St Vincent de Paul’s CEO Sleepout

St Vincent de Paul's CEO Sleepout

The St Vincent de Paul Society ‘CEO Sleepout’ was held last Thursday night in Sydney and nationally, we have raised in excess of $5m. Thanks to the support of the Sandstone family, partners and friends, I am proud to say I have been able to raise $5,000.

Date: 22nd June 2017 – CEO Sleepout

In Sydney we slept on the turf of the SCG (probably the only time I will have an opportunity to be on the ground itself). It was a beautiful night, cold in the early hours but a very small experience of sleeping like so many people do night after night.

The evening started with a virtual reality experience and an hour of ‘walking in their shoes’ to understand more about the struggles of being homeless. This truly made you realise what it is like to have no good options.

Jenny Brockie from SBS was the MC for the night and we heard from a number of speakers. We heard from a woman who after suffering a number of career blows, simply made a few wrong choices and ended up homeless. We also heard from a man who hadn’t had the luxury of a quality education and was ridiculed and bullied at work about his speech and his sexuality to the point of break down, then suffering major person issues and ultimately ending up homeless with his 4 children. We lastly heard from a young man who had been in various gangs as a youth, homeless for 20 years before turning his life around and taking a senior executive role.

As confronting as these stories were, the common theme was the grass-roots support being provided by the St Vincent de Paul Society to people in these situations.

I very sincerely thank you all for your support. This experience opened my eyes and frankly had a far more profound impact than I expected. I can certainly see why so many people I met have been doing this for years.

Julian Blackley
Chief Executive Officer