Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Swag in the park for Murray Shire general manager

Murray Shire general manager Margot Stork will sleep out in a street swag on August 6 as part of Apex Sleepout.

RHIANNON HORRELL June 30, 2014 3:56am

Anthony Heward, Stephen Tonkin and Adam Hannon with Murray Shire general manager Margot Stork.

If you see Murray Shire general manager Margot Stork sleeping in a park on August 6, it is not because she has lost her job.

She is taking part in the Apex Sleepout event, which raises awareness about the growing problem of homelessness in the community.

The Echuca-Moama Apex Club is hosting the event, which is expected to attract up to 70 people on the night.

Local welfare organisations will give presentations about homelessness in Echuca-Moama before the voluntary sleepout.

Apex member Anthony Heward said there had been interest from St Luke’s, Centrelink, Murray Shire, Campaspe Shire, Echuca police and St Mary’s parish, among other organisations.

‘‘We need people to understand that homelessness isn’t just someone sleeping on a park bench somewhere,’’ Mr Heward said.

‘‘It might be someone who is couch surfing or someone who is forced to live in a caravan.’’

Around Christmas, reportedly up to 1000 people were sleeping rough in Echuca-Moama, Mr Heward said.

‘‘There might be someone that turns up (at the sleepout event) who knows someone like that and can help them,’’ he said.

He encouraged district businesses to attend and buy a swag for $80 which can be donated to those sleeping rough.

Fellow Apex member Stephen Tonkin said homelessness was a hidden problem.

He said Apex would match the donations from businesses for the street swags.

Ms Stork is already signed up for the sleepout and is keen to show her support.

‘‘I was a family lawyer at one stage and there’s a lot of family homelessness,’’ she said.

‘‘Anything that can highlight or raise awareness of the issue is fabulous.’’

She said she planned to wear a beanie to stay warm on the night.

The event will include presentations from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and a free barbecue.

For information, phone 0428355561 or email

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