Bondi student has called on the public to pay her overdue rent

A Bondi student has started a crowdfunding page to help pay her rent.

A self-confessed former party girl turned medical student wants you to pay her rent.

Bondi student Lauren Hellner has fallen behind $2900 in rent payments, and after receiving an eviction notice and being told her Centrelink payments will cease, she’s started a GoFundMe page to ask the public to pay her rent.

“Guys, this little family is in big trouble,” she wrote on GoFundMe.

“We have been here for five years and while I have been studying and working toward becoming a doctor I have been accumulating rental arrears.

“I feel like a self-entitled idiot asking and starting this page but Austudy have given me a week’s notice cutting off my payments as I have reached my allowable time for undergraduate study. Now I have received an eviction notice.”

Ms Hellner was raised in Vaucluse, a wealthy suburb in Sydney and, with her two purebred Italian greyhounds, has enjoyed a glamourous Bondi lifestyle. Her Instagram page shows her modelling designer activewear, enjoying a superfoods diet and, when not studying, spending lazy mornings in bed. The day before she made her public plea, she photographed herself in a brand-new pair of white trainers.

And although she’s “embarrassed and ashamed” to be asking the public for money, she says she has no one else to turn to. Her parents died when she was 16 and she has been supporting herself ever since.

So far, her GoFundMe page has raised $2635, with one donor giving her $1000.

But her plea has also come with waves of criticism.

“It’s the same for everyone. Rent is very high in the eastern suburbs. You’re obviously a smart girl and should know that you need to pay your rent first and everything else next,” wrote single mother Michelle Collins.

“You would have been [on] tax-funded handouts while studying, and now looking for more hard working persons to again fill your pockets," wrote Col Broomie. “People sadly are in a far worse situation sleeping in the streets … You might have to face the fact that your lifestyle is no longer affordable and re-evaluate your goals.”

Ms Hellner, who is also a trained actor, said she fell behind when a job fell through and she’s been selling everything she owns while frantically applying for work. She also said that she regularly does volunteer work at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.

To achieve her dream of becoming a doctor, Ms Hellner said: “Short of prostitution I will do anything.”

It seems her public plea has paid off in more ways than her rent being subsidised, as Ms Hellner now has a new job after being offered three in the past few days.

Although Ms Hellner has copped flak for her public request for support, she has been “totally blown away by all the community support and spirit”.

And, while there have been quite a few detractors, not everyone has been so critical.

“I know the exact feeling you are going through and it's a terrible one,” wrote Sarah Fuentes.

“Let’s face it – it wouldn’t take long to get to $3000 arrears living in Bondi,” Le Wylde said, adding: “Good luck.”

Would you help pay Ms Hellner’s rent? Is the backlash harsh considering she’s supported herself since she was 16? Or is Ms Hellner’s situation one for which to feel little pity? Would you ever consider crowdfunding your rent or other repayments? Is there a way this outlet could be utilised to help those in need?

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    COMMENTS

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    jackie
    10th Jul 2017
    10:18am
    I think good on her and either the government put a stop to the exploitation of renters or provide them with more rental assistance. If the government doesn't mind funding millionaire landlords than it shouldn't mind funding the poor. It makes me sick walking past the many homeless sleeping on cold public footpaths this winter. This is no longer Australia.
    Jacka
    10th Jul 2017
    11:12am
    I think she should tie a large rock around her neck and walk out into the Bondi Surf. Yet another bludgers of this undisciplined unrealistic generation who think life's a joke and expects a free ride. If you can't afford Bondi move to Western Sydney and live in a tent. Get a job you bludgers. Now we will hear from the tree huggers. Cheers Jacka.
    Kathleen
    10th Jul 2017
    12:03pm
    Tree huggers? What about people who say dreadful things and expect no reaction! You have proposed someone taking their own life albeit in jest!
    People are now writing unimaginable things on Facebook and elsewhere. Hating is unproductive except to cause grief.
    I would rather hug a tree than be the vehicle of hate and discrimination.
    Pamiea
    10th Jul 2017
    11:16am
    One cannot help but feel a bit sorry for this young lass but buying new sneekers when in debt! I hope she gets out of the mess she's in and can stay put.
    FrankC
    10th Jul 2017
    3:33pm
    Yes, that was a ridiculous thing to purchase, since they cost the greedy price of upward of $100. I think she should have got her priorities in order before getting this far behind in rent. As Jacka suggested, move from the high priced rental area to one that you can afford, before any of life's little luxuries (new trainers !) which you should not chase now.
    rtrish
    10th Jul 2017
    11:26am
    If this young lady is genuine, then she needs some financial advice from one of the groups that teach people how to manage on a budget. Her "Bondi lifestyle" isn't helping. However, the cynic in me notes that the article says she is "a trained actor..." I suspect she is fleecing everyone with no compunction.
    shirboy
    10th Jul 2017
    11:40am
    University students do need to have a job to survive & high rents certainly put a strain on their budgets. Also the the extremely high bond for University tuition is horrible. I believe we can thank Bob Hawke for that. (he would have had free tuition).Young people nowadays do not have it easy. Some will be forced to rent for the rest of their lives.
    Eclair
    10th Jul 2017
    1:01pm
    Whitlam introduced free tertiary education in the 1970s and as Bob Hawke was at Oxford in the 1950s I think his education was funded by hard work and scholarships. All parties agreed the free system was no longer sustainable and Hawke introduced HECS fees of $1,800. It was John Howard who started the rot by upping it by 40%. But back on the subject, I checked out her facebook page and found lots of selfies but none with a book and no mention of study. Hard to knock someone who lost their parents at 16 and loves animals . . . but i couldn't afford to live in Bondi.
    Kathleen
    10th Jul 2017
    12:11pm
    Studying medicine is not part time. It is extremely difficult. To stay in year after year is extremely competitive and most cannot keep up with the demands of study and internship. I would cut her some slack and give her the benefit of the doubt. She may be paid to model clothes and shoes or she may be a secret shopper. We don't know how she came by the sneakers. We also do not know if this is a real person or someone put up to challenge the public's reactions. Why are we being asked to judge? We do not know the facts or at least do not know all of them. It is up to people to choose to donate or not so if not interested then rather than criticise walk away and leave her alone.
    AutumnOz
    10th Jul 2017
    12:40pm
    Good comment Grandma Kathleen22
    Troubadour
    10th Jul 2017
    12:58pm
    Fair comment - but one thing she should do (if this is genuine) is move from her expensive Bondi abode and lifestyle and live a simpler life until she graduates.
    Also check in with a group who help people sort out
    their finances.When I was younger - friends who were training to be Drs. lived a very frugal life style.
    ex PS
    12th Jul 2017
    2:51pm
    I'm just not sure whether i would trust a person who can't manage her own finances to manage my medical solutions. Maybe it would be a good thing if she didn't graduate.
    I don't have a problem if anyone wants to help out, but I can think of a lot of other people who are more deserving.
    KSS
    10th Jul 2017
    12:24pm
    "I feel like a self-entitled idiot...." and so she should because clearly she is. Not only has she flaunted her 'lifestyle' all over social media whilst apparently using taxpayer funded Austudy now she expects people to be taken in by her flagrant emotional blackmail of being both a Doctor in training and a volunteer at the Children's Hospital.
    I'm pretty sure that many other student doctors are also finding it tough but are not living the lifestyle this woman is. I'm glad she has got a job and hope she will be refunding those who pledged the money.
    KB
    10th Jul 2017
    12:49pm
    I do not know if this is genuine. In all honesty there are a lot of good hard working decent young people who are doing it tough and studying and paying their way through university.They should be given more help.If her rent is overdue then has options such as selling goods to pay the rent or ask for am payment plans so she cam pay back her overdue rent/It it sounds like she needs to learn to budget.
    Not a Bludger
    10th Jul 2017
    1:02pm
    If this is a physician of the future the med school she "attends", the HECS system and Centrelink have all gone barking mad.

    Incidentally, aren't fools and their money soon parted!
    Triss
    10th Jul 2017
    4:21pm
    Yes, but nobody ever said where the fool got his/her money in the first place.
    Old Geezer
    10th Jul 2017
    1:16pm
    Good on her for doing something to fix her problem not just walking away and leaving her landlord with her debts. Should be more people like her.
    KSS
    10th Jul 2017
    1:24pm
    Not so easy to walk away when you have "two purebred Italian greyhounds" and a profile on social media!
    Old Geezer
    10th Jul 2017
    1:56pm
    I remember I had a tenant that earned $300,000 a year but couldn't pay his rent. Court agreed to him paying $100 a week for a rent of $400 a week which left me out of pocket. But he even failed to do this and was evicted by the court. Luckily I have bad tenant insurance to cover such instances. So it aint that hard to walk away even with two dogs and a fancy profile.
    Anonymous
    11th Jul 2017
    6:18am
    Surely you don't expect anyone to believe that crap, OG? What was he renting from you? A multi-million dollar palace? And no court would allow someone earning $300K a year to pay $100 a week. What a loads of nonsense! Really, your posts get more and more absurd! Thank heavens you aren't thinking of going into politics and influencing yet more STUPID decisions that will wreck this nation.
    Old Geezer
    11th Jul 2017
    10:33am
    Just goes to show Rainey that you really have no idea what goes on in the real world. Unfortunately that really happened to me and just shows how out of touch the courts are with the needs of landlords verses tenants.

    Maybe I should think about going into politics to make a better future for my kids and grandkids.
    Anonymous
    11th Jul 2017
    1:21pm
    Please don't. We have more than enough self-serving, greedy lying frauds in there already.
    bandy
    10th Jul 2017
    2:13pm
    Itseemsto me a growing trend get into financial trouble go on face book etc & ask people to pay your debts.I think it is a shame but most of us have to look after ourselves.
    KSS
    10th Jul 2017
    2:37pm
    And not only if you are in financial trouble bandy. My free local daily newspaper has become more and more a 'begging bowl' with every single day someone with a medical issue themselves or sick kids are asking for the local community to give them money for this or that - more often than not for unproven overseas experimental treatments. I get that people will clutch at every passing straw when they or their kid is sick but it is getting beyond a joke when every time you open the paper there is yet another 'good cause' with its hand out.

    The likes of Go Fund Me started off with people looking for funding of business ideas but has now degenerated into a begging bowl for whatever one wants to do and whatever lifestyle needs funding.
    Old Geezer
    10th Jul 2017
    4:24pm
    There was one the other day set up to buy a woman a birthday present. The sting in the tail was the person who set it up got 25% commission form the purchase of the said birthday present. One way to make money I guess.

    10th Jul 2017
    2:45pm
    This is a gee-up isn't it?
    Sau
    10th Jul 2017
    3:58pm
    “I feel like a self-entitled idiot"? Leon Della Bosca you are ... there is no way any self-respecting person would pay your rent for you. Goodness me, I've never heard of you let alone know you. Talk about nerve? Go away, I don't want to hear from you ever again. You're noise pollution ... Joseph Foster
    chrissie
    10th Jul 2017
    4:23pm
    Suggest the greyhounds get sold. Also perhaps she could get a job stacking shelves or actually working instead of trying to bludge off others. I also wonder what sort of doctor she will become, if in fact, this is what she is actually studying for. It seems to me a big CON and I am surprised YLC published it.
    Rosret
    10th Jul 2017
    5:11pm
    If she can fund her education by asking the public when she has no parents then I guess its no different than having our kids asking us for help as they go through Uni. Yes, she is used to money and living in a very expensive suburb but she is using her initiative - so hey - go for it. I am sure she will pay it forward one day. It might be your life she saves.
    Anonymous
    11th Jul 2017
    1:18pm
    What happened to Mummy and Daddy's money? They apparently had plenty. Her ''crying poor'' doesn't ring true to me. She's extravagant and wasteful, by her own admission. She doesn't need donations. She needs a kick in the pants and to be told to wake up and learn responsibility. Have some pride, ethics and integrity.
    MD
    10th Jul 2017
    8:18pm
    Perhaps this could be another case of (possible) "Fake News" ? Myself aside, surely it also has others wondering whether YLC sought to ascertain the veracity of this poor defenseless lamb's claim ? Is the current dilemma - for members of the modern generations, many of whom are self confessed consumers to the max - how to have it all now and (maybe) worry about how to pay later ?

    Studying intermittently for the medical profession; whilst pursuing dreams and schemes, because government funds are a sure thing, is surely a recipe for disaster. Perhaps, once qualified, this fallen angel will extend equal magnanimity to poor patients who cannot afford the treatment that she provides.
    Bondi rental, new slippers fit for the princess, designer mutts and maybe the odd jaunt here or there - Bali, Maldives or perhaps it was just a quick shopping trip to Hong Kong - compliments of both the landlord and an overly generous welfare system. Will the next 'Fund Me' request be to pay down a maxed-out credit card(s) ?

    Sorry princess, you've made your bed and now it's time to lie in it and do whatever it takes, "short of prostitution", to get yourself out of it.
    Jezemeg8
    10th Jul 2017
    8:38pm
    I'm sorry for this girl (if she is indeed genuine), but really living in Bondi is expensive, why if she's reliant on Government benefits is she living there? I know several people of all ages who're struggling to meet expenses, but none live in such expensive accommodation. I've learned through past experience NOT to just hand over money to help, but I do offer my assistance to help make a workable weekly budget for expenses (including helping to barter for a repayment scheme with her current landlord), and lessons on how to cook nutritious meals on a budget. There is no way to control how anyone spends a 'donation' after all, which may or may not be used for the purpose the donator intended.
    I'm not going to be drawn into criticizing her for having two greyhounds, they may or may not be pedigreed, they may well have been received after being retired from the racing game. In which case, the amount spent on getting them might not be as expensive as some people think.
    She claims to be a part time model and an actor, her 'expensive' shoes may have been the result of a modelling job, again I have no way of knowing, nor do I really care. What concerns me most is that this is yet another young person who has no idea of how to budget and live within her means. It's not an uncommon fault with many of all ages. I hope she seeks help to formulate a workable budget, finds accommodation that is more affordable for her while she finishes her studies, and remembers this experience when she does become a doctor and shows compassion for those of her patients who are struggling to pay for her services.
    Watto
    10th Jul 2017
    8:44pm
    So how much have you donated Rosret ??
    tj
    10th Jul 2017
    9:12pm
    Fake News
    Sau
    10th Jul 2017
    9:26pm
    Fake tan!
    LiveItUp
    11th Jul 2017
    8:06am
    This is one of the better causes on such cloud funding sites. If you have a dpare few monutes you may wish to educate yourself on what people ask money to pay for.
    disillusioned
    11th Jul 2017
    8:32am
    I was in a similar position some years ago, and got some casual work in group homes - it was tough for quite
    a while, juggling work and study, but I made it through and it made me more resilient. In-home carers and staff for group homes are always needed, and most places pay you while training you. It also knocks the "sense of entitlement" out of you, and the expectation that "someone else" will pick up the tab! Just sayin. . .
    Nanday
    11th Jul 2017
    11:12am
    In the past, people would ask relatives or friends for help. And then have to wear the consequences - which could be required repayment or at the very least a loss of regard in a family group and perhaps a feeling of shame, which might drive them to become self-sufficient. Now the crowd funding thing has made it possible for anyone to tell their sob story (or invent one) online and ask strangers to help. Then walk away with no obligation or stigma. It's this part of the story that disturbs me, as I have no way of knowing if this woman's real situation or whether she is telling the truth. The real discussion should be over why strangers feel compelled to donate.

    11th Jul 2017
    1:14pm
    I would not donate and I don't approve of this kind of abuse of a facility that should be used for more genuine needs. This girl is clearly irresponsible and should be forced to learn to manage her affairs properly. She will NOT make a good doctor if she can't manage her own lifestyle appropriately to keep up with rent. If the rent in Bondi is not affordable, move to a cheaper area. Find a small studio unit or board in a private home. There are plenty of cheaper options. It appears she had it too easy in childhood and has developed a sense of entitlement. She needs to come down to earth and understand that her rent is her responsibility, and GoFundMe is for people who have genuine needs arising from misfortune - like accident victims or poor people who need expensive treatment for serious or terminal diseases, or people who have to defend unjust legal charges and can't afford a lawyer. Abuse such as this will weaken the portal and reduce the response to those in real need.
    Old Geezer
    11th Jul 2017
    7:13pm
    She is as entitled to do this as much any of the people you mention Rainey. Talk about calling the kettle black.
    Anonymous
    12th Jul 2017
    11:25am
    OG, I would expect you to condone selfishness, as you clearly have no compassion for those who have a genuine need for public help after surviving real crisis.

    I didn't say she wasn't entitled to do it. I said her abuse of the portal will weaken it and reduce response to those in genuine need. Decent people prioritize support for those in our society who are most deserving of assistance. GoFundMe is a useful concept, but it's sad that selfish, irresponsible people risk reducing its effectiveness by their self-serving use.
    Old Geezer
    12th Jul 2017
    4:56pm
    GoFundMe is anything but useful. I recently got one that was raising money for the birthday of a person I know. The person organising it gets a 25% commission if the amount is reached. Yes it useful to make a nice profit but genuine need I don't think so.

    I just can't get over the number of causes for medical treatment for people that is free and can only wonder what the money is being used for.

    Next time you need a holiday Rainey why don't you try it out for yourself?
    Anonymous
    14th Jul 2017
    2:10pm
    Irresponsible and selfish users don't make the portal ''anything but useful'', OG. The portal concept is great. It has been used for some very worthy purposes. I stand by my opinion that selfish and irresponsible users weaken the portal and reduce its capacity to serve a worthy purpose. I am disgusted that some people condone selfish use, and excusing selfishness by pointing to other examples just shows that you have no integrity. Multiple wrongs do not make anything right. And no, I would never try it to raise funds for a holiday. That would be disgusting. I do, however, support using it to raise funds for medical treatment. It is rare for quality treatment for serious conditions to be genuinely free.

    A man I know was criticized for seeking help when his wife was being treated for cancer. Sure, her medical care was free. Household help, child care, transport to and from hospital, parking, etc. were not. There are all sorts of high costs associated with health issues that neither medical insurance nor government benefits cover.
    Old Geezer
    14th Jul 2017
    5:59pm
    Rainey that fellow should have been offered free household help as that is offered for people undergoing cancer treatment. He would also have had most of of his transport costs covered and been given a free parking sticker. So what did he want the money for?
    Anonymous
    15th Jul 2017
    12:43pm
    What rubbish, OG. That's total crap! Yes, he got SOME household help, but not nearly enough for his family's needs, and his transport and parking costs were NOT covered. Nor were those of his relatives who spent a small fortune visiting his sick wife in hospital.

    Mother's of chronically ill children are suffering major costs for parking at hospitals. Mothers of disabled children pay for all sorts of therapies, special care, and remedial education services that are not provided free but make a huge difference to their child's progress. These people NEED and DESERVE public donations, and GoFundMe is a valuable resource for them.
    Old Geezer
    15th Jul 2017
    3:31pm
    OK Rainey I'll set one up the next time someone in my family gets ill then. If those people deserve and need public donations then why not hop on the band wagon and get some help myself.

    11th Jul 2017
    2:26pm
    Get off your arse and get a job

    What a parasite
    catsahoy
    11th Jul 2017
    9:38pm
    RAPHAEL, maybe you could give her a job in the harem, just a thought,
    Anonymous
    11th Jul 2017
    11:49pm
    Good idea
    She would look good next to the Russian and the Moroccan and Mai Ling
    Come to think of it , the Irish lass is getting on in years . She be 35 next year . Time for some new blood
    Not Senile Yet!
    13th Jul 2017
    11:02am
    Fake Fake and just a Flake!
    Adrianus
    15th Jul 2017
    8:40am
    Very interesting reading the above responses to Leon's article.
    I see many don't want Ms Hellner's rent paid by others or themselves.
    So who's rent should we pay then?
    Very amusing to see socialists/communists apply the "fairness test." :)
    Fair Go
    9th Sep 2017
    5:11pm
    No I would not help fund her, as I am trying to live on an Australian pension. Would I be able to crowd fund to pay my electricity account? Let her make a few sacrifices.

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