Our Brisbane services have expanded and we are contemplating additional outreaches. Growing support from many and varied individuals and organisations continues to amaze us. More importantly it enables Rosies, among other things, to supply our patrons at the Aspley caravan park with regular material support to add to our offering of friendship. Just the other day we received an email from a young man saying “I recently moved to Brisbane to study. I’ve been using your free food van services and they’ve literally saved me from starving. I heard that you might need volunteers. I’m not sure what that involves but I’d be happy to give it a go”. Our guess is that the friendship is as important as the food.

Students from years 4, 5, and 6 at St Eugene College put a play on for the rest of the school and charged them to see it. The money raised was donated to Rosies to support our Caboolture branch. What a creative way to make a difference! Thanks to Caboolture News for running a great story on our services which has garnered more local support like realestate.com offering to patch up our old van.


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.

Here are some of our Gold Coast volunteers receiving their certificates for long term service. Not all recipients were able to join us, but they were there in spirit!
The recipients have contributed nearly 500 years of service to Rosies. It was great to see Tom who recently retired from Rosies at age 91. Thank you doesn’t seem enough.

Ceremonies are being rolled out across all our branches during 2017.

Nicole is a 16 year old student at Somerset College. Nicole’s school project was aimed at developing her, somewhat lacking but much needed, skill of cooking. She decided that developing a cook book which went beyond toast and cereal would enable her to learn more about food and also learn the pleasure of cooking.

She said her task was to ”collect one recipe representative of each country around the world and then select one country to represent each letter of the alphabet.” She then challenged herself to cook each dish and let her family be the judge of her efforts. “It has been one of the best experiences of my life seeing how food can bring people together, both in happiness and, only very occasionally, in unintended disgust.”

Nicole again extended her task. She said, “I wanted to make an impact on my community with my book so I decided to sell it with the funds going to a charity which reflected my goal of helping others in need.” Nicole had some knowledge of Rosies through her school so did some further research and found that “Rosies sense of humanitarianism stood out from the rest”.

Nicole said, “I am hopeful that giving my time in creating this recipe book and sharing among others heightens the aspect of bringing people together and helping people less fortunate. To make a positive difference in this world is what I had hoped to achieve and through Rosies I was able to do that”.

For years Maureen Pagan ( who is 92 years young) has supported Rosies from afar. Living 400 kms from the nearest Rosies branch in Toowoomba, has not stopped this wonderful Rosies supporter.

She has donated dozens and dozens of eggs which she purchases from a free range egg farm. These are used at the weekly BBQ’s aligned with Rosies outreach. Our Toowoomba branch is quite unique in the way it has established partnerships with other community organisations and schools.

Each time Rosies has an outreach, a group is there providing the BBQ, using eggs supplied by Maureen. Special treats of home baked cakes and biscuits are delivered by her and are always a highlight with the patrons. She has also provided the financial support for the past two Christmas celebrations which allowed the Toowoomba branch to purchase much for the Christmas Day outreaches. Maureen also assisted with the preparation of the Carnival float by feeding the volunteers for several days while everyone worked to complete the float. It was great to have morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea all prepared for the volunteers so that they could concentrate on decorations for the float.

Maureen did not stumble across Rosies, her daughter Fay has been volunteering since Rosies began in Toowoomba in 2013. Fay is now one of the Branch Coordinators in Toowoomba. Rosies thanks Maureen, a great example of the different ways you can support Rosies.

In 2016 Rosies started outreaching in Annerley, south of Brisbane City, on Tuesday morning and evening. A group of friends, Hamish, Dan, Nicole, and Nicholas represent the new generation of volunteers joining
the Rosies family in Annerley. They offer their time while studying.

Dan remembers an encounter with a patron who had just found out about Rosies. She was celebrating her first Christmas in Brisbane after fleeing Bangladesh with her son. “Her story of seeking refuge in Australia was fascinating, and to me highlighted that every patron has a story to share, whether they’ve lived in Brisbane their entire life, or have recently arrived on our shores. The fact that they have come to Rosies means that life hasn’t been run of the mill, and I am glad that I have been there while they share their stories.”
“So far, the experience has exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect it to be as easy to engage with patrons as it has been, but it has been so enjoyable and rewarding talking to people from different walks of life.”

Nicole has been moved by the optimistic behaviour most people tend to adopt despite circumstances in life. “The majority of people that I have encountered are really friendly and optimistic, which I find quite uplifting, and always eager for a cup of coffee/ tea (and maybe a biscuit/ chocolate, or two).

30 years ago the first Rosies mission to the Gold Coast was established. Since then the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Iona College have supported Rosies spiritually, financially, and practically. It is my privilege to have followed a line of dynamic and capable chaplains. I am inspired by the work of Rosies and the commitment and joy of its volunteers.
Having been on outreach a number of times per week across Queensland over the last two years, I am conscious of how God weaves his presence through the sharing of friendship that is the mission of Rosies. God’s presence is one of hope.
Last month I was alerted to the sad death of Steve, 47 years old, who had been a patron for some period of his life. Steve seems to have come into the Rosies family and then gone, without leaving a footprint, but as is always the case with our patrons, he made friends. Steve’s parents commented that he “regularly ‘turned up’ for meals … sometimes barbeques, tea and coffee, etc which were provided by Rosies in such a caring, non-judgmental way.”
In their sorrow Steve’s family and friends have reached out by supporting Rosies so that others may be assisted. We share in the hope of eternal life for Steve and pray for his family and friends.

John David OMI
Rosies Chaplain

Friendship is at the core of Rosies mission. The spiritual heritage of Rosies proposes that friendship is not just a human encounter but also a divine, a spiritual encounter.
The Rosies prayer is an integral part of the outreach process. The prayer is about friendship: friendship among team members, friendship with patrons, friendship in and with God.
While Rosies was founded by and continues to be guided by the Oblates, it is recognised that not everyone shares the Christian faith. The two dimensions of human and divine encounter are not mutually exclusive which is testified daily by the friendships shared by all those in the Rosies family.

The Rosies prayer
O Jesus
this clearly expresses the faith that God is a
person who shares our humanity; individuals
may privately insert their own God or focus
Make our hearts so human
that others may feel at home with us
outreach is firstly a human encounter to which we bring human virtues, particularly respect for the inherent dignity of others and humility in our weakness
(make our hearts) So like Yours,
that others may feel at home with You
the spiritual foundation of Rosies recognises that
the divine is present in each of us, and
recognises that there is a power beyond ours that will transform us and our encounters with others
(make us) So forgetful of self
that we might simply become the place
where you and they meet
expresses our hope that we all share in the ultimate encounter of friendship with God, and that we are instruments of God, of a transcendent goodness
In the power of Your love and the joy of
Your friendship. Amen
this concluding statement acknowledges that
it is God’s power, His gift, that makes possible,
all we have and share.

Andrew O’Brien
Rosies General Manger