News

A lonely life living on a park bench in Rocky for 11 years

HOME AT LAST: Rockhampton man Ian Gooda and Cr Rose Swadling sit together in perfect harmony, taking up a quick opportunity to smile for the camera. The pair are at the Rockhampton Homeless Connect event.Austin King / The Morning Bulletin
HOME AT LAST: Rockhampton man Ian Gooda and Cr Rose Swadling sit together in perfect harmony, taking up a quick opportunity to smile for the camera. The pair are at the Rockhampton Homeless Connect event.Austin King / The Morning Bulletin Austin King

IAN Gooda describes the 11 years he spent living on a Kershaw Gardens park bench as lonely.

One blanket is all that kept the Rockhampton man warm at night. He used one towel to cover his, at times icy, park bench bed, which hardly comforted him.

The morning newspaper kept him company.

That was his life every day for 11 years.

Ian said he chose to escape and live in the open because he didn't want to be confined to four walls.

It's a decision he regrets.

"I didn't want to live life like this, homeless, carrying around a backpack with a blanket and a towel ... that's all I had," he said.

Ian lived the first nine years of his vagrant life as an orphan, before his foster family, the Orams from Baralaba, took him under its wings.

He said the family was good to him, providing him basic essentials, a stable home to live. He attended St Brendan's College at Yeppoon.

After that, when he decided to live at Kershaw Gardens, things turned pear shaped and he became caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty.

"One time I didn't eat for a whole week," he said.

"I've survived floods and hot, scorching conditions and it's something I don't want other people to consider if they have fallen on hard times.

"I was robbed three times while I was sleeping at Kershaw Gardens. Some young guys took all the money I had."

Yesterday his life took a U-turn.

Rockhampton Regional Councillor Rose Swadling helped him find a permanent home in North Rockhampton.

Ian met up with Cr Swadling at yesterday's Homeless Connect event at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

He sported a new, warm jacket, a few other necessities and he managed to tuck some hearty winter food into his belly before he left the Robert Schwarten Pavilion.

Topics:  homeless man, kershaw gardens, st brendan's college




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Seeonee Park controlled burn monitored

Controlled burn at Seeonee Park.

Three units monitoring stages and blaze is within containment lines

Dozens of jobs available in Central Queensland right now

Jobs board graphic.

LOOKING for work? We may be able to help you right now

CQ Mega Lifestyle Expo delivers all the region has to offer

THIS WEEKEND: Catrina Trail said she had found putting together a mega expo both highly challenging and rewarding.

The three day expo has over 140 exhibitors

Latest deals and offers

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked