The face of Rosies in Cairns

These Rosies Cairns volunteers will receive a special mention for the 25th celebration, as the longest serving in Queensland.

SABRINA BECKER-MILLS
How long have you been involved with Rosies?

I joined Rosies Youth Mission (as it was called back then) in 2002. My daughter has been involved from a young age and as an adult, she continues to volunteer.

What keeps you involved?

At each outreach I meet new people from different walks of life. I enjoy talking with patrons over a cup of coffee and a bit of food. As a team leader I enjoy taking new volunteers and students out on outreach and listening to their experiences and thoughts of the outreach at the end of the night. How do you deal with seeing people struggle? It is hard seeing people struggle but we are limited to what we can do. We have resources where we can guide patrons to services, but it is still hard to leave. Over the years I have listened to patrons telling me their life stories and I often wonder where they ended up.

What is the most heartwarming thing that’s happened from being involved with Rosies?

Rosies has been volunteering in Cairns for 25 years and I am always amazed at the growing support from the Cairns community, which is evident in the growing number of volunteers and organisations that donate to Rosies, so we can provide a valuable service back to the community. A lot of the patrons thank us for coming out and spending that time with them, sharing a coffee and some food.


CARL SLOAN
How long have you been involved with Rosies?

This is my 16th year, you do one year as a provisional member.

What keeps you involved?

I love the Rosies philosophy of being there for those in need. It is a way of doing something rather than just talking about doing something. It is a way of being of service. We are all called to serve. In giving you receive. I love the sense of community in our team and the link between Rosies and the school communities, and the parish communities who support Rosies on an ongoing basis. Also, the wider community of Cairns is very supportive of Rosies’ good work.

How do you deal with seeing people struggle?

It is difficult but of course sometimes you can help in a practical way. Often a Rosies group will not actually know of their impact. Being there for the marginalised and treating them as dignified human beings is the most important aspect. Hence the the term Friends on The Street.

What is the most heartwarming thing that’s happened from being involved with Rosies?

I cannot think of one individual thing but often people stop and ask how can they get involved with Rosies and make donations of money on the spot. If a patron returns and has made it out of their difficulty, that is heartwarming and then you know that we have had a positive impact on that person


RICKY GUTHRIE
How long have you been involved with Rosies?

Since 2012.

What keeps you involved?
The volunteers and patrons are great company. I would not stop going. I feel like the patrons don’t have too many friends in the community, often complained about and looked down on by so many. I want them to know I value my time with them by being around. How do you deal with seeing people struggle? I cope fine these days, I’m used to seeing the hardships. If something shocks me I probably shed a tear on the drive home.

What is the most heartwarming thing that’s happened from being involved with Rosies?

I had some very appreciative patrons but one woman comes to mind for me. She had been beaten and strangled so badly she could only swallow rice. I tried really hard to find her a bed as it was her first few days on the street. She couldn’t go home. Services had been cut and all beds were full at that time but she was still incredibly grateful. She asked me if I was cold just wearing a T-shirt! It’s sometimes hard to leave the patrons, you wish you could do more.