Mayor Clare Stewart and councillors Amelia Lorentson and Karen Finzel at Zonta's International Women's Day breakfast.
Mayor Clare Stewart and councillors Amelia Lorentson and Karen Finzel at Zonta's International Women's Day breakfast.

Noosa’s homeless women in spotlight of special breakfast

A Noosa International Women’s Day gathering been given an insight into the plight of the homeless who can often be troubled young girls through to older women impacted by relationship breakdowns.

The Zonta Club of Noosa’s Boathouse restaurant breakfast was told firsthand this week how Sunny Street healthcare outreach clinic founders Dr Nova Evans, head of nursing Sonia Goodwin and their teams are helping give the Sunshine Coast’s vulnerable a voice.

Dr Evans said while homeless men account for the largest homeless demographic, girls and younger women comprise the second biggest group of patients, many as young as eight.

She said some older patients have not seen a doctor for over 30 years.

“We are acting to change the stigma over homelessness and trying to get our patients back into mainstream health,” Dr Evans said.

“We started with a medical model, but soon realised people wanted to be heard more than anything.

“We now encourage a patient-led, conversation-based model of care,” she said.

The Zonta International Women's Day breakfast at the Noosa Boathouse this week.
The Zonta International Women's Day breakfast at the Noosa Boathouse this week.

There gathering, which included Mayor Clare Stewart and her two colleagues, councillors Karen Finzel and Amelia Lorentson, was told are 1600 homeless with the main causes poverty, unaffordable rents, and family violence.

The Noosa council have a community support page on their website listing various services available for people who find themselves in this position. https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/community/community-programs/social-services-hub

Hosted by ABC radio presenter Annie Gaffney the morning celebration of women’s empowerment heard Zonta president Margie Fisher describe projects like Sunny Street as extremely important to the community.

Ms Fisher said her club was pleased to be among the program’s supporters.

“We also provide support to a variety of other community projects including scholarships for girls at our local colleges,” Ms Fisher said.

The breakfast was also addressed by two Good Shepherd Lutheran College students Natasha Purcell and Katelyn Dyer about the issues facing women in local communities.


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