The Gold Coast Annual Christmas Party was once again a great success. Patrons came from far and wide to join with Rosies to celebrate this special time of year. Special thanks to Nonna’s, Ardent Leisure (QI) and Gold Coast Community Fund for being the main sponsor. A huge thanks to Bekkie O’Connor for being our awesome singer who stepped in at only a few hours notice. A great time was enjoyed by all.
New life in Beenleigh. It started with our first Christmas outreach in 2016 and has blossomed in 2017. The support of Logan Village Family Favourites Bakery and the Sikh community along with Chatswood Hills Sate School and some wonderful families has been crucial in catering for a growing number of patrons. Bob, a regular patron, has taken on the role of photographer capturing the smiling faces of the young patrons receiving their gifts.
Our volunteers in Mareeba are a flexible bunch responding to shifting community dynamics. For the last half of 2016 they joined with other groups to support a new outreach venture in a different part of town. Now that is established, they are back in their usual spot near the skate park and the young patrons are pleased.
Rosies will be present at the annual Justice and Mission Expo on Tuesday 21 February 2017 at Iona College.
This year is focusing on “Respectful Relationships”. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12)
Rosies is looking to meet with the students and share with them some of our stories on the street.
…and it’s our birthday! Rosies is turning 30 this year. Read how it all started from Rosebud in Victoria to Schoolies on the Gold Coast in 1987.
Goodstart Learning in Wynnum and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Ipswich both led amazing supply drives to support their respective local Rosies branch. St Andrew’s Catholic College in Cairns (pictured) held their annual ‘In Da Hood’ Sleep Out fundraiser. St Columban’s College in Caboolture, San Sisto College and Loreto College Coorparoo in Brisbane, Silkwood School and Assisi Catholic College on the Gold Coast all have made a difference to support Rosies and our many friends on the street by raising funds for their local branch.
Whether childcare centres, primary schools, or high schools, without our wonderful student community support we would struggle to have the basics needed to reach out to our many friends on the street.
Rosies General Manager is delighted to advise that Honourary Life Membership has been bestowed to our Patron, the Honourable Mrs Leneen Forde AC, and our long-time friend, Don Barton OAM (both pictured). Honorary Life Membership, and Life Membership, are the highest Awards available to recognise the exceptional contribution of individuals to Rosies. The Board endorsed the new Honourary category, and awarded our inaugural recipients, at our recent Annual General Meeting.
Don has been a very generous friend of Rosies since our very beginnings. Don recalls he, and his late wife Ann, started supporting Rosies immediately after a talk at Ann’s local Parish Mass. Rosies is most humbled by Don’s continued and very generous support in loving memory of his wife Ann. Leneen joined us as our very first Patron in 1997. Currently the Queensland Catholic Education Chair, Leneen has had a distinguished career including Chancellor of Griffith University, Governor of Queensland, and Chair of the Commission of Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions.
Don and Leneen join our two Life Members, Bob Boardman, Rosies former General Manager, and Theresa Sheppard, an inaugural volunteer and long term friend. These Awards recognise that exceptional support can be directly helping those most abandoned or indirectly to enable Rosies to do what we do best. Thank you Don and Leneen. You are truly inspirational.
The Archdiocese of Brisbane held a prayer service for prisoners, their families, and all affected by the criminal justice system, including victims of crime, in November. Rosies promoted, and was there to support, the initiative.
Let us remember our many friends on the street, at the courts, and in detention centres. Many are spending the festive season on their own. Rosies is often the only social interaction some receive over Christmas.
We keep them all in our prayers.
Our Chaplain Fr John David is happy to offer mass for the soul of a loved one or anyone who needs prayers.
Send us your requests.
Vacen Taylor is an Australian author and a Rosies volunteer. She is also a screenwriter and emerging playwright. Vacen joined Rosies as part of our Street and Schoolies Safety Response outreaches in 2011.
“I have always believed that I should be more than the sum of my own world. I should actively support and assist others and not just those who surround me either through family or friendship networks. That means to support those people who are often strangers and sometimes the most vulnerable people in our community. That’s what drives my continual commitment to night outreach. It’s not so different for Schoolies Week.”
Our Rosies volunteer elaborates on the risks school leavers might face at Schoolies and why it is essential not to ignore the need to support them by taking part in the Schoolies Safety Response outreach.
Often this week brings a lot of first time experiences for young people who are away from their family. They encounter new and sometimes different emotions and situations. Caring, supporting, assisting those young people who reach out to us over this time is why I myself and our Rosies volunteers are so passionate about Schoolies Week. Another very important part of why I enjoy the Schoolies Response is because of the wonderful volunteers I work with each night over that week. They are the true essence of Rosies, the most important people within our organisational framework.”
The impact our wonderful volunteers make on outreach can sometimes be explicitly expressed.
“One story I remember so very fondly was supporting a young schoolie who wasn’t feeling well. He had experienced lots of new things, along with tiredness and missing his mum and dad and it had become all too much. I sat with him for a long while, listening mostly. When he started to feel better I wished him well and to stay safe. The next night he returned with a box of chocolates for me. He thanked me for looking after him. I always accept, with gratitude, such wonderful acts of returned kindness for I have always believed we must acknowledge those who go that extra distance to thank us. This acknowledgement completes the cycle of support and kindness, and we all feel good about our actions.”
Rosies has a long tradition of youth and student engagement, having been established in Queensland in 1987 as a youth mission. We continue to engage with youth and students through education, awareness, and volunteer programs, which play a vital role in prevention and support.
Oliver O’Callaghan (pictured) illustrated this engagment as a Year 8 student at St Laurence’s College in Brisbane when he decided to base his school presentation on Rosies. Here is a fresh view of how Rosies is percieved from a 13 year old…
“Rosies is run and operated by the work of its volunteers, through their love for neighbours, they reach out to those in need through the simple act of conversation and compassion without ever ‘boasting’ about their great work.”
Oliver stresses our identity as 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.
“Jesus always reached out to those who are less fortunate in his society and time. Likewise Rosies reaches out to the less fortunate by loving thy neighbour. Solidarity is one of the Catholic Social Teachings and is about ‘valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals’. Rosies demonstrates how we can all live the Holy Spirit by giving every person we meet a sense of belonging, community, and family. Rosies preaches ‘Love thy neighbour’. Rosies gives the gift of presence to those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or simply lonely through the most basic need of human contact.”
Oliver beautifully summed up what Rosies is all about.
“1 Corinthians 13:1-13 tells the exact story of what Rosies is trying to achieve in the tireless work of the volunteers. This is evident in the scripture reading that says ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.’ This ideal explains that love can change anything and is everything. In relation to Rosies, it is the love and community that comes with every drop of coffee”.
Thank you Oliver. It is students like you as well as our volunteers, and all our supporters, who make the difference to Rosies and our friends.