Queensland’s first all-female CEO Sleepout® team commit to fighting homelessness this International Women’s Day

8 March 2017

Energy Skills Queensland CEO Penelope Twemlow has thrown her support behind the Vinnies CEO Sleepout in 2017, using International Women’s Day to announce Queensland’s first all-female fundraising team for this year’s event.

The team will fight homelessness in their sleep alongside 200 other business, government and community leaders at the Brisbane Vinnies CEO Sleepout® under the Story Bridge on Thursday 22 June.

Each night, 19,838 Queenslanders have no place to call home, and behind every statistic is someone experiencing extreme isolation and desperation. Queensland has the third highest homeless population in Australia, with more than 44,000 Queenslanders seeking assistance in 2014–15 from a specialist homelessness service such as Vinnies.

Fifty-nine per cent of those who seek assistance from homelessness services are women1, and the group at greatest risk of homelessness are women aged 18 to 452.

“There are 9700 people who are homeless each and every night in Brisbane. We’re sleeping rough for one night so these people don’t have to do it for life,” said Ms Twemlow.

“Nerma, Shelley and myself want to help Vinnies provide vital services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and the team at Energy Skills Queensland will help us reach our fundraising target of $5,000.”

In 2016, the CEO Sleepout® raised more than $1million in Queensland, and attracted more female CEO’s than ever before.

“Last year, more than 100 Queensland women leaders rose to the challenge of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, and I hope many more participate this year,” said Ms Twemlow. “Across Australia, 44% of people who are homeless are women, and a large number of women are homeless as a result of domestic violence. This could be your mother, sister, daughter or friend – any woman could be in this situation.”

St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland CEO, Peter Maher, said the Vinnies CEO Sleepout® helps make a real difference in the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness.

“Brisbane’s business, community and government leaders rise to the challenge to raise much needed funds to help Vinnies provide immediate relief to people in crisis, and to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.”

The 2017 CEO Sleepout® is expected to bring colder and harder conditions than previous years, with the Story Bridge providing little to no shelter as the mercury will likely drop below 15 degrees Celsius.

To participate in the CEO Sleepout® or make a donation, click here.