Christian Wilkins, the son of Nine’s entertainment host Richard Wilkins, says he has a new appreciation for his privilege after living “homeless” on the streets of Melbourne.
As part of an SBS documentary series Filthy Rich and Homeless, Wilkins spent 10 days experiencing life on the street.
"The isolation of the people who experience homelessness every day is overwhelming," he told The Daily Telegraph. "It made me acknowledge how lucky I am."
Wilkins was stripped of his ID, mobile, money and was given used clothing and a sleeping bag.
"My dad was especially nervous," Christian said. "He was down in Melbourne one day and he was contemplating walking around the streets trying to find me."
The series aims to raise awareness about the plight of Australia’s 100,000 homeless population.
Along with Wilkins, the series also features rich and privileged Australians such as millionaire Tim Guest, the daughter of boxing champion Jeff Fenech, beauty entrepreneur Jellaine Dee, and pub baron Stu Laundy.
Wilkins says he left the documentary with a newfound understanding of the difficult life of homeless people. He says at one point he “broke down” and frantically used a pay phone to turn to his mum, Richard's ex-wife Michelle Burke, for help.
The aspiring model said most of all he takes comfort in his family for their acceptance and love.
"It's insane how some of us just seem to be lucky."
Filthy Rich and Homeless premieres on SBS on 27 June at 8.30pm.