Provost to participate in CEO Sleepout

31 May 2018

He's done it twice already and Professor Mike Calford will be donning the thermals and beanie once again to brave the Canberra cold for the 2018 CEO Sleepout and he's urging us to donate.

Professor Calford will join scores of CEOs and dignitaries from Canberra organisations when they sleep out under the stars on 21 June at the National Museum of Australia.

"It's an interesting experience because you get to meet homeless people who show their support by sleeping out with the bosses - usually those who've been through the Vinnies process and have come out the other side," he said.

Professor Calford's motivation for becoming involved in his first CEO Sleepout in 2015 came from someone he met in Launceston.

"Around the time I moved there, I met the head of a major bank who quit his job to run St Vinnies in Northern Tasmania. He was 46 when he did this and he made a personal decision that he was going to step away from corporate life and work at supporting our communities. He was personally running op-shops and soup carts and I was quite inspired by that."

Professor Calford says he's as ready as he'll ever be for the Canberra event given his experience in Tasmania.

"The various centres that do the Sleepout compare their overnight temperatures and its either Launceston, Canberra or Alice Springs, which are the coldest. I'll have my sleeping bag and I've found that if you make a little tent out of the cardboard, then the frost doesn't settle on you. 

Last year I raised about $6,100 which is about what [Vice-Chancellor] Brian [Schmidt] also reached. The aim is to exceed both of those, that's the challenge."

Professor Calford says the message is simple.

"Most of us in Canberra are in very fortunate circumstances. Canberra has the highest average income anywhere in Australia - double some other reasonably-sized cities. Nevertheless, we have a sizeable homeless population who deserve our support. If I can encourage people to support them, then it's worthwhile."

If you would like to donate to Professor Calford's fundraising efforts, head to the website