Winter Sleepout Gives Support for the Homeless

Pictured are Notre Dame Social Justice members Daniel Carney, Daniella Maia, and Melissa Dever, presenting David Elliott with a UNDA 'thankyou' jumper.

13 May 2015

More than 40 Sydney students braved the cold and slept rough in St Benedict's courtyard at The University of Notre Dame, Australia, Sydney Campus, last week for the 2015 Youth Off The Streets Winter Sleepout to raise awareness and funds for youth experiencing homelessness.

Mr David Elliott, the Minister for Corrections, the Minister for Emergency Services, and the Minister for Veterans Affairs, and former Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier for Youth and Homelessness, opened the evening.

Mr Elliott, who as a former CEO has participated in numerous Winter Sleepouts in the past, spoke of the importance of raising awareness for youth homelessness and the plight of homeless veterans.

He emphasised to the students that they should remember the experience of the night to better understand the struggles of life that all too many endure, and to inform their actions as future leaders.

The Sleepout was jointly organised by the Notre Dame Social Justice Society, Sydney, and the Nursing Society of Notre Dame.

Key organiser Daniel Carney said the success of the second Winter Sleepout at Notre Dame in Sydney was testimony to the spirit of generosity that exemplified the Notre Dame community and provided an example to students that "each of us can make a positive impact on our community".

"I can better understand the struggles that homeless people go through by taking one night out of my year and sleeping rough on the street and empathising with their situation – yet I will never understand the true struggles that they go through," Mr Carney said.

Mr Carney said the Sleepout raised nearly $3000 for Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets program. He thanked the generous students, staff and the Notre Dame wider community for their support.

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;