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Friday, 22 June 2012
Last night I was one of 108 chief executives who slept outdoors at the WACA as part of the annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
From 7pm to 7am we endured very cold temperatures, provided only with a bowl of soup and a piece of cardboard as a mattress. I was warmly dressed and didn’t feel the effects of the 2 degree temperatures, but found it moist and miserable sleeping on cardboard in a sleeping bag on the WACA grass.
Each year the Vinnies CEO Sleepout encourages senior leaders to experience firsthand the plight of the homeless.
This year the event raised more than $700,000 to provide support for those who sleep rough in WA.
But another important outcome is raising awareness among the community of the issue of homelessness, which affects about one in 150 people in Perth on any given night.
By using the profile and influence of these CEOs we can work towards addressing this issue in a sustainable way through government agencies and other groups.
It is not too late to donate, with Vinnies still accepting contributions through their website.
Professor Kerry O. Cox *
* Professor Kerry Cox was Vice-Chancellor of Edith Cowan University from March 2006 to September 2014.