Property industry leaders support Vinnies CEO Sleepout

The 16th annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout took place last night across the country as leaders in business, community and government slept without shelter to help raise money and awareness of homelessness

Property industry leaders support Vinnies CEO Sleepout
Property industry leaders support Vinnies CEO Sleepout

The annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout has raised over $8 million, the updated tally coming on Friday morning after the long night to raise funds and awareness of homelessness.

About 1650 executives slept rough in sleeping bags as part of the campaign, which Vinnies launched 16 years ago. There were some 43,500 supporters who made donations.

It’s Vinnies biggest annual fund raiser to assist the homeless with accommodation and food, and also for education, counselling, employment and health services.

Last year the COVID-19-impacted Vinnies CEO Sleepout raised $5.7 million. 

The latest tally showed Vedran Drakulic, the CEO at Gandel Philanthropy in Victoria had raised over $167,000 in pledges, putting him in the nation’s top spot in his seventh sleepout.

CEOs and directors in the property, banking, mortgage, legal, architecture, town planning and finance industries spent the night without shelter in the national sleepout to raise funds for St Vincent De Paul Society’s (Vinnies) homelessness services.

They included Nick Georgalis, managing director at Geocon Group in Canberra, who raised over $60,000 in his first sleep out, with the temperature feeling like minus 0.7 degrees according to the weather reports.

Simon Betteridge, managing director at the Queensland development company, Gardner Vaughan Group, was also on his first sleepout.

John Richardson, managing director at Kenfrost Homes in Queensland, also participating for the first time, raised over $50,000 in donations.

Colin Hughes, the CEO at On Point Development Group, was among the 215 who slept out on the Gold Coast.

Dean Keating led the team from Wellam Constructions in Melbourne. 

Victor Said, chairman at Rivergum Homes Group in Adelaide, took part in his third sleepout.

Estate agent Alex Ouwens at Ouwens Casserly Real Estate slept out in Adelaide.

Andrew Bell at Ray White Surfers Paradise secure donor support from the boss of REA Owen Wilson. Vivien Yap at Ray White Dalkeith Claremont slept out in Perth, with donations from members of the White family.

Nick Dowling, the CEO at Jellis Craig Group, slept out in Victoria, along with Alec Blacklaw, general manager at Greg Hocking Holdsworth. 

John Piccolo, the CEO at Woodards Group in Victoria, secured donations from other estate agents including Jonathan Dixon Brighton.

Sydney buyers' agent Rich Harvey was back for his ninth sleepout, this time at at the White Bay Cruise Terminal.

Brad Cramb and David Hyman at Lendi Group participated with the team raising over $36,000.

Dr David Gruen, Australian Statistician, and his daughter Emma, participated enduring a cold Canberra night at the National Arboretum. 

“I’m proud to participate in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout for the fourth time. It’s my opportunity to help get Australians talking about homelessness and raise awareness of the experiences of some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Dr Gruen said.

Data from the 2016 Census showed 1 in 200 people in Australia are experiencing homelessness, or around 116,400 people across the country. On Census night, 8,200 people were estimated to be ‘sleeping rough’ in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out, up from 6,810 people in 2011.

Dr Gruen's donors included the federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout Perth event will be held on 24 June 2021.

Those wishing to support the sleepout can donate via or pre-register for 2022.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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