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Fellowship and Friendship

 Please note that from 1 August 2018, MIFQ merged with RFQ.

Please also see for information on services provided by the merged entity.

MIFQ Board Member, Coby Pearce and MIFQ Payroll Officer, Birgit Halinen are dedicated members of the Gold Coast Regional Network. Over the years, they have witnessed many changes but the one constant feature has been their  strong friendship forged nearly twenty years ago.

Coby became involved with MIFQ back in 1996 when she moved to the Gold Coast from New South Wales. She had recovered from mental illness herself, and wanted to use her own insights and experiences to help others.

“I sought out MIFQ when I moved to theGold Coast, because I wanted to becomeinvolved and help other people get their lives on track."

“It is so important that people with a mental illness have that connection and choices when it comes to building a new life around recovery.”

At that time, Birgit was one of only two people working in MIFQ’s Gold Coast office, along with Pamela Gray who had been appointed as the branch’s executive officer in 1995.

“We had a membership of 280 families and there was a real personal touch,” said Birgit.

“Members were always dropping in helping to organise events, and we did manage to run a few big fundraiser events over the years, along with a number of social activities” she said.

“It was a bit more of an open house, country style – whether it was a social gathering, putting together the newsletter, even the AGM – everyone
came along and brought a plate!”

“Even putting together the newsletter was a social event, with lots of people working together to make sure it was sent out” Birgit exclaimed.

MIFQ received an abundant amount of community support with people donating food for barbecues, furniture
and tickets to events.

“We were very lucky there were dedicated people on board donating their time and money,” said Coby.

“It’s a great boost for people’s selfesteem to know that people care enough to help out.”

stories gc