Jamey-Lee is a hairdresser and a generous soul. She gives her time and talent to our many friend on the street on the Gold Coast. She comes to our drop in centre with all her gears on the second Thursday of every month and offers free haircuts to our delighted patrons. Her impact is simply amazing! Plus, it offers yet another opportunity to engage with our friends through conversations. People like to share their stories and point of views on various topics while their getting their hair cut. For Jamey-Lee it is an eye-opening experience. She is very much appreciated by the Rosies family.
Some students and teachers joined our outreaches as part of our Student Engagement Program. As such a group of students from Iona College in Wynnum visited our branch in Cairns and took part to the local outreach with their teachers despite it was school holiday. They could have been involved in some more ludic activities over this period, but instead they chose to be present with Rosies in the midst of our friends on the street in Cairns.
In Brisbane our coordinator Sarah was invited for morning tea at the Delamore Retirement Community. Sarah explained what Rosies was all about to the residents who were thrilled to have a look at the van. Our coordinator also broke up a few stereotypes about homelessness. Earlier residents held a craft stall and raised some funds to support Rosies and our many friends on the street. Thank you all so much for your kindness and generosity.
“It’s great to see how much impact Rosies has by providing something as simple as friendship to those in need.”
One can never underestimate the power of a cuppa and a chat. Jamie experienced the full Rosies immersion and the richness of the many encounters she made that night. Conversations are diverse near the Rosies van , from amusing to moving; they can be deep or surprising. Our patrons know we genuinely care about the stories they share. We serve our fellow men and women knowing we are neither better not worse and this camaraderie brings comfort to our friends knowing the belong to our community.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the outreach but the few hours I spent on the street with the Rosies team were some of the most rewarding hours of my life so far. It was evident that the friendship we were sharing was hugely appreciated by those in need and I felt so humbled to be a part of a much larger movement that was so positively affecting the lives of others. I would urge anyone wanting to volunteer to reach out to Rosies! You won’t regret it.”
The Golden Key International Honour Society was established is a worldwide student organisation present in more than 300 universities. The QUT chapter started in 1996. This year students had the opportunity to come to Rosies as guest volunteers.
We are simply grateful Tony invited us to his graduation after his successful completion of 6 months of rehabilitation at Logan House. Tony lived with his addiction to alcohol and drugs for thirty five years. From Rosies he met people who cared. He accepted the hand offered to him and although he admits there is still a rough road ahead, he is forever grateful for the friendship and kindness received from Rosies.
On the Gold Coast Jaimey-Lee offers her time and talent as a hairdresser to groom our patrons on the second Thursday of the month at the Rosies drop in centre.
In Brisbane our coordinator Sarah was invited for morning tea at the Delamore Retirement Community. Residents were thrilled to have a look at our Rosies van. All were eager to find out more about what we do and who we serve. Residents held a craft stall and raised some funds to support Rosies and our many friends on the street.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Gayndah held a ‘Wheel for Rosies‘ Day to support Rosies and our many friends on the street. Students were invited to bring their bikes, scooters or skates to school, along with a gold coin donation. They rode and raced in the sport centre at lunchtime.
Meanwhile, John Paul College Middle School students hosted a fun run and sausage sizzle fundraiser for Rosies. The entire school also enjoyed a free dress day with money also donated to Rosies.
Rosies started at Schoolies in 1987 and we have been there ever since. We are there to provide water and an adult to talk to if someone is missing mum and dad. If you would like to join with Rosies to support our young people please fill out the form below .
Yesterday, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) join Rosies volunteers at Surfers Paradise to celebrate 30 years of Rosies Friends on the Street.
Sir Peter is Patron-in-Chief of Rosies and on a number of occasions has been on outreach with volunteers to share first-hand the friendship and hospitality this great organization provides to the marginalized.
“To mark 30 years since Rosies first started it seemed logical to celebrate where we first outreached, right here in Surfers Paradise” said Robyn Hunt. Robyn is a long-time Gold Coast volunteer, Board member and Honorary Treasurer. Robyn was vociferous in her praise of the Gold Coast community, “who have been incredibly generous and supportive for all those 30 years and it continues to grow each year.” Now 10 other communities across Queensland are following their lead.
The celebration will be relatively informal with a picnic in Eileen Peters Park, southern end of the Esplanade. One of the early youth volunteers, Theresa Sheppard is excited to catch up with old friends. “Rosies has been integral to my life and to many friendships I have – I can’t wait to catch up at Surfers”. Theresa was made a life member in 2015.
“My wife and I have supported Rosies for more than a decade, and have seen firsthand Rosies army of volunteers making a difference on the streets and off the streets.” said Sir Peter.
Rosies started as a youth to youth outreach at Schoolies in 1987. After a couple of years it saw the need for friendship and hospitality among the homeless and other marginalized people. It has now expanded to 11 communities across Queensland with 1,200 volunteers happily going on the street to share friendship. Over 230 teams outreach each month on the street or in the courts or in the drop-in centre or prison.
WHEN Theresa Sheppard’s mother banned her from Schoolies week the enterprising 17-year-old came up with a parent-approved plan to go anyway — she would volunteer with her church’s outreach program. So began Mrs Sheppard’s 30-year involvement with community charity Rosie. “During our first two years of Rosies we’d made contact with quite a few homeless people during Schoolies,” Mrs Sheppard said. “When the time came to go we said, ‘Goodbye, see you
next year’ until someone said ‘But what are we going to do — what if we don’t survive until then?’,” Mrs Sheppard said. It wasn’t long before Rosies grew from its Gold Coast base and today 1200 volunteers help 2500 homeless people across Queensland every week. The Gold Coast remains by far the biggest program with 200 volunteers manning the drop-in centre on the corner of Hicks and Davenport streets, Southport, supplying thrice weekly brunches in Baden Powell Park and driving the vans six nights a week.
Mrs Sheppard, who is from Brisbane but has helped establish Rosies across the state as both a volunteer and staff member, said as one of the original crew she was proud of where the charity was today. “We have always been about keeping the issue of homelessness at the front of people’s minds, not hiding it.” While many of the volunteers are still drawn from the Catholic Church, people from all walks of life find themselves wearing the recognisable red shirt and sharing a cup of tea with a person in need.
General manager Andrew O’Brien said while the scale of Rosies had changed dramatically over the years, the ethos had not. “Our primary mission remains to connect with people and share a sense of community and friendship. People come to us to feel a bit better about themselves. We accept them for who they are and where they’re at in life.”
This weekend, Rosies will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a picnic attended by the charity’s patron, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove. “My wife and I have supported Rosies for more than a decade, and have seen first hand Rosies’ army of volunteers making a difference on the streets and off the streets,” Sir Peter said.
Past and present volunteers and patrons of Rosies, and their families, are invited to the celebration. It will be held at Eileen Peters Park, Surfers Paradise, on Sunday, at 12.30-3.30pm.
The Rosies Newsletter is out now and available for download – click here for your copy!
In this edition…
We catch up with Tony after his successful completion of 6 month rehabilitation. We continue to travel our branches acknowledging our long service volunteers. Fr Bill OMI from Texas shares his experience as a Rosies guest in Logan.
August started with Homelessness Week; an opportunity for Rosies to raise awareness about Homelessness. There are currently 105 237 people homeless in Australia according to the latest figures from Homelessness Australia. The majority of these people do not sleep rough, but are rather referred to ‘hidden homeless’ people and range in age and demographics. There are children, teenagers, parents and grandparents. As part of the weeklong event Rosies seized the opportunity to engage with local communities.
On the Sunshine Coast Rosies took part to the Annual Homeless Connect at Nambour. The team interacted with the crowd informing people about how Rosies extends friendship to the community.
Many initiatives sparked from schools across Queensland to support Rosies and our many friends on the street. In Cairns St Mary’s Catholic College collected instant noodles cups and blankets, while our local coordinator Lyall engaged with students at the James Cook University – Volunteer & Study Abroad Expo.
In Brisbane our coordinator Sarah visited Lourdes Hills and San Sisto colleges both raising awareness about the issue related to homelessness and holding donation drives for the Brisbane branch.
In Burpengary St Eugene College held a very successful sleepout. “This year I have had the opportunity to be part of Rosies –Friends on the Street [Student Engagement] Program at Caboolture, this has certainly raised my awareness to the difficulties that come with being homeless” said Yr 12 Vice – Captain Ailish Roston.
Meanwhile, the Molloy Movers from St Columban’s College hosted their first Donation Day. For every item donated, students and staff received a token that could be traded in for a cup of hot pumpkin or tomato soup cooked by the students themselves. Thank you to all the participant.
Rosies Gold Coast had an early Christmas as our team received a beautiful new bench generously offered by JAL Joinery Pty Ltd. The bench replaced our old bench on which we serve our patrons. It is a lot nicer and far more welcoming now.
Rosies Sunshine Coast hosted their annual Christmas in July. Presents were donated and wrapped by Students from Iona College. The school organised more presents to be distributed at our Wynnum Manly outreaches. It was a simple but thoughtful gesture. Many of our patrons were moved by the idea of receiving each a personal present.
Rosies branch coordinators were very active visiting schools. Rosies Brisbane coordinator visited Lourdes Hill College in Hawthorn, Our Lady’s of the Assumption in Enoggera, and St James Catholic Primary School in Coorparoo. She shared her rich experience on outreach. Rosies Cairns coordinator Lyall picked up donations from St Mary’s Catholic College and St Gerard Majella School.
Rosies Beenleigh coordinator Lisa took part to Year 8 students’ sleep out , ‘Sleep in a Box’, from Windaroo Valley State High School. Students cleaned the Rosies van. They loaded it with donations including sleeping bags, instant coffee, and non-perishable food in return for a hot Milo and a chat. Lisa talked about Rosies and the people we serve in Beenleigh. The students had many well informed questions and at one stage the discussion ventured around to drugs and they listen in awe about some of our team’s street experiences. We talked about how some people choose to live on the streets and that some have no choice. One of our local patrons lives in a car – a man who had a successful profession and a wife and children until things went wrong. It was an eye opening experience for the students.
We have been overwhelmed by local act of kindness. Many knitting groups supplied us with their wonderful creations. Families generously donated many valuable outreach supplies. Businesses, such as the Australia Post on the Gold Coast, coordinated significant drives to support their local branches.