Roy Wakelin-King, CEO of the Australian Technology Park (ATP), became aware of the event because the ATP runs Eveleigh Markets and, while he wasn’t sure exactly what he was signing up for, he said he knew it was for a good cause.
The event was not only an opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause but there were a series of presentations on homelessness. CEOs were asked to participate in workshops.
The group Mr Wakelin-King was part of discussed the need to raise awareness of the issue of homelessness and in particular the need to challenge views and perceptions of who were homeless. “This message was, in my view, the most important aspect of the evening, that is, understanding what homelessness is and who it affects. The ‘invisible homeless’ and how it can impact on many people was a big take-out for me.”
While in his younger years in Scotland Mike Shreenan, local resident and EO of The Factory Community Centre in Waterloo, had personal experience of homelessness. He said: “Last night was not only challenging but the stories which I heard from some of the homeless people at [the] event, and from our own clients at The Factory daily, are heart-breaking. This was a timely, inspiring reminder to me personally why we do community work and how much more work needs to be done.” Mr Shreenan said he survived the night with a few creaks in his back and a mozzie bite, but he was up to celebrating the following day by becoming an Australian citizen.