Vinnies will launch the 2021 CEO Sleepout today, Wednesday 14 April, at the Margaret Whitlam Pavilion in The National Arboretum Canberra with participants and champions of the event in attendance.

Barnie van Wyk, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn, said, “This year we can make a bigger impact. The economic downturn over the last 12 months has seen many people, including young children, sleeping rough for the first time ever”.

This year Vinnies is aiming to raise $630,000 to support delivery of their services across the Canberra/Goulburn region that help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and mitigate the impact that COVID-19 has had in the community in the last year.

“We are very excited to announce that the 2021 Vinnies CEO sleepout will be a hybrid in-person and online event where people can participate in different ways and make significant impact in our community,” said Mr van Wyk.

Hundreds of CEOs and business owners, as well as community and government leaders will sleep outdoors or in their cars at The National Arboretum in Canberra to support the thousands of Australians who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness every day.

“We will also have participants attending the event virtually from all across the Canberra/ Goulburn Archdiocese. They will join the live-stream and sleep out in their cars, backyards or on their couches. All these places reflect the reality of people experiencing homelessness,” said Mr van Wyk.

Neville Tomkins, Chief Commissioner of Scouts Australia (NSW), and one of the champions for the 2021 CEO Sleepout, said, "I have returned every year because I am passionate about helping those less fortunate than ourselves, especially the homeless. In my mind, having somewhere safe to sleep each night is a right. It is not a privilege”.

  • What: 2021 Vinnies CEO Sleepout Launch

  • When: 11 am - 12 noon, Wednesday 14 April

  • Where: Margaret Whitlam Pavilion, The National Arboretum Canberra

  • Who: Interviews available with:
    Mr Barnie van Wyk CEO, St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn
    Mr Neville Tomkins – Chief Commissioner, Scouts Australia (NSW Branch)
    Dr Steve Lising – Principal Dentist and Director, Preventive Dentistry
    Ms Katrina Fanning – Chairperson, ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body
    Mr Dan Cusack – Owner and Director, Revive Landscapes
    Mr Greg Hood – CEO and Chief Commissioner, Australian Transport and Safety Bureau


14 April 2021