This is an action research project as part of the Williamson Community Leadership Program 2018

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The team have been researching social isolation, having discussions with experts and testing the #5up5down idea

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Hugh Mackay, Author of “Australia Reimagined“

Carolyn and Emma meet with Hugh Mackay , author of “Australia Reimagined “ virtually on Friday the 5th Oct . 



His book explores the ideas around why there is a lack of social connection and the impacts and possible opportunities for change there are.  He stressed in particular that importance of human connection to reducing mental health illnesses and shared the story of Frome in the UK that through social connection has reduced emergency visits significantly https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/21/town-cure-illness-community-frome-somerset-isolation.  The idea that being a good neighbour is not just about what’s in it for you but that it presents a moral obligation as a member of society .  An interesting thought that I think is foreign to many in our community .

We also spoke about the idea that people don’t interact with strangers any more  - once something is no longer normal, we become inhibited .  The story of the noise of the train carriages after the Sydney 2000 Olympics where train drivers noticed the noise of people talking  - and then 2 weeks after the games the trains where back to normal . 

There are sparks of change  - book clubs , the Good Karma project, Neighbour Day  and other small groups that are connecting with each other .  The key is focusing on individual hearts and minds  - one person at a time . He thought our idea was great and would like to stay in touch to see where we end up

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