Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan)
Incorporated pursuant to order of Council of 7 September 2021:
Last Wednesday, along with Minister Leane, I was very pleased to attend the launch of the Chatty Cafe project at the Chatty Cafe at Sandy Beach Kiosk in Sandringham.
The Chatty Cafe Scheme aims to get people chatting to build and encourage social connections within the local community, and to help reduce social isolation and loneliness.
Australian venues that sign up offer ‘Have a Chat’ tables—a space for people to talk, whether it is for 5 minutes or an hour of good friendly conversation, while you drink a brew of your choice and/or eat a snack or meal.
I like to think of it as the opposite of a quiet carriage on the train!
I have been a fan of Chatty Cafes and the formidable Australian organiser Glenys Reid for some time and have seen firsthand the beautiful connection formed. It was just great to hang out with the Chatty volunteers.
I have spent years now advocating for change to alleviate loneliness, a silent killer as deadly as smoking tobacco or being obese. This is one fabulous initiative that forms a piece in that loneliness puzzle.
I look forward to continuing working with the Victorian government to implement the key elements of my motion to elevate the problem of loneliness—and facilitate the solutions—in part by allocating it a portfolio.
Meanwhile, I will continue my regular sessions with the fabulous Chatty Cafe organisation, and commend it to you all. It’s a lot of fun.