Australia's Ajay Rochester Wins It All for NOH8

Monday, April 9th, 2012


On last week's season finale of the televised Australian weight-loss challenge Excess Baggage, Australian Television Personality Ajay Rochester fought her way to the top alongside partner Matthew Palmer - winning a combined $60,000 for Ajay's chosen charity: the NOH8 Campaign!

Excess Baggage paired celebrity contestants with regular people, narrowing down the pairs of contestants each week. While the winning celebrity's partner would win their half of the grand prize winnings for themselves, each celebrity contestant designated a charity of their own choosing to receive their half of the reward. Ajay Rochester, best known as host of Australia's version of The Biggest Loser (2006-2009), participated in the NOH8 Campaign prior to joining the show and was inspired to use her opportunity with Excess Baggage to make a positive change. She spoke about her selection process in her latest blog.

"When asked to come onto Excess Baggage, as a celebrity contestant, I had to choose a charity to nominate to give the winning check to. I really didn’t think there was a chance I would even make it to the finale let alone win but nevertheless I gave it quite a lot of thought.

So who would it be? I’ve done a lot of work for multiple breast cancer charities, Make a Wish, The Olivia Newton John Cancer Wellness Centre, Starlight Foundation and Camp Quality but still felt there might be a charity lacking the glamorous profiles and budgets to match, a charity committed to making a change that could be transformed with a generous benefactor that would REALLY make a massive impact on the WORLD if they received these kinds of funds.

It was then that I remembered the NOH8 Campaign. I had stumbled upon them a few years ago when I came across The Trevor Project, a charity in aid of prevention of suicide amongst teenagers, particularly but not excluded to kids in the LGBT community. I saw that people were posing for photos for the NOH8 Campaign and it became obvious to me, that what had once been a platform to repeal the laws against same sex marriage had now become a global platform for equality and anti-bullying and anti-discrimination. WOW!

Not long before I signed on to do Excess Baggage I had done my own shoot with NOH8 in protest of the constant media fat bashing and body discrimination I had encountered and found freedom in doing the first nude shoot of my life, and ironically the first time I have not spent weeks before dieting to fit an “acceptable” body size.

So why NOH8? I have many gay friends and it made even more sense to support something as simple and beautiful as having the right to marry whoever it is you love and to be not hated, vilified or discriminated against simply because you choose to be YOURSELF! Powerful stuff!"

- Ajay Rochester

We at the NOH8 Campaign are incredibly humbled by Ajay's donation, and we're extremely thankful for her support.

Thank you, Ajay, for all of your hard work and generosity!


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