Australia: Clayton Utz supports 2013 Vinnies CEO Sleepout to raise funds for homeless services
Last Updated: 25 June 2013

Sydney, 21 June 2013: Clayton Utz is again proud to have participated in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout to help St Vincent de Paul Society raise awareness and funds in support of essential homeless services across the country.

Last night, ten Clayton Utz partners joined business leaders in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane as they experienced what it is like to sleep rough and experience homelessness – a situation Vinnies estimates that over 100,000 Australians find themselves in each night of the year.

Clayton Utz partners Brendan Bateman, Cameron Belyea, Bruce Cooper, Kate Jordan, Naomi Kelly, Alan Maguire, Rory Moriarty, Kevin O'Sullivan, Stuart Pill and Fred Prickett have together raised over $90,000 to date (and counting) through their individual fundraising efforts, with the Clayton Utz Foundation also making a $5,000 grant to Vinnies.

Each Clayton Utz participant was provided with a Street Swag, and a specially designed coat for rough sleepers, to use during the night. The Street Swags were provided by community partner and pro bono client, Street Swags and the coats were made by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. After the Sleepout, Clayton Utz donated these items to the St Vincent de Paul Society to be used to help provide a little comfort and warmth to those sleeping rough.

Clayton Utz Sydney partner in charge Kate Jordan said the Vinnies CEO Sleepout was one of the many ways that individuals and organisations could contribute to raising awareness of this unacceptable situation facing a growing number of Australians, and help fund essential services to support them.

"It's a fundamental right of every human being to have a safe, warm and secure place to sleep at night . If we can help organisations such as St Vincent de Paul Society to remind people that too many people in our community are not getting this basic right, and if we can raise funds to support Vinnies in helping people, including women and children, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, that is one way we can contribute to tackling this terrible problem," said Kate.

Clayton Utz' participation in 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 our Pro Bono practice, Community Involvement program and the Clayton Utz Foundation.

Helping people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to get legal assistance has been a significant part of the Clayton Utz Pro Bono practice since September 2001, when we took up two of the first Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic rosters. For twelve years, the firm has provided advice and representation to thousands of clients at seven different outreach legal clinics, located at places where clients can feel more confident about speaking to a lawyer.

Clayton Utz currently conducts three drop-in legal clinics for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Those clinics are in Melbourne at Drill Hall as part of the PILCH Victoria Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic, and in Brisbane at the Salvation Army Pindari Men's and Pindari Women's Hostels as part of the QPILCH Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic. Clayton Utz is also part of the Welfare Rights Legal StreetLaw project in Canberra.

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