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Industry CEOs and brokers sleep-out in aid of homelessness

by Annie Kane5 minute read

Several chief executives and directors in the mortgage and finance industry will be spending a night without shelter to raise funds for those experiencing homelessness.

The 17th annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout will take place across the country this evening (23 June) to raise funds for St Vincent De Paul Society’s (Vinnies) homelessness services.

The coordinated event sees business leaders from across Australia sleep outdoors for one winter night to raise funds to support the many Australians who are experiencing homelessness and people at risk of homelessness. 

Each CEO Sleepout participant commits to raising a minimum amount of funds to help Vinnies provide essential services to the people who need them. 

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This year, the charity aims to raise over $9 million. In 2021, the sleep-out raised over $9.3 million.

Several members of the mortgage and finance industry will be taking part tonight, including:

  • Andrew Best, owner and director of growth and operations at Living Home Loans
  • Brad Cramb, CEO distribution, the Lendi Group
  • Chris Slater, head of sales & distribution, Australian Finance Group (AFG)
  • David Hyman, Lendi Group CEO (taking part remotely in Spain)
  • Jean-Pierre Gortan, Simplicity Loans & Advisory director 
  • Mario Rehayem, Pepper Money CEO

Several Aussie brokers are also taking part in the event tonight, including: 

  • Christopher Bonnici, franchise of Aussie Modbury and Gawler
  • Graham Hills, franchisee of Aussie Toronto
  • Joshua Kent, franchisee of Aussie Marion
  • Matthew Rose, franchisee of Aussie Prospect 
  • Ziggy Simendic, franchisee of Aussie Brookvale 

The Lendi Group – the parent company of major brokerage Aussie – is calling on more Aussie franchisees to join the group CEOs in taking part tonight (whether by sleeping out or contributing with donations), to help it reach its target of doubling the $48,000 it raised in 2021.

Group CEO David Hyman, who will be taking part remotely while on leave in Europe, has pledged to match donations dollar-for-dollar in the 24 hours before the sleep-out happens.

He has also issued a call to brokers in the group to take part, noting that they are CEOs of their businesses.

“The foundational goal of our businesses is to make home ownership more accessible for Australians, so this is a cause we are deeply passionate about,” he said.

Mr Hyman added that 278,000 Australians were assisted by Specialist Homelessness Services between 2020 and 2021 (according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare), which is “more than 1 per cent of the nation’s population”.

“With the cost of living rising, support in the way of food, accommodation, employment and counselling has never been more important,” he continued.

“This year we’re encouraging Aussie franchisees to get involved as CEOs of their businesses to really spread the word as wide as possible, with participation from across the nation. 

“Aussie brokers, with over 30 years of heritage in the market are locals who strive to support the communities they live and work in. Backing this important cause is yet another way they can give back to their local communities.”

Mr Cramb, CEO of distribution, also commented ahead of the event, stating: “Having an adequate standard of living is a recognised human right and this includes a safe place to sleep. 

“This is the fourth year the Lendi team has been involved in the initiative and I am humbled to play a small role to help change the reality faced by thousands of Australians, every night.”

[Related: AFG commits further $600k to youth homeless]

sleeping bag

Annie Kane

Annie Kane

AUTHOR

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

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