Winter is coming: Vinnies CEO Sleepout

Executives from Australia’s major companies to sleep rough at Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise funds for St Vincent de Paul Society

Written on 16 June, 2021
Tanaya Das

It is that time of the year again … cold, dark and long nights where CEOs from Australia’s major companies rough it out to raise funds for the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Through the Vinnies CEO Sleepout across the country, top bosses from major organisations in the insurance broking profession are doing their bit to help break the cycle of homelessness .

Robert Viney from Insurance House in his maiden attempt has already raised more than half of his goal amount of $20,000. On continuing the discussion about homelessness, he said “The more I read and listen, the more I understand that it can happen to anyone. When those who are vulnerable suffer from adversity, they need support and comfort of the knowledge that someone cares.”

“They need a helping hand to lift their spirit and self-esteem. I am conscious that many insurable events can be the cause of homelessness, a bushfire, a flood or an earthquake.”

Another keen supporter of the event is Scott Leney from Marsh, who is now in his eighth year raising money – and awareness – for homelessness.

Leney said, “I started back in 2014 to fill in for my boss at the time who signed up but couldn’t make it, that first experience taught me to be compassionate, not to judge and to be thankful for the simplest of things we often take for granted.”

“My inspiration and indeed the obligation to continue is that more can be done to help, and our industry is full of kind and generous people only too willing to get behind me and help the cause.”

Over the last eight years, Leney has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the cause and this year he has set himself an ambitious target of $35,000.

He said, “Our industry is full of socially aware, caring and generous people. The expression ‘it’s a people industry’ rings very true when it comes to social impact and every year it warms my heart to see colleagues, clients, insurers and fellow brokers get behind me and provide their support to Vinnies in the fight against homelessness.”

“Many senior executives from our industry are now taking part in the CEO SleepOut and doing their own fund raising. It is quite the industry ‘get together’ these days and it makes me proud to be part of this.”

Over 116,000 people in Australia are currently experiencing homelessness and the COVID-19 crisis has caused an increase in people seeking refuge. This year Vinnies is targeting over $8m in funds raised to help provide essential services with all donations directly assisting people experiencing homelessness, by funding new initiatives, ensuring existing homeless services, like food vans and emergency support, continue and expanding the reach of their existing programs to ensure every Australian can access accommodation, meals, and emergency assistance when they need it.

Viney also pointed out that there are a number of insurance industry participants in the Sleepouts year after year who raise large amounts of funds to provide essential supports to thousands across Australia. He said, “It never ceases to amaze me the community spirit of the insurance industry and the vast sums they raise through different charitable efforts.”

He will be a part of the NETWOORKING MATTERS CEO Sleepout Team in Port Melbourne and will be joining the SECOM CEO Sleepout Team with Tim Considine from Austbrokers Countrywide. You can support Viney’s fundraiser now: CEO SLEEPOUT – Rob Viney

Leney stressed that everyone deserves a safe place to call home, “Please join me in making a difference through the #CEOSleepoutAU on June 17.” If you would like to make a monetary donation to his fundraiser, you can do so here.

If you are participating in the CEO Sleepout this year and would like us at NIBA to highlight your fundraiser via our social media channels please write to us at: editor@niba.com.au