Pop-up mobile cooling hubs

Immediate heat relief for those at risk or experiencing homelessness
Led by Dr. Timothy English, the Homelessness and Heat Emergency Activation Team (HHEATeam) have created Australia's first mobile cooling hub. This community initiative addresses the challenges individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness face daily.

About the pop-up mobile cooling hubs

The Pop-Up Mobile Cooling Hubs are a ground-breaking initiative aimed at offering immediate heat relief to those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The hubs use eco-friendly cooling strategies, that have been lab-tested within the Heat and Health Research Incubator (HHRI), such as electric fans, misting fans, water dousing and hydration. The hubs are powered by renewable energy to provide relief without contributing to climate change. 

This initiative is more than just a response to rising temperatures; it is a compassionate approach to supporting some of the most vulnerable members of our society. By prioritising the needs of those experiencing or at risk of homelessness, these hubs not only provide immediate relief from heat but also foster a sense of community and access to critical information and services. The Cooling Hubs represent a significant step towards addressing the challenges faced by people experiencing or at risk of homelessness in urban heat islands.

When and where to find the cooling hubs

Upcoming Events 

Opening day/date Location Opening time Closing time
TBC - - -

Past Events

Opening day/date Location Opening time Closing time
Thursday, 25th of January  Eddie Ward Park, Surry Hills 8.30 am  5.00 pm
Friday, 26th of January Eddie Ward Park, Surry Hills 8.30 am  5.00 pm
Monday, 5th of February Belmore Park, Haymarket 8.30 am  5.00 pm
Thursday, 29th of February Eddie Ward Park, Surry Hills 8.30 am 5.00 pm

Meet the team

The Pop-Up Mobile Cooling Hubs are deployed and researched using a codesign approach by the Homelessness and Heat Emergency Activation Team (HHEATeam). The team comprises of people with lived experience of homelessness to ensure this initiative serves the people it aims to assist, along with researchers, clinicians, and public liaison officers from various organisations (see more team details below).

Dr Timothy English is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science and Co-lead of the Humanitarian Settings research theme within the Heat and Health Research Incubator in the Sydney School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Tim's current research focuses on preventing heat-related illness in vulnerably sheltered populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Tim is also an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with extensive experience in providing exercise and behavioural interventions to prevent and treat chronic disease.

Professor Jane Currie is a Professor in Nursing at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane. Jane's research investigates the impact of health services on access to health care, particularly for vulnerable populations. Jane came to academia following full time service in the British Army and Australian Army as a Nursing Officer. She continues to practice clinically as a nurse practitioner in homeless health and has industry partnerships with St Vincent’s Health Australia and Micah Projects, Brisbane. Further information is available here.

Associate Professor Jo River, Faculty of Health UTS and Northern Sydney Local Health District, has expertise in participatory research in mental health, drug and alcohol, and social determinants of health. They lead a program of research, Raising the Bar, in partnership with people with lived (and living) experience, which draws on approaches such as co-design and co-production to centre shared and equitable decision-making with affected communities throughout all stages of the research process. Their work aims to ensure research is grounded in community priorities and relevant and resonant to those most impacted by research-informed policy and services. River has been invited by lead agencies to develop participatory research resources, including the Co-design Kickstarter, to build capacity in participatory research across the mental health sector.

Alejandro is a qualified dentist with a master's degree in dental sciences. Alejandro has experience as a health organisation manager, conducting research projects involving vulnerable communities, overseeing public health management, and delivering clinical services. At present, Alejandro holds the position of a Research Officer at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney and is actively involved in projects aimed at enhancing healthcare access for people experiencing homelessness.

Matt is the Homeless Health Service Manager at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and manages six services and a total of ~50 people.

Jon Swain is the Manager Homelessness at the City of Sydney. Jon oversees direct funding of Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS), service coordination, business and community education, policy design, public space management and coordination of emergency responses. Jon has led Homelessness, Mental Health and Environmental teams at Local, State and NGO level for the past 16 years. Jon’s current focus is developing short- and long-term solutions for people experiencing homelessness against extreme weather events.

As the Incident Response Manager at St Vincent's Hospital, Danielle oversees the planning, implementation, and evaluation of policies and procedures for the prevention and management of workplace violence (WPV) and other emergencies in the health care setting. Danielle has over 20 years of experience in the health care industry, including 13 years in her current role, and she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor's Degree in Visual arts.