Canberra Community Sleepout

Tomorrow night, nearly 2,000 Canberrans are sleeping rough for the third annual Canberra Community Sleepout. The sleep-out is jointly organised by Communities@Work and the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra-Goulburn—and I thank them both for their ongoing support for those doing it tough in the national capital. It is a fantastic initiative that this year has raised more than $83,000 for two very worthy causes: family violence and homelessness. In Canberra, around 29 per cent of people experiencing homelessness are fleeing family violence.

Michael Costigan, the founder of the Tara Costigan Foundation, is the keynote speaker tomorrow night. Those in the chamber will remember that Michael is the uncle of Tara Costigan, who was tragically killed earlier this year as a result of family violence. Her death truly shocked and saddened the Canberra community. I extend my thanks to Michael for the work he is doing in raising awareness and funds for family violence and also setting up the Tara Costigan Foundation.

The Canberra Community Sleepout is a great event, raising funds for two very worthy causes, and I encourage Canberrans who are interested in taking part or donating to do so. Please, Canberra, get behind this great initiative. Communities@Work does great work; so does St Vincent de Paul. The money is going to two very worthy causes: family violence and homelessness.

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