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Adelaide business leaders turning a ‘spotlight’ on homelessness

23 April 2024

Emerging and established South Australian business leaders will gather around Adelaide’s most hallowed turf this Winter to raise vital funds and awareness of a new wave of homelessness.

Entering its 15th year, the Vinnies SA CEO Sleepout will be held at Adelaide Oval on June 20.

Vinnies SA is calling on CEOs and their teams from across all business sectors, young and old, new and established, those who have participated year after year and those contemplating joining for the first time, to register in this year’s anniversary event.

“We need new business leaders to join those who have been supporting the Sleepout over the past 15 years to spend a night together networking out of the boardroom and help us help those who don’t have a choice over sleeping rough,” said Vinnies SA CEO Evelyn O’Loughlin.

“Rising living costs and a lack of affordable housing with no real increase in income has meant new faces are seeking homelessness services like Vinnies at a time when our own costs are rising and fewer people are donating, or those generous ones who do, are giving less than they used to because of their own commitments,” said Ms O’Loughlin.

Among this year’s first-time participants are Illuminate Adelaide Foundation co-founders and creative directors Lee Cumberlidge and Rachael Azzopardi.

“I think as business leaders we all have a responsibility to lead by example and take action in addressing social issues including homelessness,” said Mr Cumberlidge, part of the dynamic duo behind Adelaide’s Winter major event showcasing art, light and technology.

“As we invite South Australians to enjoy our city in winter, transformed through lighting installations, projections and immersive experiences, it is important to also raise awareness that the same city streets are home to those sleeping rough, often unnoticed, in the toughest conditions at this time of year,” he said.

Adelaide Oval CEO Nick Addison said it was important such a significant and hidden social issue be given centre stage in the heart of the city on the longest night of the year.

“Social responsibility is one of the Adelaide Oval’s core strategic pillars and so giving back to our community is important to our team,” said Mr Addison, who will be taking part in his second consecutive Vinnies CEO Sleepout this year.

“Our staff engagement and general awareness of homelessness grew right across the business with our entire team becoming involved in helping raise funds for Vinnies SA in some way last year.”

Vinnies SA is hoping to raise $900,000 through the 2024 CEO Sleepout. This would be enough for Vinnies to provide 8,280 nights of emergency shelter accommodation for men, women, children and their pets; or serve 33,120 meals through its Fred’s Van service in ten locations across the state; or help hundreds of migrants and refugees – many families - with food hampers, clothing and fuel vouchers to keep them in rental properties and off the streets.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is an initiative of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

To register for the Vinnies CEO Sleepout, visit

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