rosies-friends on the street Cairns branch

L-R Mitch Fitzpatrick, Rick Hauraki, Theresa Redgwell, Christine Alifraco, Three first year dental students, Bri Blackmore, Bill Matthews, Lyall Forde

Rosies Cairns branch features in this year CAIRNS DIOCESAN NEWS EASTER edition (you can read the article below). This year Rosies celebrates its 30th birthday.

Rosies was founded by an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest (OMI) in the beachside suburb of Melbourne called Rosebud, hence the name Rosies. Throughout  Queensland, we operate in many suburbs and towns, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, and Mareeba.

Our work is to be friends with those forced to live on the street, the homeless and poor. Here in Cairns we take hot meals and drinks out to them four nights a week. We have 160 volunteers who done night per month in 16 Teams. The volunteers come from all walks of life and this contributes to the Rosies family.

We also have nine high schools that participate as part of our School Engagement Program, these being Cairns State High School, St . Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch State College, St Monica’s College, Peace Lutheran College, TAS, St Augustine’s College, AFL Cape York Academy, and St Mary’s Catholic College. These Outreach schools are involved once per month and consist of four Grade 12 students plus a teacher and parents.

Along with our face-to-face outreach volunteers, we have a small army of “back room” supporters who cook hot meals for the volunteers to distribute. We also have a large group who make up sandwiches to cover the four  nights. It is also worth pointing out that for the last few years the Cairns Muslim Community has cooked 90 hot meals per month. Then in the wider community, we have many parish and community members who collect food for us and fundraise to assist our financial commitments.

All our volunteers are required to have a Blue Card and undertake the in-service (Initial Training Course) which is an introduction to our Rosies work in Cairns . The Rosies outreach room is located on the ground floor of Centacare and we are grateful to the Diocese of Cairns for making this available.