LNP Federal Members of Parliament from the Sunshine Coast, Andrew Wallace, Ted O’Brien and Llew O’Brien, together with Nambour based Senator James McGrath, are joining the 2018 Vinnies Community Sleepout, by sleeping rough in a cold courtyard at Parliament House, Canberra.
The Vinnies Sunshine Coast Community Sleepout is taking place on 23 August at Maroochy Surf Club, but as Parliament is sitting, the representatives are required to be in Canberra.
Senator McGrath said “I look forward to the event as the Community Sleepout is a great cause and roughing it will help out those most in need of support on the Sunshine Coast.”
Andrew Wallace, Ted O’Brien and Llew O’Brien participated in the event at Maroochy Surf Club last year, and didn’t want to miss out on supporting the 2018 event.
“By sleeping rough at Parliament House we can show our support for the good work St Vinnies Sunshine Coast does and help raise funds so they can continue to help people in need,” Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien said.
“Whether through unemployment, mental illness, family breakdown, addiction, or a string of bad luck, hard times can result in homelessness. With your support we’ll be able to provide some comfort and hope by helping St Vinnies Sunshine Coast reach their $150,000 fundraising goal to improve services for homeless people in the region.”
“We won’t let Canberra get in the way of supporting a worthwhile cause. Last year we slept on the Maroochydore beach, but this year we’ll call a concreted courtyard at Parliament home for the night. While we get to go home after the event, there are thousands of people who are on the streets every night, so this is a good way we can raise funds to help those who need it most,” Llew O’Brien said.
Ted O’Brien, Federal Member for Fairfax said “we might be in Canberra, but my Federal colleagues and I are helping the Sunshine Coast branch of Vinnies raise $150,000 at this year’s Vinnies Corporate and Community Sleepout by sleeping rough on Thursday 23 August.
“Although sleeping rough in cold Canberra may be tougher than sleeping rough in Maroochydore, it pales in comparison to those who sleep rough across Australia every night. People of all ages and backgrounds are homeless throughout Australia including at our piece of paradise on the Sunshine Coast’
“Nobody plans to be homeless and many of our fellow Sunshine Coasters are on the streets as a result of changing circumstances and unbearable strain. On one hand we are participating the Vinnies Sleepout to raise funds for a worthy cause, but on the other hand, we want to walk in the shoes of some of the most vulnerable in our local community.
“People may be homeless and in need of help, but they deserve respect and assistance with their dignity intact. It might be a sleepless night for us, but it’s an honour to participate” said Ted O’Brien.
Andrew Wallace, Federal Member for Fisher said “More than 100,000 Australians will be sleeping rough tonight. A third of them are women, and more than a quarter of them are under 18. St Vincent de Paul Society estimate that close to 1,000 people on the Sunshine Coast are homeless.
“It is not good enough, and the Federal Government is doing what it can to help, with more than a million dollars invested in fighting homelessness in our Sunshine Coast community. But, we can always do more, which is why our local Federal Parliamentarians and I will be sleeping out for Vinnies this year.
“On 23 August I will be sleeping rough. But the following night I’ll sleep in my own comfortable bed. Our homeless will not have that luxury. Thanks to all the staff and volunteers at Vinnies who work so hard every year to put this together. I ask all Sunshine Coast residents, this August to please dig deep and help those who don’t have a home,” said Andrew Wallace.
To donate, visit the Vinnies Sleepout website here.