When Ann Sherry beds down on the street on June 21 for St Vincent de Paul’s seventh annual CEO Sleepout it will be just weeks away from a landmark anniversary of five years at the helm of Australia’s leading cruise operator.
The Carnival Australia CEO expects sleeping rough on the longest and perhaps coldest night of the year will be one of the more memorable and difficult experiences of her career in government and corporate life.
“If you are going to sleep out on the street you might as well do it in the coldest part of the year and on the longest night of the year,” Ms Sherry said.
“It will be an uncomfortable night but that’s the whole object of the exercise to put CEOs in environments in which they would normally never find themselves.
“Even though we will be well rugged up, sleeping on a piece of cardboard will be pretty ordinary but I think you have to put yourself in the shoes of others to know what it is like and to raise some money as you go.”
This week, Carnival Australia staff got behind Ann Sherry’s CEO Sleepout fundraising efforts by organising a special High Tea Bake Day.
Employees spent the night before baking various treats for sale at the High Tea which doubled as a Diamond Jubilee celebration.
In supporting Vinnies’ work to assist the homeless, Ann Sherry recognises the obvious contrast between life on the street and the cruise holiday lifestyle at the heart of Carnival Australia’s business.
“We live in such an affluent community and we are in the business of creating great experiences for people but at the same time we know there are others in our community who find themselves sleeping on the street for a whole lot of reasons,” Ms Sherry said.
“I have seen people who are clearly living in the backs of their cars with their kids and I just think that’s not right, so the more money we can raise the better our community is for it.
For more information on CEO Sleepout for Vinnies: http://www.ceosleepout.org.au/