This Winter Solstice, Canstruct CEO Rory Murphy relinquished the comforts of home to sleep out under the stars on one of the coldest and longest nights of the year to show support for the more than 100,000 Australian homeless. Rory is a veteran of the Vinnies annual CEO Sleepout having participated three times in the past as part of his commitment to helping raise money and awareness for Australia’s homeless.

This year, Rory managed to generate almost $44,000 in donations in the lead up to the event; an amount that will help provide 138 individual support programs, 363 beds and 1453 meals. ABS Census data has shown that, tonight, more than 116,000 Australians will be without a home to sleep in. That figure as risen 14 percent over the past five years. Rory says the annual sleepout event has given him insight into the destitution faced by so many Australians year round.

“It’s heartbreaking to know so many people are spending nights on the streets without the basic comforts of a bed or a blanket. Doing this event helps to remind me just how privileged we are to have a roof over our heads.

“I don’t think many Australians realise just how many people are living in these conditions, and so it’s vital we raise awareness and create a dialogue around this crisis we are facing as a nation.”

Rory is no stranger to charity, having spearheaded Canstruct in raising more than $150,000 for the Puuya Foundation in 2017. This allowed the foundation to build a new community centre and accommodation facilities in Lockhart River. Rory’s family have also founded the Murphy Family Foundation, which has provided $1.5 million in donated funds to charities which support causes that are close to the Murphy family heart.

Rory acknowledged there is still a long way to go to make sure Australian streets remain empty at night. He is calling on all Australians to spare a thought for the homeless. Donations can still be made to help this great cause via the Vinnies CEO Sleepout website.