Sir Ian McKellenThe keynote speech was delivered by decorated star of stage and screen, Sir Ian McKellen, who spoke passionately on social equality and same-sex marriage.

Other highlights included performances by Dusty star Tamsin Carroll, Avenue Q star Mitchell Butel, Denise Hanlon, Shauna Jensen and students from the Australian Institute of Music.

The Aurora Group raised over $55,000 at their annual dinner at Paddington Town Hall and was attended by 400 key members and supporters of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

The money raised will go to Aurora’s ongoing support of its major beneficiaries, the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of NSW and Twenty10. The Aurora Group will be calling for community (small) grant submissions in the next few months in support of a number of important projects that benefit the GLBT community

David Moutou, Chairperson of The Aurora Group says “The Aurora Dinner is our major fundraising event for the year and the Aurora Directors are overjoyed that not only did we showcase glamour, great food and wine, and show-stopping entertainment to over 400 of our guests, but raised an exceptional amount of money.”

This is the 4th consecutive year that The Aurora Dinner has sold out. The fundraising total includes a $5,000 donation from NSW Premier The Hon. Kristina Keneally, in support of Aurora’s aims and ongoing work with the GLBT community.

“The Aurora Group is thrilled at this donation by Kristina Keneally, which is a great endorsement of what we have achieved as a community,” says Moutou. “The more money we raise at the Aurora Dinner is more money for us to pass on to our major beneficiaries and our small grants program,” says Moutou. “The small grants program is an excellent way to extend Aurora’s support to areas where there is growing community need.”