Sydney medical student gives hope to homeless

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 25-1-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



A first-year Notre Dame medical student will be spending the next four nights experiencing homelessness first-hand as part of a fundraising effort for Mission Australia. Sean Heinz will be commencing his first year of Notre Dame’s graduate-entry medical degree in early February. He currently works as an orderly at St Vincents Private Hospital and will be joined in his efforts by his colleague Peter Morsley, also an orderly, for the four days and nights on Sydney’s streets.

“The aim is to gain an insight into how we can improve the prospects for long-term employment amongst the homeless to help them get off the streets for good,” Sean said.

“We also hope to communicate the experience of homelessness to the wider community to remind us of how fortunate we all are.”

Sean and Peter are part of H.O.P.E. Australia - Homeless Opportunities in Psychology & Employment and will be documenting their experiences in a journal to be published on the Mission Australia website, as well as raising funds for the charity. 100% of the proceeds will be devoted to specific projects within Mission Australia that are concurrent with our aim of breaking through natural and artificial barriers to end the trend of long-term unemployment amongst the homeless.

Sydney Dean of Medicine, Prof Julie Quinlivan was thrilled to see a Notre Dame medical student making a difference in the community. “The selection committee for the medical school was overwhelmed with the well-roundedness of the student body selected for our first intake,” she said. Sean’s efforts this weekend demonstrate that our efforts to select students with high levels of concern for the community as well as their academic and extra-curricular achievements have paid off.”

Donations over $2 are tax deductible, and can be made by contacting Sean or Peter on (02) 93629597 or at hope.australia@yahoo.com.

Further information regarding this experience can be obtained from the HOPE Australia website

Media contact:

Fleur Edwards (02) 8204 4407 or 0439 906 254