
Phone (02) 8323 4041 or email bookings@auroragroup.com.au

More information on The Aurora Group please visit www.auroragroup.com.au

Fat Tuesday returns to raise vital funds for the community

The Aurora Group are delighted to announce Fat Tuesday is returning to Slide on Oxford Street on Tuesday 12 February and tickets are now on sale.

Tuesday 12 February 2013 @ 6.30pm
Slide, 41 Oxford Street, Sydney
Tickets $120
Phone (02) 8323 4041 or email bookings@auroragroup.com.au

Now in its sixth year, this popular event celebrates the date of Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day and the literal French translation Mardi Gras. Traditionally the date is a ‘last hurrah’ before lent begins; in any case it’s a fantastic excuse to indulge.

Aurora Group Event Director Wayne Cox says, “Fat Tuesday is always a favourite with our valued Aurora supporters. It’s an excellent way to raise money for our important community organisations while enjoying an extravagant night of food, wine and entertainment.”

Ticket to the evening cost $120, inclusive of food, wines and a fabulous line-up of entertainment which will be revealed soon.  Aurora wine partner Oak Barrel will once again be generously providing a selection of wines, meaning that even more funds can go to the organisations that Aurora supports.

Fat Tuesday is a fundraiser for Aurora’s charitable grants programs, for GLBT projects in Sydney and across New South Wales. More than $30,000 raised through events like Fat Tuesday has been given to a range of vital organisations as part of the 2012–13 Small Grants program.

The Small Grants recipients this year include peer support groups for same-sex attracted women with cancer and GLBT clients of the Wayside Chapel, a theatre production addressing same-sex domestic violence, education and support to tackle homophobia in non-metropolitan areas such as Broken Hill and the Central Coast, foster carer support, health and nutrition up-skilling at The Gender Centre and support for the GLBT Indigenous population of La Perouse.

The recipients for this year reflect the diversity of issues faced by the GLBT community, with a number of projects reaching beyond the city and into regional NSW. Aurora will also continue to support its major beneficiary, Twenty10 and the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service. The full list of Small Grants recipients for 2012–13 is available at http://www.auroragroup.com.au/2013/01/2012-small-grants

Bookings for Fat Tuesday are open now, places are limited so early bookings are encouraged.

For more information please contact Katie Hoskins on 0423 506 404 or katie@auroragroup.com.au

Aurora gives $30 000 in small grants to GLBT organisations

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The Aurora Group are thrilled to announce the successful Small Grants recipients for 2012-2013, with $34,297 raised across donations, members and fundraising events to be allocated to a diverse and essential range of GLBT support, education and community groups.

In addition, Aurora will also continue to support its major beneficiaries, Twenty10 and the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service.

The Small Grants recipients this year include peer support groups for same-sex attracted women with cancer and GLBT clients of the Wayside Chapel, a theatre production addressing same-sex domestic violence, education and support to tackle homophobia in non-metropolitan areas such as Broken Hill and the Central Coast, foster carer support, health and nutrition up-skilling at The Gender Centre and support for the GLBT Indigenous population of La Perouse.

“We were overwhelmed by the diversity and creativity of the applications made for this year’s Small Grants funding,” said Marcus Bourget, Chairperson of The Aurora Group. “The recipients for this year reflect a broad spectrum of the issues our GLBT community faces around the country, with a number of projects reaching beyond the city and into regional NSW.”

“We thank everyone who contributed and attended our fabulous fundraising events throughout 2012 – it’s a delight for The Aurora Group to see so many people galvanised in helping the community. We look forward to announcing this year’s events in the coming weeks.”

 

The 2012-2013 Small Grants recipients are:

–          ACON – working with Maropa Productions on Another Closet: The Cabaret

Delivering a community forum for service providers on how to address domestic violence within the GLBT community, through a theatrical production on the issue.

–          The Gender Centre

A focus on case management and up-skilling in health and nutrition to enable people approaching The Gender Centre to receive material support.

–          The Benevolent Society

Development of weekend training and a camp to support GLBT foster carers and young people.

–          Regional Youth Support Service – GenQ

Tackling bullying and homophobia on the Central Coast by developing a toolkit for students and young people, with a focus on supporting resilience and training.

–          The Junction Neighbourhood Centre

Supporting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GLBTQI community in the La Perouse area by providing training and workshops, as well as links to existing support and information.

–          Far West Community Legal Centre – Broken Hill

Providing education for the GLBT and mainstream community to address and overcome homophobia in the Far West.

–          Cancer Council

Developing peer support programs and support to lesbians and same-sex attracted women diagnosed with cancer.

–          Wayside Chapel

Supporting group activity sessions for the highly vulnerable GLBT clients of the Wayside Chapel.

Aurora’s Titanic event raises over $51,000

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The Aurora Group would like to say thank you to all the passengers who climbed aboard our 13th Anniversary Annual Dinner, celebrating the largest and most luxurious passenger liner of her time, the Titanic. We are thrilled to report we raised over $51,000 to support our community! 
 
For those of you who missed the boat: guests arrived on the Sydney Town Hall red carpet with rainbow banners flying out and proud at the front of the venue, and Triple J Host Tom Ballard proved an early hit with the hilarious yet thought provoking Key Note speech titled “Love and Equality and Diversity and Bullshit.”

The Aurora Group would like to thank our impressive line-up of entertainers: hosted by TV gardening personality Brendan Moar and comedienne Lesley Hancock and featured moving nautical themed performances by Bev Kennedy (Musical Director) Rachael Beck, Trevor Ashley, Jeremy Brennan, Josh Quong Tart, Paul Mac, Dan Gorski, Brendan Maclean, Nathan Hudson and DJ Richard Weiss.
 
We were also happy to have on board a large number of federal and state MP’s, local government representatives, and other special guests were in attendance, including Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP, The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, NSW Minister for Transport, The Hon Don Harwin MLC, President of the NSW Legislative Council, and Randwick City Council Mayor Scott Nash among many others.

The money raised at the Aurora Dinner will go to Aurora’s ongoing support of its major beneficiaries, Twenty 10, incorporating the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service. In the coming months The Aurora Group will also be calling for community (small) grant submissions in support of a number of important projects that benefit the GLBT community. A special shout-out goes to jac5, whose generous live auction item of a week’s accommodation in their Bali mansion alone raised over $15 000 for Aurora’s grants program.
 
We would also like to say a thank you to our ongoing support of our corporate partners IBM, PwC, media partners Same.Same.com.au, SX and SSO, event partners City of Sydney, Oak Barrel, 32 Hundred Lighting, Bay Leaf Catering, Chase Gallery and the large number of representatives from all levels of government who attended.

We look forward to seeing you again soon!

World’s first gay pop duet to premiere at The Aurora Group Annual Dinner: A Titanic collaboration!

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The Aurora Group is thrilled to announce a special collaboration between music producer Paulmac and two of Sydney music’s most unique gay performers Brendan Maclean and Nathan Hudson. This is a major coup for The Aurora Group’s Annual Dinner at the Sydney Town Hall on Sat June 23rd.

The three openly gay performers will perform their new track ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ from Paulmac’s forthcoming untitled album.

“The song ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ is possibly the world’s first gay pop duet”, says songwriter and producer Paulmac. “It’s fun and, we’ve had a lot of fun putting this number together especially for the Aurora event.

This year’s Annual Dinner entertainment will take inspiration from the Titanic, above deck and below, from the grandeur and elegance of the great ballroom, to the debauchery of the crew cabins, right down the depths of the ocean floor. Guests will climb aboard to discover high society, Captains and heroes, sailors and stowaways, mermaids, sharks and – of course – that iceberg.

Producer and musician Paulmac is a Number One hit maker in Australia, and is considered the godfather of Australian dance music. Brendan Maclean is widely known for his role as JJJ radio host and features in the upcoming Baz Luhrmann film The Great Gatsby. Nathan Hudson is the frontman of alternative rock band Faker and writer of the APRA award winning song ‘This Heart Attack’.

Other performers on the lineup include music theatre stars Rachel Beck, Trevor Ashley and Jeremy Brennan, actor Josh Quong Tart, American organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter, DJ Richard Weiss, and comedian Tom Ballard. The event will be hosted by TV gardening personality Brendan Moar and comedienne Lesley Hancock.

Tickets are on sale but limited. Further information is available at www.auroragroup.com.au and to book, people can email bookings@auroragroup.com.au or call (02) 8323 4041

2012 Annual Dinner line-up

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Limited tickets still on sale for this year’s Annual Dinner

The Aurora Group is pleased to announce the feature performers for the 13th Annual Aurora Dinner that will step on board the most luxurious passenger liner of her time, the Titanic.

  • Award-winning theatre and TV actor Rachael Beck (Les Misérables,Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, Channel 7’s Takes Two).
  • Renowned theatre star Jeremy Brennan, (Jersey Boys, The Laramie Project for Chalkdust Theatre; Altar Boyz, Romeo & Juliet).
  • Cabaret and musical icon Trevor Ashley (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert; Hairspray; Fat Swan).
  • With special host, TV personality Brendan Moar (Dry Spell Gardening; The Renovators).

The Aurora Group is also excited to announce that Triple J Breakfast Host and celebrated comedian Tom Ballard will be this year’s Annual Dinner Key Note Speaker.

The 2012 Aurora Dinner is just around the corner on Saturday 23 June at Sydney Town Hall. There are a limited number of tickets still on sale, so book now by email at bookings@auroragroup.com.au or by calling (02) 8323 4041.

2012 Annual Dinner Prize List

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Once again The Aurora Group will offer up a number of fantastic auction and raffle items on the night including:

 
– Private dinner with journalist Annabel Crabb and The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP (paired together),
– Private dinner with Kerry Chikarovski, as well as other exciting ‘money can’t buy’ opportunities;
– 7 nights accommodation at the Jac5 mansion in Bali;
Private screening of Titanic 3D for 40 guests;
– Artwork by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Mark Chagall, Peirre-Auguste Renoir and Salvador Dali, and
– An amazing array of artworks and many other great prizes.

P.S. There will also be tickets on offer for the ACON fundraiser on 27 June, the Sydney Pride Festival Great Debate (bookings online here).

Special Offer for ‘Bob Downe: 20 Golden Greats’

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Bob Downe: 20 Golden Greats

Exclusive Sydney Season | Sydney Theatre | 23-26 May

Australia’s clown prince of polyester has been making the world laugh for more than 25 years… and he’s funnier than ever in his brand new solo show! BOB DOWNE is finally returning to Sydney to sing and swing his way through 20 GOLDEN GREATS. Direct from his triumphant 15th Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s the show where you’ll come IN humming the classic pop, disco and rock hits. “I give you my solemn promise,” says Bob, “There won’t be a single song you haven’t heard. And there’s prizes too!”

“**** Bob Downe is a treasure. He’s the king of synthetic fabrics, the man with the smile cheesier than Bega.”

Melbourne Herald Sun

As a special offer to Aurora supporters, you can book tickets to the preview on Wednesday 23 May and save $10 per ticket. Book here and quote GOLDEN to access the discount.

Grant Recipient Snapshot: Twenty10

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Twenty 10 is a community organisation working with and supporting young people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities, their families and friends. Managing Director Rebecca Reynolds talked to us about what Aurora’s grants mean to Twenty10 on 9 May 2012:

 

‘Last week, a 13 year old group attendee posted on our Facebook page, “Thanks for having me at your group but I won’t be coming anymore because I’ve decided that I’m straight”. This caused me a momentary smile. Imagine, at age 13 having taken the steps to investigate what your options are, and then not only that, to have the confidence to articulate that it’s not for you. Don’t get me wrong, the forays into early teen sexual identity is rarely more than an exploration of feelings about someone else in your world. The smile was more for the fact that as a community, we are creating places for young people to safely explore who they are.

This is not just true of young people. Even those in the over 26 cohort need places to go to talk through their worlds and the way that they’re coming to understand them. It’s a really big thing to invite someone into your life. To understand the impacts of your words and your decisions and to want to engage in a conversation with someone important to you – to have them accept you for who you are. This is the amazing gift of groups. Of places that are created for people to come together and talk about what is important to them. It’s not always about sexuality, but it’s a conversation that is couched in a shared understanding of what that part of our identity means.

There are so many individual stories that are woven together by our community organisations. Those stories are so often seen as fragments in time, the stories of one person’s life and experiences, separate from something bigger. They’re not always stories that are full of warmth, or stories that come from places that are easy to talk about but when you have the chance to see them as more than the fragments that they are, you begin to see the amazing role that organisations play within our communities. They bring people together and let them understand that they are not alone.

Many people come to our organisation and it is the first time that they have met someone else who identifies as the same sexuality or gender as them. It’s the first time that they have had somewhere to practice those big conversations, to explore those feelings which lead them on the next branch of their life journey. It’s a big thing. It’s a wonderful thing, and it’s true to say that many of these opportunities for connection would not be possible without the support of Aurora.’

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