Preparations for Vinnies’ 10th CEO Sleepout to raise awareness and money for homelessness are going into overdrive, and the organisers – the St Vincent de Paul Society Australia – need help to get the word out and get people donating.

On 20 June, more than 250 CEOs – the biggest number yet – will make a bed for the night out under a cold winter sky. They will bed down on the roof carpark at the historic South Melbourne Market, where they will face bitter temperatures, a cold, hard concrete surface and, if they’re really unlucky, terrible chill winds. A week later on 27 June, more than 60 CEOs will bed down under the stars at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong.

As the chill bites amid the first days of winter, the Sleepout promises to be one of the most challenging nights of the CEOs’ lives – and one they won’t forget. They are motivated by the plight of 24,800-plus Victorian individuals and families living with the uncertainty of homelessness. Some of the companies and organisations pledging to help raise $1.1m this year include: L’Oreal; New Balance; Grill’d; Beyond Blue; Belong; and the ANZ and Commonwealth banks. The CEOs hail from myriad backgrounds and sectors including food, beauty, fashion and finance, as well as manufacturing.

On the night, participants will hear from speakers who know what it means to live on the margins in a wealthy country such as Australia. Soup van volunteers will also be on site to provide a simple meal and share their experiences.

By focusing on Victoria’s key changemakers and influencers, Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout is a unique event whose participants are committed to fighting homelessness and are able to spread the word through their extensive networks and public profiles. This year’s Victorian target ($900,000 in Melbourne and $200,000 in Geelong) will go towards providing increased support to Victorians in greatest need this winter.

“We look forward to providing another night of eye-opening discomfort for the city’s business and community leaders – a key part of our goal is to raise awareness of the lived experiences of more than 774,000 Victorians living below the poverty line,” says Sue Cattermole, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria. “What makes us most proud about the campaign is that it has inspired a number of CEOs to go on to create practical business solutions to homelessness and poverty, such as transitional housing, pop-up shelters and free financial planning workshops for vulnerable women. That’s the power of the event.”

Vinnies CEO Sleepout will take place on 20 June in Melbourne, and 27 June in Geelong. You can make a donation to the CEO of your choice, or you can nominate a CEO, by visiting: