Student raises $19K for Vinnies

13 November 2015

ANU Arts/Law student Joseph Frawley has passed his goal of collecting $13,000 for charity, raising $19,000 after sleeping in his car for 13 weeks to raise awareness of homelessness in Canberra.

The 25-year-old has completed his car sleep-out and submitted his honours thesis about the experience at the end of October.

Joseph, who is in his final semester at ANU, says maintaining a positive motivation were his biggest challenges during the 13-week ordeal.

"Although the weather warmed up, insects became an issue and the sun was up earlier so the birds were up earlier," he said.

"So at no point was I able to get comfortable. There was always a new challenge that I had to face, so the relentlessness of the task was something that really struck me."

Joseph says he received some large corporate donations, including a $5,000 from a local financial advisory firm.

But it was the emotional support he received that he says has been unique.

"Because people who are authentically facing homelessness do not have that emotional support and I think that is equally important," he said.

"I think it has also made people reflect how important funding education is, especially for low socio-economic people and also people with mental health issues."

Joseph says he's not sure what he plans to do after he graduates, but thinks he'd like to work in a role that involves helping others.

"Besides the big thankyous to all those involved these past few months, I'd really like to get the message across that it really is possible for people to do something outrageous if they're brave enough," he said.

"You just have to trust your instinct if, if you want to do it. And people are very generous, they'll rally behind you. People are very generous, they just need an excuse to donate."

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