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

'I just sat on the road and cried' - Mum reunited with missing toddler

Joshua McMillan gave his parents the fright of their life when he wandered off from their Zilzie Bay home

Zilzie Bay missing three-year-old found in a puddle

HEATWAVE: Rocky to reach 40+ degrees

Flushed man feeling hot in front of a fan

Now is the time to plan how you're going to beat the heat.

Local Partners

Eco yoga aims to heal both mind and body

Shelly took up yoga in her 20s on the Sunshine Coast on the recommendation of her GP and mentor June Canavan as treatment for anxiety.

New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

NITELIFE: Were you snapped out and about this weekend?

L-R Garry "Jonathan Hair” Smith and Isabella Higgins at the Ginger Mule. Photo Liam Fahey / Morning Bulletin

See who was out and about in Rockhampton over the weekend

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to the weekend

Check out the LEGO this week

Looking for something to do? There's plenty happening in the region

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!