Tonight, Thursday 20 June, the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC) CEO, Neil Willmett, will be sleeping out on the cold, hard concrete of Brisbane’s Powerhouse as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
The annual event raises much needed funds and awareness to address homelessness in Australia. For the CEOs involved it is one night of discomfort, but for more than 116,427 Australians, including more than 22,000 Queenslanders, homelessness is a constant reality.
This is the third year that Mr Willmett has participated in the CEO Sleepout, a cause close to his heart.
“It is well known that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are over-represented in the homeless population. Across Australia, approximately 25% of people who access specialist homelessness services identified as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander,” said Mr Willmett.
Mr Willmett is striving to raise a minimum of $5,000 to help the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland (Vinnies) provide support to people in crisis.
“I am proud to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. As the CEO of QAIHC, I lead an organisation whose membership has a positive impact on the most vulnerable. Across the whole of Queensland, the homeless population is in the thousands. Homelessness can have profound and ongoing effects on people and their health and wellbeing,” Mr Willmett said.
Funds raised at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout enables Vinnies to provide vital services to people experiencing homelessness. Vinnies provides emergency accommodation, advocacy support, budgeting services, living skills programs, emergency relief, transitional housing and access to programs that help rebuild the lives of Australians living in poverty.
To donate, visit www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/neilwillmett/brisbane