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CEO Sleepout - Grant Wilckens

15 May 2014


Discovery Parks CEO Grant Wilckens has signed up to take part in this year's Vinnies CEO Sleepout and will be sleeping rough along with other South Australian CEO's, politicians, managing directors and community leaders on the 19th of June helping to raise funding and awareness for homelessness in Australia.

Here's a few words from Grant on why he has decided to take part and lend his support.


I have signed myself up for the Vinnies’ annual CEO Sleepout. This means I will be roughing it for the night on Thursday 19 June along with other South Australian CEOs, politicians, managing directors and community leaders in the grounds of Government House to raise awareness and important funds to support essential homeless services.

During this event, CEOs from South Australian businesses sleep outside for one night during winter to experience just how tough it is for thousands who sleep rough every night. Last year, a staggering $5.3 million was raised nationally!

This money has funded new projects, assisted with the provision of existing homeless services and the expansion of Vinnie’s programs.

In South Australia, this money has helped the homeless through:

  • Homeless mentoring – providing pathways to employment for selected people experiencing homelessness
  • Refugee support – providing housing for new arrivals fleeing dangerous situations, through our Migrant & Refugee Service
  • Households in crisis – extending the existing home visitation program to provide higher level support for households with challenging financial circumstances at risk of experiencing homelessness counselling to clients to address the issues that significantly contribute to their repeated experiences of homelessness

For almost 10 years, I have had the great pleasure of working for Discovery Parks, an organisation whose focus is accommodation, primarily those fortunate enough to have their own housing and be able to take a holiday. The plight of homeless Australians is therefore one that connects with me. The statistics on homelessness in Australia are staggering – over 100,000 Australians are on any given night, that’s 1 in 200 Australians! Of those, over 6,000 are sleeping rough, almost half are women and a quarter are 18 years or younger.

I have therefore set myself a challenge - to participate in the CEO Sleepout and raise $10,000 to support the great work homeless services do in South Australia.

I would like to extend this challenge to each of you to help me support this cause. Please help me reach my donation goal -  

This is a great initiative and is reflective of Vinnies’ determination to provide real alternatives to homelessness and to truly offer a hand up, not only a hand out.



Grant Wilckens
Chief Executive Officer

Discovery Parks


This article has been written by:

Discovery Parks