Rosies is a community of people sharing the Oblate spirit of daring. Inspired by the Gospel, Rosies reaches out to those most abandoned, to be present with them, offering them experience of community and belonging.
Make our hearts so human,
That others may feel at home with us,
So like Yours ,
That others may feel at home with you,
So forgetful of self
that we might simply become the place
where You and they meet
In the power of Your Love and the joy of
In 1975, Fr Tom Shortall OMI established Rosies in Victoria in the seaside town of Rosebud. In response to a large number of holidaying youth, he set up a coffee shop/drop in centre in a parish house. The centre became an important youth outreach in the parish, and was called “Rosies” after Rosebud.
The focus of this outreach was based on the Oblates’ dedication to the marginalised: there was very little in Rosebud for young people to do during the holiday season, and Fr Tom saw that these youth had been abandoned by the community. From 1975 to 1984, Rosies ran during Summer in Rosebud, to provide a safe environment for young people to celebrate and have fun.
In 1987, another Oblate priest, Fr Paul Costello OMI, started Rosies in Queensland. Rosies took a van out at the Gold Coast during Schoolies Week, providing support and friendship to school leavers. Volunteers provided tea and coffee and a friendly ear to young people, and also provided a transport service to help keep young people safe while they celebrated. During this time, Rosies came into contact with the local homeless population, and it was obvious to Fr Paul that Rosies was needed all year round, not just during Schoolies Week.
Find out more about the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
In 1990, Rosies operated as a series of full time teams. Each year, 12 young people lived in community for a full year, serving the homeless and people going through the court system. They lived and worked in a community at Dhalanbah on the Gold Coast.
As Rosies grew, expanding into Brisbane, this full time model was replaced by the model we use now, with teams of part time volunteers giving up a few hours a month instead of a full year of their lives. Currently, we have volunteers from Cairns and Mareeba in the North, to the Gold Coast in the South, Toowoomba in the West, and several locations in between. These volunteers operate street vans, visit adult and youth prisons, provide support to people facing court, and run youth programs.
Read our Chaplain’s reflections.
Patron in Chief His Excellency the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia has a long involvement with Rosies, having joined Mrs Leneen Forde AC as Co-Patron of Rosies in 2005.
On his appointment as Governor-General of Australia, Rosies extended an invitation to Sir Peter to deepen his ties with the organisation through vice-regal patronage. Sir Peter confirmed he wished to continue his close association with Rosies, an organisation he once characterised as ‘compassion with its sleeves rolled up’, and was formally elevated to Patron in Chief on May 7 with Mrs Forde continuing as Patron.
Sir Peter was the Chief of the Australian Defence Force from 3 July 2002 until his retirement on 30 June 2005. He served in the Australian Army in a variety of roles in Australia and overseas after entering Royal Military College of Duntroon in 1965.
One of his greatest achievements was his command of the international forces in East Timor from 1999 until the force was withdrawn in February 2000, for which Peter Cosgrove was appointed a Companion of the Military Division of the Order of Australia.
He was awarded the Military Cross for his service in Vietnam early in his career and has received several foreign awards including the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) and Commander of the United States Legion of Merit. Peter Cosgrove was Australian of the Year in 2001.
In October 2004, he launched the Rosies Tapestry Fund in commemoration of siblings Greg and Theresa Jackson. ‘I have been a supporter of Rosies – Friends on the Street from its earlier days and I continue to admire its work for young Australians at risk. I certainly wish volunteer organisations such as Rosies – Friends on the Street all the very best in carrying out their vital work with in our communities. God bless all at Rosies.’
In the following year she was accepted into the Haematology Department of the Royal Brisbane Hospital. She changed career paths, and in 1970, graduated from the University of Queeensland with a Bachelor of Laws.
She commenced work as a solicitor the following year at Deacons, Graham and James where she was later accepted as a partner. She was the founding President of the Queensland Women Lawyers’ Association, and in 1974 she represented Queensland in the Australian Women Lawyers’ Association.
During the 1970s she was also a member of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties. During the next two decades Leneen held many and various illustrious positions within the legal profession.
From 1990 to 1992, Leneen became the International President of Zonta International and at the same time convened the Queensland Women’s Consultative Council and chaired the Office of Economic Development for the City of Brisbane.
In 1992, Leneen Forde was appointed Governor of Queensland, a position she held until 1997.
In 1993, she was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia. (AC) In 1998, she was appointed Chair of the Commission of Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions. Leneen was the Chancellor of Griffith University until June 2015.
She has been Rosies’ patron since 1997. ‘That young people who are homeless know they will always be welcomed and accepted at Rosies provides a very important sense of belonging.’
Our Board of Management who are elected at the Annual General Meeting each November, provide Governance. Members of Rosies are able to vote and stand for membership of the Board. The Rosies Board has three sub committees – Finance & Risk, Marketing & Fundraising, and Faith & Mission – to provide expert advice and support.
John Scoble – Chair
A human resources specialist with over 20 years industry experience, John Scoble holds Bachelor degrees in both Law and Commerce. Co-founder of HR Advantage, John brings with him considerable skills in conflict resolution, governance and organisational effectiveness with particularly affinity for the not for profit sector. John was appointed Chair of Rosies’ Board of Governance in 2013.
Robyn Hunt – Treasurer
Robyn Hunt is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants operating an Accounting practice on the Gold Coast. Robyn has been concerned and involved with the marginalized and the poor all her life. She joined Rosies as a volunteer in 2005 and has continued to be involved on the Street Outreach in Surfers Paradise as Team Leader (2006), was Volunteer Trainer at the Gold Coast for around 7 years and initially was also involved in Prison Outreach. Robyn was appointed to the Board in 2009 and took on the role of Treasurer in 2011.
Fr Michael Twigg OMI – Director
Fr Michael grew up in Hemmant, Brisbane. He went to Guardian Angels and Iona College (oldboy) in Wynnum before studying at Monash University (B of Theology, B of Arts, Dip Ed & Masters Ed Leadership). He was ordained in December 1995 and became Rector of the Mazenod College in Victoria in 2010. He remained in Victoria until he became Rector at Iona College.
Lisa Eastment – Director
Lisa is the General Manager Mission Integration at Mercy Community Services. She has an extensive background in education. Lisa has advanced and significant operational leadership skills developed through 20+ years’ experience working at Board, senior management and operational levels in Government and Not for Profit sector leading key service areas.
Jennifer is a Senior Regulatory Analyst, specialising in financial services. She has been involved with Rosies since 2015 and in addition to her position on the Board, continues as a regular volunteer on Street Outreach in Surfers Paradise.
Mark Wilson – Director
Mark is the Managing Director and Proprietor of Northern Recruitment Executive Search & Selection, a specialist recruitment firm based in Brisbane and undertaking work throughout Australia, Asia and the Pacific region. He has over 30 years of experience in management. Mark and his family are committed Christians and practising Catholics eager to make a difference within the community.
Andrew O’Brien – General Manager
Andrew is an experienced executive with a particular interest in the services offered within the mission of the Church. Andrew has a strong interest in parish and community activities in his local area.
Rosies places our friends, patrons and many volunteers at the top of our organisational structure. Our General Manager leads Our people, including our State Office and Branch teams to provide support within our local community.
Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers. Click here if you would like to register your interest to become a volunteer.
Beenleigh – Lisa Hingst
Brisbane – Sarah Corbett
Caboolture – Helen Mangano
Cairns – Lyall Forde
Gold Coast – Kathleen Vlasic
Ipswich – Barry Rienecker
Logan – Margaret Harvey
Mareeba – Anne Serra
Sunshine Coast – Carolyn Wilson
Toowoomba – Fay & Jim Stein
Wynnum Manly – Bruce Corrie
Communication Officer – Christian Pradayrol
Coordinator Volunteer and Outreach Programs – Cath Lindsay
Financial Officer – Lee Mckasill