Alice Springs bosses do it tough in the night air for CEO SleepOut, By Greg Tingle - 20th June 2015

Alice Springs bosses do it tough in the night air for CEO SleepOut, By Greg Tingle -
20th June 2015

Greg Tingle - Media Man Australia CEO SleepOut link here


Alice Springs Northern Territory Outback Australia Business Promotions

Greg Tingle, director, Media Man Australia, Media Man and Greg Tingle Promotions

50 Alice Springs bosses and community leaders covered themselves up in jackets, beanies, sleeping bags and spent a freezing winter's night on Thursday to help support homelessness services in the region.

Many slept the night in cardboard boxes which they purchased at auction for between $50 to $70 – money well spent. Some didn't sleep much, like myself, spending most of the night chatting (and perhaps wondering why they signed up for this) - by the fire.

All of the participants were sleeping rough by choice, but for 1 in 20 persons in the Alice Springs region, sleeping out is not a choice.

Like many, I had heard about the CEO SleepOut for many years. This was the first time I had ever participated, and I didn't need a whole lot of convincing. I had been doing some shopping and wandering around at the Alice Springs Markets when I came across the impossible to miss Vinnies CEO SleepOut banner and enthusiastic volunteers, Melissa and Maddie. A few minutes later and I was signed up. I knew it would be a freezing experience, but I didn't care. I did it for the experience and because its obviously an extremely worthy cause.

What the SleepOut team didn't know at that time is that in the past I had come close to becoming homeless myself, due to some circumstances beyond my control. I joked with the organisers “I've done zero stars to 5 stars in my life, from billionaires to street level, so this shouldn’t be a problem at all”.

For me, a close call with homelessness came many years ago due a sequence of events that involved a combination of a challenging month running my news media business, an interstate business trip involving poor cash flow, a relative letting me down at the worse possible time, and a delay in accessing some business and personal paperwork. I'm giving the censored account of what happened, as the no-holds-barred account would be much more ugly and would name and shame some individuals involved. I'm not angry about it any more. I've put it down to a life experience and I have learnt to be very careful of who I put in a position of trust, be it family, friends or acquaintances. I advise others not to exposure themselves to excessive levels of risk in their personal and professional lives. Lesson learnt, so moving forward to the current..

At the SleepOut I told a few people a short version of my brush with homelessness. My personal experience emphasized the need to be mentally strong, regroup, access some suitable government services if need be, and to not make the same mistakes again.

Vinnies Alice Springs presented “Jill” to tell her story of homelessness to the attentive group. The interview was moderated by CAAMA Radio's Mikaela Simpson. It was a brave and powerful account, and one that I think we will all remember for many years. Like my brush in a tough situation, she appears to have trusted one or two of the wrong people in her life, and that came with a significant cost.

The Alice Springs CEO Sleepout drew 50 business and community leaders out of bed and into the night at Blatherskite Park to raise money and awareness for homelessness.

The sleepout had raised over $105,000 as of Friday morning. An impressive feat considering Alice Springs has a population of around 30,000 and only 50 participants were fundraising.

St Vincent De Paul Society chief Betty Knott was very impressed with the regions efforts.

"Vinnies and the volunteers have done an amazing job this year," she said.

Local Vinnie's manager, Melissa Durston and her team also needs commending on the wonderful job they did. From signing people up, project management, all the way down to organising a great coffee and breakfast on Friday morning. I had never been so happy to see a hot cappuccino in all of my life, and that's saying something.

There was also an opportunity to speak and network with other participants in the region who worked in such diverse sectors as heath, tourism, media, politics, social and finance.

Donations will be received nationwide until August 31. For more information, visit

Greg Tingle - Media Man Australia CEO SleepOut link here

*many thanks to the Red Dog Cafe, Alice Springs, for letting me to have my Vinnie's donation tin situated there during the campaign. *the funds have been collected and transferred to Vinnies.

*public thank you to Media Man Australia, Media Man Int and Greg Tingle Promotions clients, advertisers and sponsors. Your support helps us support numerous worthy causes such as St Vincent de Paul Society