18 June 2020

Vinnies CEO Sleepout goes virtual

| Karyn Starmer
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Richard Faulks

Snedden Hall & Gallop Managing Director Richard Faulks says this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout won’t be any easier. Photo: Region Media.

Sleeping rough is tough, that’s the verdict of lawyer Richard Faulks who is about to do his ninth Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

“I don’t enjoy it. It is tough physically and mentally. The physical side of being uncomfortable and sleepless is one thing but the stark reminder that some people sleep like this night after night is a reminder of how difficult life can be,” Richard said.

Snedden Hall & Gallop Managing Director Richard Faulks has been involved with the CEO Sleepout since it began in Canberra in 2009.

“It is an excellent program and a clever idea in terms of fundraising and, importantly, it helps to highlight the issue of homelessness particularly in a place like Canberra with bitterly cold winters.”

The CEO Sleepout is Vinnies biggest fundraising event of the year, ensuring that Vinnies can continue to run their homelessness services.

Faced with the social distancing challenges of COVID-19, the 2020 event has transformed into an interactive, online event. Rather than the CEOs gathering in one place, on Thursday, 18 June, participants will bed down at an individual sleeping spot and share the experience through an interactive live stream program, logging in with others all around the country.

Richard has nominated his back deck in Belconnen.

“I might be at home this year but it won’t be any easier, particularly as there will be none of the group camaraderie. I will be alone outside while the rest of the household, including the dog, will be warm and comfortable inside.”

Richard knows Canberra winters all too well, having lived in Canberra since his primary school days in Lyneham. Richard attended Daramalan College in high school, studied Arts/Law at ANU and started at Snedden Hall & Gallop fresh out of university in 1981.

“Law wasn’t necessarily my dream job when I was at school but my brother was a lawyer so it was a career that I was familiar with and science wasn’t my thing. I was definitely more of a humanities student,” Richard said.

Once at Snedden Hall & Gallop, Richard settled into litigation law and moved up the ranks. A well respected Canberra law firm with over 30 staff on the team, Snedden Hall & Gallop opened in 1960 with just three founding partners.

Vinnies CEO Sleepout

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout will be virtual in 2020 but will still be supporting homeless Australians. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

Managing Director since 1997, Richard is now a specialist in compensation law and one of Canberra’s most successful litigators. His expertise covers industrial accidents, public liability, medical negligence, catastrophic motor accidents, workers compensation and Comcare matters. Over his career, Richard has led many of the region’s most complex compensation actions.

“These days as a Managing Director I get to experience my employees’ merciless joy at the thought of me spending a night sleeping out in on a cold Canberra winter’s night. But that’s OK as it raises a lot of money for an issue that needs attention. A fundraiser focusing on leaders means not only can we can use our networks to raise funds for Vinnies but the struggles of those less fortunate remain in our thoughts in our professional lives.”

Richard Faulks

Richard Faulks on the Vinnies CEO Sleepout in 2018. Photo: SHG Facebook.

While this year the experience will be virtual, as in past years, the CEOs will have the opportunity to hear real stories around homelessness from those who have experienced it and Richard doesn’t doubt the impact it will have on those participating.

“The only benefit to having it as a virtual event this year is that we won’t have to endure other people’s snoring. CEOs are bad snorers.”

More information or to make a donation visit Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

More information on Richard and the team, visit Snedden Hall & Gallop.

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