Monday, 5 November 2012

Supporting the Macarthur Winter Sleepout

While it feels as though it was only yesterday our team here at Prudential Real Estate Campbelltown slept out in the cold, it has been two months. Two months of sleeping back in our homes and warm beds – unfortunately not everyone has this luxury, and this is why we are continually supporting efforts to help homelessness in our area. 
The Macarthur Homelessness Steering Committee organised the event and is formed by representatives from service providers who work with the city’s homeless population. One Cathy Chopping heads the organisation and her amazing work has helped fight homelessness tremendously.

As part of our ongoing support process, our very own Josephine O’Sullivan and Matthew Adami were invited to a morning tea hosted by Cathy Chopping and her wonderful team. During the event, issues such as homelessness in Macarthur were discussed in detail. Plans for the future were also covered and recognition for all sponsors was achieved through an award ceremony enjoyed by all.

Raising awareness, fund raising and preventing homelessness before it occurs are all vital in an effective plan to one day resolve the issue. The Macarthur Winter Sleepout will be an annual event and we hope it gathers momentum and grows larger with each year that passes.

Josephine O'Sullivan (left) along-side Cathy Chopping (right).

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Macarthur homeless need your help

Yes, it was cold!

Despite sleeping in ALL my clothes, inside a -5 degree sleeping bag, the breeze blowing across the Campbelltown Showground after midnight last Friday night (and Saturday morning) chilled us all to the bone.

And I had two (2) beanies on all night!

Prudential Real Estate was one of the major sponsors of the inaugural Macarthur Winter Sleepout held on Friday 13 August and we certainly paid a price to learn what it's like to be homeless, sleeping rough in a park during a Campbelltown winter night.

At least it didn't rain (phew!)

The night was organised by the Macarthur Homelessness Steering Committee, made up of representatives from service providers who work with the city's homeless population and headed up by the indefatigable Cathy Chopping.  

Cathy kept proceedings on time for the crowd of several hundred who were both entertained and saddened by the speakers.  When a young lady, Krystal, spoke of her decade of homelessness her tears, as she described her harrowing tale of desperation and loneliness, bought home to us all how lucky we were and how much needs to be done to support those without a home of their own

Yes, I was cold but it was only one night, not every night.  

Did you know that the Sydney Homeless Information Centre receives more than 20 calls a night for emergency accommodation in Campbelltown.

In our business we work with people every day looking for rental accommodation.  At every open house there are often more than 10 applicants. We know only one of those applicants will be approved.  Where do the other 9 applicants go?  Perhaps I found out last Friday night.

Special thanks are extended to my team members who joined me on the night - Shaun Moss, Nick Gauci, Alyce Price, Scott Shooter and Claudia Rominger, all of whom got to sleep with the boss for one night.  And thanks to my son Daniel who bought in emergency supplies of Doritos and Snakes at the beginning of the night to ensure we were properly sustained till breakfast.

The Macarthur Winter Sleepout will be an annual event and I hope you will join us next year.

Read more in our August newsletter

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Drowning highlights pool fencing issues

An article appeared in the media during the week highlighting the tragic drowning of a young boy in Armidale, NSW. It seems the little fellow wandered into the backyard of a neighbour and fell into his pool. It is worth quoting one of the articles on this subject which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald for more details …

“THE mother took her eyes off her toddler for a second. But it was enough time for the two-year-old boy to wander away, fall into a swimming pool and drown.

Now, in what is believed to be a nationwide first, Philip John Cameron, 61, has been charged with manslaughter because he did not adequately fence his pool.

Mr Cameron was inside his Armidale home watching television one afternoon this year when the boy wandered through his backyard and fell in the pool.

Mr Cameron's unkempt pool, described by one neighbour as ''a bit of a cesspit'', had a fence around it that was dilapidated.

After a two-month investigation, police charged Mr Cameron with manslaughter on Tuesday evening (3 July 2012) and ordered him to appear in an Armidale court next month. He is believed to be the first pool owner to be charged with manslaughter for not having a proper fence.”

The death of a toddler in such circumstances is, without a doubt, heart-breaking but there are wider implications for property owners with pools. This case sounds a clear warning bell to pool-owners to ensure their pool fencing is adequate and that all gates are self-closing.

Property owners who rent their property rely on their property manager to provide this information but must act on advice when faulty fencing or gates are reported to them. Too many times we report such maintenance issues to landlords and too many times they consider the repair a minor matter and often put it to one side or ignore our advice.

The mere fact that the property owner in the case above has been charged with manslaughter underlines the seriousness with which such neglect is now being seen by both the public and the police. It is no longer acceptable to allow pool fencing to deteriorate so that it becomes a danger to others.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A journey that began in 2008 ...

Just a short note to let you know that this Saturday I will graduate from the University of New England with a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Back in 2008 I was looking for a course or another learning opportunity to help me improve my business. At the time a Masters degree appeared to be big mountain to climb but, as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And it was a bit more than a "stretch". A gave up any number of weekends to study over the past few years but on Saturday the journey comes to an end - I think I get to throw my hat in the air, or something similar.

Many thanks to my wife, Josephine, and children who put up with me whilst I was persuing this dream.

By the way, once I get back from my graduation I will be off to see my daughter Taylor singing solo in the opening ceremony of the Camden Show. She's on at 5.30pm, don't miss it!