Sleeping rough, stigma and the importance of home

It’s time to talk about homelessness


Despite Australia’s record economic boom, rates of homelessness have been on the rise for years, and the social stigma surrounding homelessness only perpetuates the problem.

Join the host of SBS’s Insight, Jenny Brockie, and an expert panel for this public event to discuss the realities of homelessness in Australia and what we can do to tackle it.

  • Reverend Graham Long AM, Pastor and CEO, Wayside Chapel
  • Jonathon Hunyor, CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
  • Melissa Wolfshoerndl, Author and Researcher
  • Rob Holt, Community Educator, Wayside Chapel

When: Tuesday, 22 August, 6-7pm

Where: Alastair Mackerras Theatre, Sydney Grammar School, Darlinghurst

Entry via Yurong Street. No parking on school grounds.

Tickets: $30/$15 for students


Contact: Public Interest Advocacy Centre (+61 2) 8898 6500

Email: [email protected]

All funds raised go to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre to support the work of the Homeless Persons’ Legal Service.

Jenny Brockie. Journalist, host of SBS’s Insight

Jenny Brockie is one of Australia’s most respected journalists. Known for both her warmth and intelligence, Jenny has more than 20 years experience in broadcasting.

In 2013, she won the Walkley All Media Interview Award for Young Mob, a special Insight episode featuring Aboriginal teens in Alice Springs. Previously she has won the Gold Walkley as well as a swag of other awards for her work as a journalist and documentary maker.

Reverend Graham Long AM. Pastor and CEO of The Wayside Chapel

Rev Graham Long has devoted his life to those who have fallen ‘by the wayside’. Graham joined Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross in 2004 and has been instrumental in Wayside’s mission to create a community of no ‘us and them’.

Author of Love over Hate: Finding life by the wayside (2013), Stories by the Wayside (2011), and Wayside (2016), Graham was admitted to the Order of Australia as an AM in 2015.

He continues to challenge people to reflect on their contribution to society and captivates them with his personal stories and insights about love, hate and the power of the ‘self’.

Jonathon Hunyor. CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Jonathon Hunyor has 20 years’ experience as a lawyer and advocate for human rights and social justice. Jonathon was previously the Principal Legal Officer at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) in Darwin. Prior to this he was the Director of Legal Services at the Australian Human Rights Commission and has worked as a lawyer with the Central Land Council in Alice Springs and the NT Legal Aid Commission in Darwin.

Jonathon is a University Fellow at Charles Darwin University and has published widely on topics including criminal law, refugee law, coronial law, native title, discrimination and human rights.

Melissa Wolfshoerndl. Author, Researcher

Melissa Wolfshoerndl is a member of PIAC’s homeless consumer advisory committee, StreetCare. She has used her experiences of homelessness as a young person to inform her volunteer, academic and professional involvements with youth organisations. Melissa was a member of the NSW Youth Advisory Council from 2012-2013. In 2016 she completed her Honours in Social Work, which involved research on how the stigma associated with homelessness presents barriers for people trying to access employment and housing opportunities. Melissa is the author of the PIAC report: They Spit at You with their Eyes – Experiences of homelessness in NSW.

Robert Holt. Community Educator for The Wayside Chapel

Rob Holt was born in South Africa, in the midst of the Apartheid regime. He moved to Australia in 1997.

Rob first came to Wayside in 2009, when he was still sleeping rough on the streets of Kings Cross. With the help of Graham and Wayside staff, Rob was able to get back on his feet. He got a job working as a consultant then moved to Wayside as a Community Educator.

Rob uses his lived experience to explain the reality of homelessness and sleeping rough to corporates, school groups and at community events.

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