Sleeping rough on the streets is not where you’d normally find business leaders.

But St Vincent De Paul is asking CEOs to be homeless for a night and raise awareness about the problem.

Nicole Sosnowski reports.


A cardboard box and a sleeping bag will be all some of Brisbane CEOs have on the 17th of June.

The ‘Sleepout’ will take place for the first time in Brisbane following the success of last year’s event in Sydney.

Peter Maher, CEO St Vincent De Paul Society Queensland: “We need to have no homelessness in Australia that should be our aim and the people that are likely to be able to do that the most and change it, are our CEOs.”

Already some big names are signed up.

Anthony Herbert, ex-Wallaby: “I don’t think the general public is really aware of how escalating the problem is. I’ve got four children of my own and I hate to think that one day they might be out on the streets.”

It will be a shock even one night on the streets is out of a CEO’s comfort zone.

David Keir, CEO Devine Homes: “I’m certainly nervous about sleeping on a bit of cardboard, on a bit of concrete as well.”

The event aims to lift awareness about the increasing numbers of homeless.

More than 2,000 people in Brisbane’s CBD are homeless, which is part of 25,000 people across the state. That means Queensland now has the second highest level of homelessness in Australia.

Peter Maher, CEO St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland: “There are young families who are sleeping in cars or sleeping in a tent and they go and use the public toilets to clean their teeth before they go off to school.”

And Vinnies has put the call for help, right to the top.

Peter Maher, CEO St Vincent De Paul Society Queensland: “I have issued the challenge out to Kevin Rudd to come sleep out for the night and he was going to see what he could do in his schedule.”

CEOs can register at

Nicole Sosnowski, QUT News