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Kelly tops CEO Sleepout fundraisers

Steadfast MD and CEO Robert Kelly has raised more than $157,000 for homelessness services, putting him top of the fundraising ladder for this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The Sydney event took place last week, but there is still time to donate to the cause.

Several industry executives braved cold temperatures, including Chubb country president Peter Kelaher, Everest head of Asia-Pacific Scott Leney, Insurance Advisernet MD Shaun Standfield and QBE MD of consumer Julie Starley.

“It was a successful night and we raised a lot of money,” Mr Kelly told “We all slept out, not undercover, looking up at the moon and the stars. It was cold, but it didn’t rain. We sleep on cardboard, but we are allowed to bring a sleeping bag.”

Mr Kelly says the “main reason” he takes part in the events is to remember his grandfather on his mother’s side, who died on the street.

“He was a strong man, but he came back from the war a little broken and never fitted in to society, and self-medicated on alcohol and cigarettes. He was 56 when he died on the street.

“I do this in some ways to remind myself how degrading it must have been for him.

“I regret that many people see these broken people around town and in some ways look at them with disdain, rather than a view that they may be broken people who are struggling with life.”

Mr Kelly says Steadfast will continue to support charitable causes. The Steadfast Foundation has donated $1.8 million in its first 11 years.

“I think any successful company has a responsibility to contribute to the social welfare of the environment that it operates in, and to share a small amount of the revenues they make to try to help people,” he said.