Sharing with Friends March Newsletter

Read the Sharing With Friends newsletter for all the latest news & happenings.


Sharing with Friends 

March 2024

Hello friends!

As we are getting close to turning our first sod on the Darra site, Sharing with Friends Foundation gives a huge shout out to the probono organisations and individuals who are helping Sharing with Friends achieve its goal of building the first affordable co-housing residence for older women in Brisbane. 
It is also exciting to promote our fund-raising event being held at Victoria Park Ballroom, Herston, on May 8. We could not be more excited to announce that our guest is a well-known Brisbane author and Darra lad, Trent Dalton. 
We are also thrilled to announce and introduce you to our first five residents ready and excited about their journey into their forever homes later this year


Bring your mum, friends, family members, colleagues and join us for this very special fund-raising event.
Sharing with Friends is holding a Mother's Day luncheon to honor all the mothers and older women in our lives.
Our guest is Trent Dalton who, as a Brisbane author, has a deep understanding of his hometown and writes about homelessness from a deeply personal perspective and its impact across all ages.
We invite you to join us for a two-course lunch and refreshments and listen to Trent 'In Conversation' with radio host Cathie Schnitzerling.
There will be a special lucky door prize and you will be supporting Sharing with Friends in constructing our first affordable co-housing residence for five older women.
Date: May 8
Time 12pm - 3pm
Venue: Victoria Park Ballroom Herston (onsite parking)
Ticket: $200 pp

Can't Make It?
There is an amazing raffle prize of a Margot Mckinney designed Tanzanite and Diamond ring valued at $38,475.
There are many more exciting prizes to be won!!
Tickets $50 or 3 tickets for $100

Tickets for the lunch and raffle available via the website
Tables of 10 are available or register a table name for your friends to be seated together.
Please share this event and raffle with your friends.

Undertaking a new and innovative housing project has come with massive challenges needing the expertise of many organisations and individuals giving their time, knowledge, talent and skills to help develop a new concept in seniors co-housing in Australia.

We could not have come this far with plans to build this year without the incredible support and input from Architects Eloise Atkinson and John Deicke (Deicke Richards Architects). Legal support through Minter Ellison lawyers such as Matthew Glenn, Nicole Gordon and the many other lawyers who have given advice, developed legal documents and managed the sale of the land on which we are about to build. Their commitment to this project comes as a fitting tribute to their late Partner and mentor Ross Landsberg whose vision was to see this project come to fruition. Matthew Rolley from AECOM has taken the lead in our town planning needs. We now welcome Ownit Homes who have come on board as our building company and currently preparing the final quote and construction plans. 
Together, they work tirelessly with us in responding to every request and the never-ending questions we pose almost daily. We continue to walk alongside the Housing Older Women Movement as we advocate for the changes needed to allow greater flexibility in the housing space while the Zonta Club of Brisbane from which our foundation members came remains a huge supporter and advocate for our Foundation. We also thank the many individuals from our Key Advisors group and those about to join our journey as we begin building our first residence. 
We could not do it without you!

Choosing your neighbours .... the Impossible Dream?
Choosing one’s neighbours is a fundamental part of Sharing with Friends way of living. No-one joins Sharing with Friends co-housing communities without taking part in the 10-module Workshop series run by Adrienne Irvine, Anne Landsberg and Fran Stowers. At the end of each series, we ask the participants to “choose their neighbours”. In practice we ask: “can you find four other women from this group with whom you consider spending your retirement years”?
And they have!  
Meet our First Five residents pictured here recently with architect John Deicke reviewing the Darra plans.
From left: Robyn, Jenny, Barbara (Rhu) and Barbara.
Seated Cari and John.

What attracted these women to SWF?
We recently asked our First Five what it meant to be joining the Darra co-housing residence. Interestingly, the themes were very common. 
*For the first time they will have safe, secure and affordable accommodation for their future. 
"I've worked my whole life and I now find myself at age 57 facing the real possibility of joining the queue's of the "employed" homeless. I've virtually been priced out of the rental market and renting provides absolutely no long-term security for me which is terrifying". 
*They have made strong friendships within the group combating their fear of loneliness and hopelessness.
"Apart from housing security and knowing I will always have a roof over my head, I'm looking forward to co-living with my new friends - sharing lots of laughter and joy as we prepare meals together or potter around the garden".
*They look forward to aging in place with others around to look out for their wellbeing.
"I know I will be able to 'age in place' and always have a small community of "friends" to support and be supported by. Loneliness is a huge factor as people age and I will have my new friends around me going through similar experiences in life".
*Housing security gives them a sense of control and purpose in their lives.
"Older women that wouldn't qualify for social housing, (the missing middle) if it was accessible to them, are valuable and important too. Don't overlook us please.....I think the community will benefit from helping this group avoid becoming destitute and isolated as they age".
*Improved financial, mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.
"Co-housing offers me dignity and security. Having that will be such a relief and mean I can be more productive, happier and healthier as I grow older".
*They will be a part of a community in which they can participate and give back. 
"A stronger, richer community ensures when it's members feel valued and are able to do more than think of their own practical survival day to day".
They all hope to be in a position to continue to work with the Foundation to enable other women over 55 to have the same opportunity for security, safety and friendships that they have been offered to them.

We take our hats off to these pioneering women as they come on this journey with us and place their faith and trust in us to deliver on their new homes.
New Videos about women and homelessness.
What's it like being an older woman experiencing homelessness?
The many faces of older women’s homelessness are explored in this new video from HAAG Victoria.
It is a reminder of the complexities facing older women finding secure housing and the need for us all to step up and support organisations assisting these women. Listen to Vera's story and you will understand the "Missing Middle" of older women targeted by Sharing with Friends What’s it like being an older woman experiencing homelessness? (

Homelessness in Queensland. What comes to Mind?
Q Shelter has produced an excellent short video (3minutes) on homelessness in QLD. What defines homelessness, who does it impact and what are the causes are all covered in this animated explanation that can be easily understood. This is worth sharing to create awareness about the issue in QLD. Start the conversation…
What is homelessness? on Vimeo
Innovative housing is one of the State Government’s often-stated aims – but in practice we have not seen much innovation. Partly because there is such a crisis at the homeless/tent dweller cohort. The government has been playing catchup for the last 3 years. And partly because, like the Titanic, it takes a long time to turn around established thinking. Social housing / private ownership – particularly at the local government level – where all those mini-decisions are made that decide whether a build is affordable or unaffordable.
Concepts like Shared Equity, Co-housing, Community Land Trusts – up to now most planner's eyes just glaze over. In response to this, Sharing with Friends has worked with Matthew Glenn from Minter Ellison and Matt Rolley from AECOM to develop a proposed amendment to the Planning Regulation 2017 - Co-housing for senior women as a form of gentle density and presented to the Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon for consideration. We thank the Area District 22 Zonta Clubs that are supporting this initiative by writing to the Minister to advocate for change. 
There are green shoots in the State Government but it’s early days....
Sharing with Friends Foundation is seeking a volunteer with a creative spirit and knowledge of social media who has a few hours per month available to support SWF.
The Foundation's mission is to build innovative, affordable co-housing for older women at risk of homelessness. Our first residence is to be built this year and we are needing a social media strategy to support this exciting event. There is a high level of media interest in this development, and you will be supporting a highly experienced committee of professionals volunteering their time, skills and expertise to make this vision a reality.
Please make inquiries by emailing
Our new website is Live!
It aims to enhance viewers understanding and experience of Sharing with Friends and encourage ongoing donations.
You can read our newsletters on the website and don't forget to keep up to date with our social media posts.
To keep up with our regular updates follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Linked In.
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Sharing with Friends Foundation Queensland.
You can get in touch with us by emailing
Phone: 0403 472 589
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Association (Qld) Inc, All rights reserved.

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Adrienne Irvine
Adrienne is a health professional with over 45 years' experience in team leadership and project management. She has initiated and successfully managed several start-up state-wide health programs of international recognition. With high level negotiation and facilitation skills she has significant experience in dealing with multi government departments and bringing together teams of professionals to deliver strategic goals.