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Pho­tog­ra­phy DAVE WHEELER Styling IRENE TSOLAKAS In­ter­view ADRIENNE TAM

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Front Page -

o phone. No wal­let. And no tooth­brush. Not even a hair tie. The only things Alli Simp­son was al­lowed to have dur­ing the 10 days she spent home­less on the streets of Syd­ney were a sleep­ing bag and the clothes on her back. And even those weren’t hers.“the clothes I had on were taken from me and I was just put in simple cloth­ing – a T-shirt, jeans and a pair of sneak­ers,” Simp­son tells Stel­lar. “I was sent out into the streets with noth­ing. It was a re­ally weird feel­ing. Go­ing into it, I didn’t think it was go­ing to be as hard as it was once ev­ery­thing was gone, and it was just me and my soul.”

The 20-year-old singer is one of five high-pro­file Aus­tralians who signed up to par­tic­i­pate in Sea­son 2 of SBS’S Filthy Rich & Home­less, a so­cial ex­per­i­ment that pits the wealthy and priv­i­leged against the un­for­giv­ing streets of the na­tion’s most ex­pen­sive city. The lat­est Cen­sus shows that 116,427 Aus­tralians have no place to call home, so Simp­son felt it was im­por­tant to do more than just com­mit a few num­bers to mem­ory. But she still hes­i­tated be­fore agree­ing to jump in.

“I was ner­vous,” Simp­son ad­mits. “It’s def­i­nitely not the eas­i­est thing to be in­volved in. But I knew it would be a lifechang­ing and hum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence, and I knew it would help a lot of peo­ple. That’s what drove me to do it.”

This is not the first time she has been in­volved with ef­forts to raise aware­ness around so­cial causes. Her previous role as Youth En­gage­ment Of­fi­cer on Ra­dio Dis­ney in the US when she was 17 proved she could be a pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for anti-bul­ly­ing and equal­ity. “I was al­ways the kid at school that would sit with the kid who was eat­ing lunch alone,” says Simp­son who, along with en­ter­tainer brother Cody, 21, was raised on the Gold Coast. “There were the ta­bles where all the peo­ple would be eat­ing to­gether with their friends, and there would be one per­son sit­ting by them­selves. I would al­ways go over and say ‘Are you OK?’ or eat lunch with them. I didn’t care what any­one else thought. That made me happy.”

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