Four communities to know from the Month of Belonging
No matter who you are, what you love, or what you’re into, there’s a place for you on the internet that makes it feel good to belong.
That’s what we highlighted throughout March with the Month of Belonging. We dove into the wonderful ways us humans come together and spoke to some inspiring people and organisations along the way.
They shared some amazing insights and we’ve gathered them together here for a healthy dose of the warm fuzzies.
Created in 2019, 4 Voices helps girls and women find their own voice and celebrate their strength, one connection at a time.
Their community of over 200 volunteers (and the much-loved 4 Voices vans) connects and support thousands of women who are experiencing domestic violence, homelessness, loneliness, unemployment, lack of computer skills or access and much more.
‘Whatever we can do to help using the internet or our phones (or our coffee machine!) we will do our best,’ says Jo Westh, founder of 4 Voices.
Jo says that, during her time working with 4 Voices, she’s really seen the ‘absolute need for connection’ that humans have – how we all need ‘someone to talk to, to hug, to trust, to belong.’
‘Fear often paralyses the women we help, and self-doubt consumes them. Let’s reinforce, praise, support, encourage. Let’s build a network of people who give a damn about each other; who know they belong to a community that cares.’
Too Peas in a Podcast
Mandy and Kate of Too Peas in a Podcast are great at bringing people together.
They talk a lot about belonging, inclusion and happiness. In fact, it’s the reason they started their podcast – they wanted to end the isolation experienced by other mothers ‘parenting the road less travelled.’
Their contagious laughter and honest conversations about parenting kids with disabilities and additional needs has amassed a community of thousands who tune in to each episode and lean on each other for support.
‘Happiness does in fact come from belonging. The two go hand in hand,’ say Mandy and Kate.
‘The Pea tribe have inadvertently created the most amazing sense of belonging, starting with two middle-aged women sharing their stories of diverse mothering.’
‘Loneliness can get in the bin. Everyone is welcome in the Pea Tribe – everyone has a place, everyone is welcome!’
You can join the Too Peas community on , Facebook, and .
Transgender Victoria (TGV) is the state’s leading body for trans and gender diverse advocacy. TGV champions justice and equity for trans and gender diverse people, celebrates their stories and achievements, and connects communities.
Mama Alto, CEO at Transgender Victoria, explains that this advocacy and representation are key to fostering a sense of belonging.
‘Whilst the past few decades have seen vast improvements for our trans and gender diverse communities, there’s still much more to be done so that we can all belong with safety, pride and equity,’ says Mama Alto.
‘Visibility is an important part of that – both for celebrating who we are and where we’ve come from, but also in building brighter futures.’
The Wise Foundation knows that a good cuppa joe has a knack for connecting people.
Their Wise Barista program partners with the Asylum Seeker Resource Center Melbourne, and the Asylum Seekers Center Sydney to provide training and work opportunities to those facing barriers to employment.
‘We empower participants to build not only hospitality and retail skills, but also hands-on experience in the Australian workforce within an established team environment,’ says Mandy Glassey, General Manager at the Wise Foundation.
‘Many of the participants we provide opportunities for have never had the opportunity to work in Australia or interact with the wider community.’
The result? Coffee culture with heart.
Want more amazing communities?
We honoured days dedicated to all kinds of people and interests – from significant events like International Women’s Day, Earth Hour, National Close the Gap Day, and Harmony Day, as well quirkier days devoted to all the marvelous ways people ‘belong’ – through shared interests in things like genealogy, cats, plants, coffee, and grammar.
It feels good to Belong.