A com­mu­nity ap­proach to suc­cess

In­fras­truc­ture projects are the lifeblood of com­mu­nity growth. Busi­ness First speaks with Abergeldie Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Michael Boyle about bring­ing com­mu­ni­ties to­gether.

Business First - - CONTENTS -

Back in 1994, when Michael Boyle started Abergeldie with a sin­gle o ce in Syd­ney, he had the same vi­sion he has to­day: to de­liver the com­plex in­fras­truc­ture needed to build bet­ter com­mu­ni­ties.

Com­mu­nity is close to Michael’s heart. Abergeldie has a long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with the St Vin­cent De Paul So­ci­ety, e Abergeldie-spon­sored “free food, drink, chat” van helps the home­less of Par­ra­matta and Pen­rith. Boyle him­self is a reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pant in the an­nual Vin­nie’s CEO win­ter sleep-out.

“I have been in­volved in the CEO Sleep­out since its sec­ond year,” Michael says. “ at was nine years ago. I went to school with the founder of the event, Bernie Fe­hon, and I thought it was a great idea, on many lev­els, from the mo­ment he rst told me about it.

“Firstly it chal­lenges the most priv­i­leged, in our so­ci­ety to con­sider the plight of some of the most marginalised and vul­ner­a­ble in our so­ci­ety – the home­less. It does this by ask­ing them to ex­pe­ri­ence what it is like to sleep rough on the longest and cold­est night of the year. It is of course only a taste of what it is like to be home­less. You ex­pe­ri­ence the cold and dis­com­fort of sleep­ing rough with­out the hunger, the fear for your safety and the help­less­ness of night a er night in that sit­u­a­tion. It is just for one night.

“Se­condly it asks the same CEOs to con­sider how they can act on an on­go­ing ba­sis to im­prove the plight of the home­less. At my com­pany, Abergeldie, we spon­sor the Vin­nies van that operates in western Syd­ney. e van pro­vides tea and co ee and sand­wiches to home­less peo­ple 365 days a year. It is manned by vol­un­teers and I am very proud that around 20 Abergeldie em­ploy­ees are part of the vol­un­teer ros­ter on that van. e most im­por­tant thing I have learnt when I have been work­ing on the van is the most val­ued thing you can pro­vide any­one who is mar­ginal-

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