CEO Sleepout a noble pursuit


The annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout took place at the Sydney Cricket Ground in June, with over 1400 chief executives from across Australia taking part to help lift awareness of homelessness, with all funds raised going towards the provision of emergency assistance and shelter to those in need.

According to statistics from life insurer NobleOak, a total of 105,237 people experience homelessness every night in Australia.

Sixty per cent of those are under the age of 35, more than 17,000 are children younger than 12 and 44 per cent are women.

NobleOak chief executive Anthony Brown was among the CEOs to take part.

“I think it will be very confronting on the night as we are only allowed the basics: a Vinnies CEO Sleepout beanie, cardboard to sleep on or build a shelter from and a basic meal of soup and bread, tea, coffee and water,” Brown said in the lead-up to the event.

“I can wear warm clothes and take a sleeping bag and pillow, a luxury I’m sure many homeless people don’t have.”

Joining him on the night was Sherwood Finance managing director Daniel Donnelly, who called it an “eye-opening” and “humbling” experience.

“Homelessness has always been a topic close to my heart as one of my close friends from childhood was kicked out of home when we were just kids and left to fend for himself in very harsh conditions,” Donnelly said in a LinkedIn post.

“I cannot say I got much sleep or that I was comfortable, however, it was important to expose myself to the reality of the conditions so many people in Australia are forced to face on a daily basis.

“No one deserves to live like this, especially not the thousands of children that make up part of this figure.”