Eveline House appoints Student AmbassadorApril 18, 2023
A former student of Eveline House in Devonport has been appointed its inaugural Student Ambassador.
Eveline House is one of several Youth2Independence (Y2I) facilities that provides accommodation and wrap-around supports for young people aged 16-24 who have been homeless, or who are at risk of becoming homeless. It is managed by Anglicare Tasmania on behalf of Homes Tasmania.
Rowena, pictured above in 2018, called Eveline House home between 2018 and 2020. Now 25, she lives in independent, stable accommodation in Devonport with her three-year-old daughter. She works casually so that she has time to focus on her family, volunteers for organisations in her local community and enjoys the company of a close circle of friends.
As well as a safe roof over her head, Eveline House provided Rowena with a strong support system of trained and caring professionals and a friendship group.
“The support I received at Eveline helped me to branch out as a person,” she reflects. “I worked for several employers and became a manager. I ended up travelling as well. I learnt a lot of strategies that have helped me to become a responsible and independent adult. And I’m really grateful that my daughter’s godparents are friends I made while I was at Eveline.”
Rowena remained connected with Eveline House after moving out and regularly helped at social events held on site for the students. Several months ago the Anglicare team decided to create a new role for a former student to act as a mentor for current students, and Rowena immediately sprang to mind.
“Rowena has the ability to inspire and empower other young people to follow in her footsteps,” says Anglicare Youth Development Coach Christian Benton. “We’re very excited that she is our first alumni ambassador.”
Rowena says she looks forward to sharing her story with the young people at Eveline and encouraging them to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the Y2I program.
“I’ll also use my personal experience to become a sounding board for students who are presenting ideas to the Student Representative Board,” she said. Student Representative Boards were recently set up at each Y2I facility to give students a formal voice on how Y2I is offered. Anglicare also plans to appoint ambassadors at the other sites it manages during this year.
Last month as part of a training program for her new role, Rowena attended a conference that explored the use of the Advantaged Thinking model in Y2I programs. Advantaged Thinking nurtures students’ talents by tapping into their personal strengths, goals and aspirations as they move through education and into employment, and become active citizens in their local communities.
“I like giving back to my community – it’s an enriching experience. To be able to help an organisation that helped me when I needed it most, it feels good.
Anglicare manages Eveline House (Devonport), Thyne House (Launceston) and Trinity Hill (North Hobart). It will also manage a new facility that is under construction in the Hobart central business district.
The Youth2Independence program is offered to 16-24 year olds who have been homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. They need to commit to participating in education and training, employment and gaining independent living skills.
If you or someone you know is interested in this program, please make an initial enquiry with Housing Connect on 1800 800 588. Check this webpage to find out more about what is required of young people entering the program.
Youth Homelessness Matters Day
Youth Homelessness Matters Day is held around Australia on April 19. You can sign a petition here that calls on the Federal Government to develop a standalone National Child and Youth Homelessness and Housing Strategy.