31 October 2018
Australia is in the midst of a loneliness crisis, with many in our population experiencing a deficit of social connection. That is, they do not enjoy sufficient meaningful relationships in their lives to sustain and nurture them, particularly through difficult times.
Australians are increasingly time-poor as with many households have all adults in employment, with less time for community engagement and neighbourhood connection. Fewer people know, and interact with, their neighbours and are part of community groups. The circle of people we feel we can turn to when the chips are down is shrinking for all age groups.
At our 70th Anniversary celebrations on 19 September 2018 we invited social researcher and author Hugh Mackay, loneliness researcher Dr Tegan Cruwys, the founder of the Welcome Dinner Project Penny Elsley and CEO of Relationships Australia NSW Elisabeth Shaw to discuss the issue of loneliness with help from panel convenor journalist and author Caroline Baum.
The panel discussion was a thought-provoking look at the very many aspects of loneliness and possible solutions to a problem facing Australians across the age and social spectrum.
We have now turned this discussion into a podcast so you can all enjoy the insights provided by our panel members.
In coming weeks some of our panellists will be sharing more of their thoughts on loneliness through our RA Blog.
Alison Brook is the National Executive Officer of Relationships Australia.