27 June 2012

Clayton Utz partners join CEO Sleepout to help St Vinnie's help the homeless

Sydney, 27 June 2012: Clayton Utz Corporate managing partner Graham Taylor, Banking & Finance managing partner Steve O'Reilly, and Canberra partner-in-charge John Carroll have joined a contingent of business and community leaders and spent a night out in the cold in support of the St Vincent de Paul Society's CEO Sleepout.

To date, Graham, Steve and John have together raised an impressive $18,500.

The annual CEO Sleepout event aims not only to raise funds, but public awareness of the plight of Australia's growing homeless population.

Commenting on the experience, Graham said: "It was a sobering exercise to experience just a fraction of the issues that confront the homeless in Australia. The CEOs all had the comfort of going back to warm showers, warm meals and good jobs which many of the homeless do not enjoy. The most important part of the evening, apart from the immediate fundraising, was the information provided regarding the homeless that will hopefully stay with the CEOs and contribute to ongoing action to assist in addressing the issues."

Since 2009, a number of Clayton Utz partners and staff have participated in the CEO Sleepout, raising much-needed funds towards the ongoing provision of St Vincent de Paul Society's homeless services across the country.

Clayton Utz's participation in the CEO Sleepout builds upon a range of assistance the firm provides to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and the organisations that support them, through the firm's Pro Bono practice, Community Involvement program and the Clayton Utz Foundation.

Since its inception in 2005, Clayton Utz's Brisbane office has provided pro bono support for Street Swags, a charity that distributes swags to homeless people throughout Australia. Founder Jean Madden began the program to provide practical support to alleviate some of the hardship experienced by homeless people by offering a comfortable, durable and transportable form of bedding.

A Street Swag, and a specially-designed coat for rough sleepers made by Sovereign Military Order of Malta, was provided to Graham, Steve and John to use during the night. These items have now been donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society to be used to help provide a little comfort and warmth to those sleeping rough.

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