Home » Anglican students advocate for homeless dignity

Anglican students advocate for homeless dignity

Daniel Bouwmeester    February 22, 2023    3 min read   
Year 12 students (top) and Year 6 School Leaders (right) hand donated noodle meals to Rosies Friends on the Street. Images: TSAC.

For the third year in a row, senior students at The Springfield Anglican College (TSAC) have organised a school-wide food drive to support local residents experiencing homelessness.

On the school’s “Homelessness Day of Action” – on Friday, February 17 – the Year 12s galvanised fellow students across both Primary and Secondary Campuses to collect and donate more than 1,800 instant noodle meals for people in need – a record result for the school.

Mr Steven Morris, Principal, praised the students for rising to the challenge to deal with such an important issue.

“For the third year, The Springfield Anglican College will be donating hundreds of individual meals with community partners – including College partner Rosies Friends on the Street, who are focussed on helping people get back on their feet,” Mr Morris said.

“Our senior students have been valuable in working with student leaders on both Primary and Secondary Campuses to raise awareness of homelessness in our local Ipswich community.

“We believe everyone deserves access to a warm meal and a kind word, regardless of their living situation.”

Since 2021, the students have donated almost 4,000 meals to local charities.

According to recent data, the homeless rate in the Ipswich region is approximately 35 in every 10,000 people.

The Homelessness Day of Action is an initiative embedded within the College’s Year 12 Health class, whereby senior students are required to develop an action strategy that empowers their fellow students to be advocates for those experiencing homelessness.

More than 1,200 TSAC students took part, dressing in casual clothes for the day, and donating packs of cup-a-noodles for the drive.

This food staple was selected as it can be stored for lengthy periods of time, can easily be distributed, and only require hot water to turn them into meals for homeless people and struggling families in the local community.

“Students will use the data collected from the Day of Action and create an action research report to form part of their Health studies,” Mr Morris explained.

The Springfield Anglican College ethos centres on faith, honour, and service, he said.

Rosies is a Queensland-based charity with two local branches, both in Ipswich. Its motto is ‘Friends on the Street’, emphasising the commitment of volunteers to care for people in a friendly and dignified manner.

Meanwhile, Queensland Council of Social Services CEO Aimee McVeigh said it is vital that the state government continues to build more social housing in the Ipswich area to help manage the homelessness issue – exacerbated in recent years because of the 2022 floods, and the current costs of housing and living.

“Every Queenslander deserves to have a safe and secure roof over their head, especially children and teenagers, who are disproportionately in need of homelessness support in the Ipswich region, compared to elsewhere in Queensland.”

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.