ON SONG: Lismore musician and youth minister Jeff Kouwenhoven, will be entertaining people at The Northern Star Giant Homeless Sleepout at Lismore Shopping Square on Saturday night.
ON SONG: Lismore musician and youth minister Jeff Kouwenhoven, will be entertaining people at The Northern Star Giant Homeless Sleepout at Lismore Shopping Square on Saturday night. Cathy Adams

Music to the ears at giant sleepout

JEFF KOUWENHOVEN will be one of the entertainers serenading people at The Northern Star Giant Homeless Sleepout this Saturday night at Lismore Square.

While everyone else brings sleeping bags, he will be bringing an acoustic guitar as well as a desire to have fun and help raise money for a much-needed homeless shelter to be built in Lismore.

“Last Sunday I listened to a St Vincent de Paul presentation about the sleepout,” Mr Kouwenhoven said “And I thought I could help out in some small way.

“It looks like it will be fun and it's for a very good cause.”

The youth minister for the Lismore Catholic parish, who works at Trinity Catholic College and St John's College Woodlawn, is self-taught on the guitar and has been playing for the last 10 years.

“I got inspired to play by my brother,” he said “I learnt the Green Day song Time of Your Life, and I haven't stopped since then.”

Originally from Canada Mr Kouwenhoven writes and performs his own songs, and considers his style of music as being in the folk rock genre.

“Although some people may disagree,” he laughed. “I like to go busking once a month and mainly play original material.”

While music is a big part of his life, Mr Kouwenhoven loves the work that he has been doing for nearly the last two years with the young adults at the Catholic colleges.

“I really enjoy dealing with the kids,” he said “I just hope that they feel the same way.”

Mr Kouwenhoven's choice of career came about after a snowboarding incident in Canada which saw him lost for 36 hours on a mountain in minus-20 degree temperatures.

“After I was rescued my brother helped me to see what priorities were important in my life,” he said “I realised God played a big part in that.

“I applied through a group called Net Ministries to share my story in Australia.”



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