THIS year’s Aurora Ball promises a night of glamour, fun and entertainment while raising money for LGBTI community groups.
The main beneficiary of funds raised from the night is Twenty10, which provides housing, counselling and support for LGBTI people in need.
At the time of its inception, Twenty10’s focus was housing LGBTI youth who were experiencing homelessness due to family rejection.
“The mainstream services weren’t really able to address their needs—and were full anyway,” Baker-Bryson said.
“Twenty10 started with a housing refuge that was a big terrace house, and then expanded to include a block of flats in Annandale.
“And I was actually one of the first homeless youth to be housed in that block of flats. I had been kicked out of home when I was a teenager, found myself on the streets.”
She saw an ad in the Star Observer promoting the availability of housing for homeless LGBTI youth.
“It’s over twenty years ago now, and I still have a bit of a cry when I think about what a lifeline that was,” Baker-Bryson said.
“I was finishing school and a very good student, and I didn’t want to see my school attendance go by the wayside. They set me up in an apartment, which I then had for my first year of university as well, and helped me with financial counselling.”
Years later, Baker-Bryson joined The Aurora Group to give back to the organisation that helped her in her youth, which now helps thousands of people every year.
“As the organisation has expanded, so has their need for funds,” she said.
The proceeds from Saturday night’s sold-out Aurora Ball will go to benefit Twenty10 and other groups that work with LGBTI people.
If you’re lucky enough to have tickets to the ball, please give generously to support Twenty10 and other charities.
If you aren’t attending the ball, you can still see the charity auction and support the cause by bidding online.