About Giant Steps

Giant Steps Sydney is a centre of excellence for the creation and implementation of innovative and effective programs for children and young adults with autism.  Giant Steps also provides support to families, seeks to improve the understanding of autism in the community and to develop best practice amongst carers and professionals.  For more information about Giant Steps and autism please visit http://www.giantsteps.net.au

Giant Steps does not charge feesGiant Steps is a registered charity and relies on fundraising to raise approximately 55% of its running costs each year. 
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About our Ball

Oh what a night!  On Saturday, 21 June 2014 Giant Steps welcomed almost 1,000 guests to our "Rio Carnivale" Ball at our new venue, the Hordern Pavilion.  A fantastic time was had by all.  The room looked spectacular as it was transformed into a Rio Carnivale!

Our MC James Tobin welcomed guests and introduced the 4 Giant Steps Alumni, Sean Sweeney, Rory Mulligan, Ellen Koutsoukos & Rebecca Stein who made a very special presentation with the help of our staff members Trish Karedis and Helen Appleton.  Shaun Dwyer, one of our Giant Steps dads, made a touching speech about his experiences with his son Aidan and Giant Steps, our Chairman Barry Irvin spoke about how important the Giant Steps community is to the Giant Steps families and introduced a lovely video made by one of our talented families - Jocelyn Moorhouse, Spike Hogan and Sage Barreda. Thanks also to Verity Millard for her contribution to the filming.

Guests were welcomed by the beautiful floral display provided by Floral DeVine Hunters Hill and stilt walkers and we were entertained by the Brazilian Fantasy Show who were joined by some of our Giant Steps Alumni on the dance floor, and later the John Field Band had everyone up and dancing the night away.

The photo booth was again very popular as was the huge silent auction.  Our new bidding system proved to be a great addition with over $40,000 worth of bids placed before the night.  In the end the silent auction raised over $170,000!

We collected over $116,000 in pledges to purchase two people movers for our community access programs and our Live Auction run by auctioneer Matt Aubrey from Grays Online was exciting and we even sold the French Chateau twice for $22,0000 each! 

The Tombola lucky dip sold out and the winners of the raffle prizes, including the beautiful diamond pendant, were thrilled!

There are so many people who contributed to the ball - Peter Ryan and Suzanne Wangmann designed the great invitations, Robert Astorri put together the kids' powerpoint photo display, Grant Shortland organised for all the printing to be donated.  Many parents, siblings, staff and friends lent and hand with preparations including set up and pack up, sourced and donated prizes, donated time, put together powerpoint displays, music and helped organise and wrap gifts, volunteered on the night etc.  We are extremely grateful to every one! 

Special thanks to the ball committee for their huge effort!  Especially to Jenny Badger, Michelle Jocum and Anna Kelly.  Jenny is always an amazing support with everything and this year was responsible for entering all the photos onto our new bidding system in addition to everything else she helps with and I could not manage without her, thanks Jenny!  Michelle is amazing and her efforts far exceed her job description putting in a huge amount of her personal time to help with the ball.  Anna does a great job with seating every year – not an easy task but she makes it look that way!  David Trayner is often our only male voice and always helps out wherever he is needed and gives us the male perspective. Allie White with the help of Noni McIntyre organised the Tombola – thanks ladies, the Tombola made a record profit this year of almost $25,000!  Heather Ng, Aileen Liu and Sophie Koutsoukos looked into decor options for us and organised lots of prizes and other details.  Liz Lyne helped with organisation of the Raffle on the night and prizes.  Ian & David Morris have been helping out all night at the ball for many years and we would find it difficult to manage without them!  Diana Kraljevski, Catherine Davies, Hannah Kelly and Vanessa Griffiths organised prizes, attended meetings and helped out with many other details.  Thank you to you all!  Thanks to the wonderful siblings, parents and volunteers from Moore Stephens who helped out on the night.  Special thanks to Sarah Badger for acting as coordinator on the night.

Also thanks to all the other Giant Steps parents and staff who may not have attended Ball Committee meetings but are just as much a part of the Ball Committee due to their contributions. Finally thanks to my family Dan & Amelia for their help and support during this busy period.

We are very excited to announce that this year we made a record profit of $430,000!!! An amazing results and we are very grateful to everyone for their support!!

We hope to see you all back next year. 

Leanne Maccallum

Ball Coordinator



To view the film shown at the 2013 Vintage Ball please click below.
Keep scrolling down to view more photos and film from previous balls.



Previous Giant Steps Balls



To view the film shown at the 2012 "Touch of Magic" Ball please click below.


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