The St Vincent de Paul Society of Canberra and Goulburn launched the initiative this week at the Australian Institute of Sport, alongside the Communities@Work programme.
The charities also announced that Canberra Raiders player Terry Campese and Brumbies star Pat McCabe would be hosting the event, which will be held in October at the AIS Track and Field Complex.
The formal proceedings on the night will be hosted by ABC radio presenter, Jo Laverty, and includes an address from Anthony O’ Hara, who has a personal experience with homelessness.
CEO of St Vincent de Paul Canberra/Goulburn Paul Trezise encouraged Canberra’s community to get involved in the sleepout, which he hopes will not only be a successful fundraiser, but will also raise awareness of the less fortunate.
“It is fitting in the year of our Centenary that we should consider those in the community less fortunate than ourselves. The Centenary Sleepout provides a great opportunity for the Canberra community to do something practical to assist those in need,” Mr Trezise said.
“I believe that the Centenary Sleepout will allow families a glimpse of what life is like for those sleeping rough.”
CEO of Communities@Work Lynne Harwood also expressed her enthusiasm for the event, and the need to raise awareness about these issues in the Canberra community.
“It’s very much about people who don’t have permanent or secure accommodation, the luxury of a permanent roof over their head, and people who don’t have permanent access to facilities. By creating a fun environment to raise the issues, and hopefully raise some much needed dollars, we can hopefully create a greater outcome for the less fortunate.”
The Canberra Centenary Sleepout will be held on Friday, October 25 at the Australian Institute of Sport Track and Field Complex. The event is open to individuals, families and teams. To register, and for more information, visit www.sleepout.org.au.
Words: Andrew Nardi