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Salvos’ new THRIVE cafe gives Noosa youth a boost

Community and supporters attend the recent opening of THRIVE Noosa cafe.

What would you say if someone rang you to ask if you wanted a fully operational cafe, rent-free?

For Captain Matt Gluyas, Corps Officer at Noosa-Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the answer was an emphatic “Yes!”

THRIVE Noosa cafe, a partnership between Noosa-Coolum Corps, the local Harcourts Real Estate and Padre Coffee, officially opened its doors to the community on Saturday 23 July. About 200 people attended the opening event in support of the Salvos social enterprise.

“I just want to see young people get an opportunity,” said Nathan O’Neill, one of the managing directors of Harcourts Property Centre I Noosa. “I started my real estate business at a young age from almost nothing, got help along the way, and see this as a chance to give back.”

Captain Matt Gluyas with Nathan O’Neill, one of the managing directors of Harcourts Noosa, celebrating the cafe’s opening.

Nathan is a member of the corps Red Shield Appeal advisory group, so he knew about the corps’ focus on training young people struggling with traditional education systems with career and life skills. When the opportunity to take over the cafe’s lease, he saw the potential to enhance the work of the Salvos.

“Through the generosity of Harcourts Noosa, we are able to see the trajectory of young lives shift to one where they are thriving in a career,” Matt said. “We believe we will see many lives transformed through THRIVE Noosa.”

The cafe initiative aims to train students to work in the local hospitality industry as a career, raise funds for the corps SCILS (Sunshine Coast Individualised Learning Support) program to re-engage students in education, and create a community space for people to gather.

“We are empowering a generation to really thrive,” Matt said.

Padre Coffee Roasters supplies the coffee and barista training support as another organisation in the partnership.

“This is a great concept, and I just want to see what can be achieved,” said Nathan. “What Matt is doing is phenomenal, and he deserves a lot of credit for how he goes about creating partnerships in the community.”

THRIVE Noosa cafe coordinator Joe Young welcoming patrons.


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