Flourishing Woman - Elizabeth Bain
Flourishing Woman - Elizabeth Bain
The Vinnies CEO Sleepout challenges business and community leaders to experience homelessness first-hand for one night, Thursday 16th June.
Perth's Elizabeth Bain is doing just that and here she shares with Flourish how and why she's involved.
Tell us about yourself and your business.
Elizabeth & Graeme Bain (Directors)
205 Stirling Hwy
EmbroidMe Claremont offers all manner of corporate branding; if it can be branded, we can supply and brand it whether it be screen printed, embroidered and promotional products for corporates, schools, sporting clubs and groups. We pride ourselves on our Award Winning Customer Service, the quality of our work and our speedy turnaround.
I am a teacher by profession. 4 ½ years ago I left teaching after just completing my Master of Education to do the marketing in the business. Although marketing did not come naturally to me I did get good results and the business grew. The growth has been very reassuring and consequently I made the decision to go back to my passion of teaching Pre-Primary.
Why are you ‘Rising to the Challenge’? What’s your motivation?
Quite simply, I am doing the Sleepout because I am in the fortunate position where I can, rather than this being my reality. I have never taken for granted how fortunate I am to have a clean dry bed to sleep in each night. I made the comment once to a colleague that I was looking forward to a nice cold wet day to have the fire roaring and to sit and drink a nice hot chocolate; when the comment was made back to me that ‘Not all people are so fortunate and that there are a lot of people who unfortunately live on the streets and would not have the same sentiment.’ This made me stop and think about another’s reality.
Community is very important to both my husband and I. We do a lot of community work on both a personal level as well as on a business level. Life isn’t simply what ‘I’ can get out of life; rather it is about giving and helping others less fortunate. In particular we have supported St Vincent de Paul for many years; when the opportunity arose to be able to do the Sleepout I didn’t give it a second thought and signed up immediately.
Is this your first time?
This is my second Sleepout; I did the Perth Sleepout last year
How have you prepared for sleeping outside?
There is not a lot one can do in the actually preparing for the night itself; but simply just to ensure that I have warm clothes to sleep in and a warm sleeping bag.
What do you think will be the most difficult part of the night?
I am able to sleep just about anywhere. My Mum always said I could even sleep on top of a flagpole; but I think the most difficult time will be about 3am if I waken. When I did the Sleepout last year I slept from when I went to bed at midnight to about 5.30am. Last year I was in the fortunate position where I was able to go home and have a shower before I went to work (I was in no hurry to get to work and being the ‘boss’ I could get to work when I arrived) whereas this year because I have gone back to teaching (Yidarra Catholic Primary School) and will be going from the WACA straight to school to have my shower. It shall be interesting to see how I get through the day? But this will be a good example for the children to demonstrate to them that life is not simply about having creature comforts at my fingertips and reality is we need to help others in our community.
What about hygiene needs? Are you nervous at all about getting out of your comfort zone? What’s the weather forecast in Perth for Thursday?
I enjoy camping, so roughing it for one night is not going to be a problem. I shall have a shower before I go and one the following morning so there are no problems there.
I am not nervous about getting out of my comfort zone. I think one actually grows when you are put into situations where they are out of your comfort zone.
The forecast is for rain but I am happy about that as that will mean the night will not be as cold. In fact people were saying that they hoped it wasn’t wet and my reply was that I hoped it was as that way it would be warmer. We will be able to sleep under any shelters at the WACA.
Are you doing the Rise to the Challenge with anyone else? Will you have a friend (or partner) or snuggle up to?
I will be doing the challenge by myself so I will just have to make sure that I have a warm sleeping bag.
What’s the biggest challenge that you will face do you think?
I think the biggest challenge will be after the event. It really does give you a different perspective to life when you get just an inkling of what others experience. The night at the WACA is quite artificial really, as we are safe (those on the streets are not) I will have a shower before and after the event (unlike those on the streets). I will be able to choose what I have to eat; I will be able to choose from a wide selection of clothing to wear. Many would say that life is unjust; I agree, but I can make a difference simply by being involved on the night.
The majority of the work is done by a few (the organisers); some of the work is done by a few (CEO’s) but the most significant part is done by the masses (donations). This is not something that can be done by a single person. WE CAN ALL make a difference by the choices we make.
What do you plan or hope to do with the insight you gain from this experience?
I hope to enlighten others who have not previously been involved in the Sleepout. Relatively speaking I am just a little fish in a big tank but I can make a difference simply by being involved.
If readers would like to support you and the cause, how can they donate?
What 3 tips can you give readers to lead a flourishing life?
My strongest tip would be is to follow your passion, as life is too short. Sometimes you may feel that you have to make a career choice to assist someone close to you but don’t make it your lifelong reality as it will have an adverse effect on you.
Give, give and give some more (whether it be time or money)
Step outside the box; don’t be afraid to take a risk. Believe that if you think you can, you can.
To get involved in Vinnies CEO Sleepout and to find out more, visit www.ceosleepout.org.au.
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