On the night of Thursday 20 June, the winter solstice and longest night of the year, our team from McLaughlins Lawyers put their bodies on the line; sleeping out on cardboard to raise funds and awareness for the plight of homeless people on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast Bulletin celebrated the Vinnies CEO Sleepout with many of our team on show.

Matt Kollrepp, our new Associate Director, Joelene Nel and Teresa Kearney Senior Associates, Geoff Smith Consultant, Allison Masal and Suzanne Falzon, experienced paralegals braved the cold with just a small bowl of pumpkin soup to warm us.

We joined hundreds of CEOs and teams from the Gold Coast for a night of eye opening talks, entertainment and a taste of what it must be like for thousands sleeping rough. The stories ranged from a mum who had been evicted from rental accommodation after nursing her dying mother and her son being critically injured in a car crash, to older divorced women living in cars, and kids couch surfing to escape violent homes.

Cornerstone, the Vinnies Gold Coast homeless co-ordination centre in Hicks Street, is funded by the Gold Coast CEO Sleepout and makes sure the funds we raise stay on the Gold Coast to help those in our backyard.  Chris Martin from Cornerstone took us through a typical day and scary statistics of the number of people needing help and at risk of homelessness.

Luther Cora, an expert didgeridoo player in traditional corroboree dress, welcomed us to country with songs and the best didgeridoo playing ever.

To cheer us up and compensate for the lack of comfortable beds, Brad Blaze a speed artist painted 3 amazing portraits upside down before our eyes then donated the paintings to be auctioned on the night for the CEO Sleepout fundraising goal.

Andrew Bell, auctioneer extraordinaire from Ray White Surfers Paradise, auctioned the charity items making us all nervous we had scratched our nose and accidentally bid on the Fiji holiday for thousands.

Karen Phillips, incomparable compere and Colin Wheeler, coordinator and chief coercer again pulled off a successful and entertaining evening.  There was plenty of time for quiet chats with new friends and old colleagues with no time pressure to get in the drinks and food and rush off home.  We all thought how fortunate we are to have real warm beds and homes for the other 364 days of the year.

If you would like to donate to our team click here. 

If you need advice or help concerning your property or commercial matter, please ask for Teresa Kearney, Joelene Nel for family law issues or Matt Kollrepp for construction and litigation advice.  McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, stand beside you and even sleepout for the homeless.


Author: Teresa Kearney

Director: Ian Kennedy

Date: 2 July 2019

Continue reading