(6.30pm 23 June 2012, Town Hall)
Thank you, Brendan Moar, MC. Hello, everyone. Welcome to Town Hall and to this "Evening of Titanic Proportion". I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the people of 200 nationalities who call our city home.
I also acknowledge distinguished guests, GLBTI friends.
The Titanic was stopped by an iceberg.
The GLBT community has faced many icebergs in its history, and through energy, persistence and commitment you have succeeded in removing them.
While there are still many challenges, most barriers to legal equality - except one have been removed. As I suggested during the recent IQ2 debate, it's only a matter of time.
I look forward to future Aurora dinners which are enjoyed by many happily married same sex couples!
Aurora is primarily a celebration and a fund-raiser.
The money raised will support causes in the GLBT community in NSW.
Over the last year, for example, Aurora distributed a total of $60,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service and Twenty10 GLBT Youth Support, and six other worthwhile projects.
The City is happy to give our support to Aurora, especially as it is a volunteer organisation.
One of the great strengths of the GLBT community is its ethos of combining self-help and genuine spirit of community with fun and celebration.
It's these qualities which the GLBT contribute to Sydney being a vibrant, diverse and celebratory sort of place. We also like to think of ourselves as a caring society and we could do no better than look at the example you give to us.
Tonight is Aurora's major fund-raiser for the year, so I hope you will be generous in your support of the raffles and auctions.
On behalf of the City, let me congratulate Aurora, and all those involved in putting together tonight's fabulous show. And once again, I thank you for the terrific and generous-spirited work that you do.
I've provided two tickets to our New Year's Eve Party at the Opera House to watch the fireworks. That's part of the first prize in the main raffle, so Councillors will look forward to meeting the lucky winner on December 31.
Meanwhile, have a great night, everyone!