On any given night in Australia more than 116,000 people brace themselves to sleep rough.
On 16th May, 40 students and staff from Notre Dame Sydney Campus braved the cold in St Benedict’s Courtyard at the University hosted Vinnies Sleep-out.
The aim of the Sleepout was to increase awareness of the nation’s growing homeless population and to raise funds, specifically for the local homeless community of Surry Hills.
Entertainment in the style of buskers on the night included salsa teachers from Latin Dance Australia and Bateria 61 who brought 10 drummers and samba dancers for a fantastic performance on the night. Very talented Notre Dame Students and staff also bought musical entertainment to the stage throughout the evening.
Participants shared in a soup kitchen-style dinner and listened to a speech from the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s CEO, Jack de Groot, who is also a Notre Dame board member.
There were wonderful speeches from the Head of Campus, Angus Brook, Campus Chaplin, Fr James Baxter and the Vinnies Student President, Courtney Barrett.
Courtney commented, “I am very passionate about giving back and helping our local homeless community. Our Campus Life Manager, Jen McCrea is helping us to build a stronger relationship between Notre Dame and the St Vincent’s de Paul Society, and I am delighted with the success of our Vinnies Sleepout.”
The Student Association and Law Society hosted a trivia quiz about homelessness, to end the evening of entertainment, to help further educate our students and staff.
As well as online donations, the Notre Dame Winter Appeal included donations of warm clothing, toiletries, sanitary products and tinned foods, which were also donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Notre Dame would like to give a big thank you to Instructure, who donated 40 goodie bags to everyone who slept out.
“We are so happy with how the event went and we smashed our Vinnies donations target! We are really excited to continue to host an even bigger Vinnies Sleepout next year!” added the Social Justice Director of the Law Society, Rebecca Saleme.
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