Firstly, I would like to say welcome to the 42nd Annual General Meeting of Gold Coast Youth Service Incorporated (GCYS). It is with some sadness that I write this year’s report as it will be my last as Chairperson of the association.
I have been an active member of the GCYS Management Committee for more than 25 years and fulfilled the role of Chairperson since 2003. Over this time there has been substantial expansion in the services we are now able to offer our community and I am very proud that I have been able to lead the organisation through these many changes and considerable growth.
After 36 years of volunteering on the Gold Coast the time has now come for me to retire. Over these years I have supported a number of organisations and my determination to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our community began in the 1980’s when I single-handedly lobbied the then State Government and successfully secured a 20-unit complex specifically designated to reduce homelessness on the Gold Coast.
I am also very proud that I have also seen come to fruition our 2017 proposal to the Department of Communities, Housing & Digital Economy’s Youth Foyer Initiative. The Youth Foyer opened in 2021 and is a purpose built complex containing 40 single occupancy self-contained units specifically for young people aged 16 to 25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. These young people will now have a safe place to gain essential and practical life skills, complete their education, and reach their goal of transitioning to live independently.