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The Aurora Group is ringing in the new decade by supporting a record number of grants for powerful LGBTIQ+ community projects.

“This year, we are delighted to announce that a record 14 organisations will share in funding to support essential projects and empower the LGBTIQ+ community,” said Aurora Chair, Sam Turner.

“After receiving a high number of applications and going through a difficult decision-making process, Aurora is proud to be able to spread funding from Tamworth and surrounds, to Western Sydney, the Hunter and digitally across the nation in 2020,” Sam said.

“Aurora exists to help ensure LGBTIQ+ people and communities are not left behind. This year we have a strong focus on projects that support young people and people of colour, as well as the trans and gender diverse community, in projects that reach far beyond the city centre.”

Westpac has again shown their support, kicking in $10,000 for a Special Grant over two years that will support OutLoud to run a project collaborating with the Muslim community to provide a mental health safety net for young LGBTIQ+ people in South West Sydney.

And PwC Australia, along with Westpac, continue to support Special Grants in their second year of funding in 2020.

The full list of projects supported by Aurora in 2020 include:

  • Blacktown Youth Services Association together with AllOut Blacktown – Establishing a safe space for LGBTIQ+ young people in the Blacktown area;
  • Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Services – Establishing a youth network for LGBTIQ+ identifying people across the Tamworth and Gunnedah region with specialist support;
  • Hunter Gender Alliance – Delivering a series of workshops for trans and gender diverse young people in the Hunter Region;
  • Westwords – Supporting a series of workshops and public events for an LGBTIQ+ Writers’ Group in Western Sydney;
  • ACON – Developing a cutting-edge online resource space, called ‘Transhub’ for the TGD community that houses evidence-based information, downloadable resources, video content and stories in an accessible and up-to-date format;
  • Community First Step – Building on much-needed support services and counselling for their newly established LGBTIQ+ youth group in the Fairfield area.
  • Youth Solutions Campbelltown – developing a video resource targeted at LGBTIQ+ young people as part of essential drug & alcohol resilience skills training, to be delivered across schools across the Macarthur & Wingecaribee regions of South-West Sydney;
  • The Gender Centre – A project to develop a new program of support for the siblings of trans and gender diverse young people; as well as funding for the second year of the ‘Kids Play Together’ project, providing a play group for young trans and gender diverse people and their families (proudly supported by Westpac);
  • Participate Australia – A project to sustainably develop the communications and reach of the Rainbow Bridge Social Club, a club for LGBTIQ people aged 18-35 with intellectual disability;
  • The Inner City Legal Centre – the second year of funding for a project aimed at educating homelessness services on best practice in supporting trans and gender diverse clients (proudly supported by PwC Australia);
  • OutLoud – Partnering with the Muslim community to provide mental health support for young Muslims aged 12-35 who also identify as LGBTIQ, and in particular, those who are experiencing mental health issues as a direct result of identifying as LGBTIQ (proudly supported by Westpac);
  • And Aurora will continue to support our major recipient Twenty10 with a large grant for their incredible work with LGBTIQ+ young people.

“We are only able give more grants than ever in 2020 because of the growing and incredible generosity of our supporters – who want to ensure their donations go to much-needed, grassroots and far-reaching projects that support the LGBTIQ+ community,” Sam said.

“At our 2019 Aurora Ball we celebrated 20 years of giving, and in 2020 we look forward to supporting these incredible projects and spreading the generosity even further.”

Media Contact:  Joy Kyriacou | 0412 084 782 |

Our Next Appetite Dinner Thursday 19th September

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Raising funds for the Inner City Legal Centre Safe Relationships Project

Join an intimate group of Aurora supporters for our appetite dinner at The Silly Tart Kitchen in Potts Point to help raise funds for the Inner City Legal Centre’s Safe Relationships Project, a one-of-it’s-kind legal service, offering support for LGBTIQ people experiencing domestic violence.

Enjoy a delicious three course meal with bubbles on arrival and be entertained by your host Sydney drag royalty host Carmen Geddit and performer Kim Sheehy (The Voice, 2018 & 2019) . There will be speakers from the Inner City Legal Centre and the opportunity to meet and get to know other Aurora friends, family and supporters.

Location: The Silly Tart, 1 Kellett Street, Potts Point

Date: 19 September

Time: 6.30pm

Tickets are $130pp including two course meal, shared dessert and a glass of bubbles on arrival

Tickets –

The Safe Relationships Project is a one-of-it’s-kind legal service, offering support for LGBTIQ people experiencing domestic violence. This project ensures that LGBTIQ people have access to safety and dignity throughout the legal process by providing unique court support and assistance, including a duty lawyer, operating an LGBTIQ safe room at the Downing Centre Local Court, providing court support and other wrap-around legal and non-legal assistance.

Aurora Ball 2019

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It’s that time of year again! The Aurora Ball is fast approaching and with this year being the milestone celebration of our 20th year – you can bet that it is going to dazzle and delight like none before.

This year’s theme is Creatures of the Night Sky!

We are inviting guests to cast their imagination to the night sky, to the Aurora Australis. Think of the heavens, of flight, match feathers with leather and lace. We want to see horns and beaks, goddesses and galaxy warriors. Open your minds and reach for the stars.

We’re certain the gods and goddesses themselves will be living for your creative interpretations of the theme and if you need some inspiration, check out our Creatures of the Night Sky Look Book.

Aurora’s Annual Ball is one of the most iconic occasions on the Sydney social calendar. By attending the Aurora Ball, you are giving a helping hand to terrific LGBTIQ community organisations and projects – from youth outreach, to counselling, inclusion, education, and creative projects.

Our founders came together to raise funds, and have fun while doing it. It’s a simple remit, and we’ve held true to that aim ever since. This year, in their honour, we aim to outdo ourselves. Join us.

For all the updates, please follow the Ball on our Facebook page!

The Annual Aurora Ball aims to bring together Sydney’s LGBTI community members to celebrate pride and diversity while raising much needed funds for charities and programs that support LGBTI people.

Aurora is committed to providing a safe and inclusive space at all our events. All guests should familiarise themselves with Aurora’s Guest Code of Conduct prior to purchasing any tickets. If you are purchasing a ticket on behalf of others, make sure that you remind them of this Code of Conduct as inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated by Aurora or the venue.

WHERE: Sydney International Convention Centre, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney
WHEN: Saturday June 22, 6.30pm
PRICE: $275 per person, per ticket plus booking fee

Announcing our 2019 Grant Recipients and our new Board Members

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As we kick off 2019 and prepare for Mardi Gras celebrations, the team at Aurora are pleased to share some exciting news with you all.

Welcome to our new Board members

Aurora is proud to introduce you to our new board members who have joined as of January 2019:

  • Lisa Freshwater – Events Director
  • Alex Galezzi – Events Director
  • Adrian Letilovic – Media & Communication Director
  • Juanita Risorto – Partnerships Director

We are very excited to have Lisa, Alex, Adrian and Juanita join the Aurora board. As we celebrate 20 years of Aurora in 2019 – the entire group are keen to make this year’s ball and other activities extra special to commemorate the occasion.

In other news, we would also like to acknowledge and give our heartfelt thanks to our outgoing Chair, Alison King and also welcome Sam Turner and James Skelton as Co-Chairs.

Drumroll please: And the 2019 Aurora Grants recipients are…

Aurora is delighted to announce details of eight LGBTIQ community groups who will share in more than $85,000 of funding this year.

“Aurora has a proud history of funding smaller, grassroots level community LGBTIQ charities, and we are absolutely delighted to announce this year’s recipients,” said incoming Aurora Co-Chair, Sam Turner.

“There are many diverse recipients this year, across a range of sectors and practise including, education, health, arts, literature, legal support and youth,” said Sam.

James Skelton, Aurora Co-Chair echoed Sam’s sentiments, saying the Board had a difficult time selecting the final list of recipients.

“Each year, the quality and quantity of submissions we receive increases – which is a great indication of the work being done in the community. The Board absolutely had our work cut out for us in devising this year’s final recipients,” said James.

In 2019, Aurora is delighted to support:

  • Inner City Legal Centre – A project to provide legal support to LGBTIQ homeless, and trans & gender diverse individuals.
  • Gender Centre – Funding to support a quarterly family support group for children & their carers.  
  • Community First Step – Fairfield resource centre, establishing a new and locally connected LGBTIQ Youth Group in Fairfield.
  • Sydney Writer’s Festival – Rainbow story time at Sydney Writer’s Festival in 2019.
  • Gender Centre Film Project – developing a training film for health service providers on the needs and trans clients.
  • ACON the LOVE Project – helping increase seniors visibility through storytelling at the NSW Seniors Festival
  • University of Wollongong Early Start & Rainbow Families Illawarra – establishing the Rainbow Families Illawarra Play Group.
  • Hunter Gender Alliance – a Transgender and Gender Diverse health conference, bringing together the trans community and health service providers in the Hunter region.

Aurora will also continue to provide special assistance to our key funding partner, Twenty10, to deliver much-needed services and support to young people across central and western Sydney.

Many thanks to PwC Australia and to Westpac for supporting two Special Grants over 2019 and 2020, that will fund the projects being undertaken by the Inner City Legal Centre and the Gender Centre.

Our grants to community groups across NSW are funded entirely through donations from you, our supporters – we offer our sincere thanks to all those who contributed in 2018.

Remember, you can make donations at any time by visiting:

And as a final note, 2019 marks 20 years of Aurora giving. We have huge plans to celebrate 20 years of Aurora with you, so stay tuned for more news and please come and find us at Fair Day on February 17!

With thanks,


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


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


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


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

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

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.

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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.

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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