Leading local innovators in enabling inclusion & connection
Befriend was founded in 2010 by Nick Maisey and a group of people who saw a growing sense of disconnection in our society. Social isolation is the greatest public health risk of our time; our community requires citizens like us to take action. As humans, we're social creatures; We have a basic need to belong. But in the 21st century, this can be tricky! We move to new cities in search of new opportunities, we end long-term relationships in search of a new beginning, we change careers, return to study, grow at different rates to those around us, or have big things change in our lives that disrupt our social network, and necessitate the need to form new connections.
For some of us, social relationships are a confusing maze, and we find it difficult to connect with others because of our unique abilities, experiences or world views. For some of us, all we need is an opportunity. Regardless of our individual backgrounds or circumstances, we all fundamentally need the same thing - Human connection.
The Befriend Team know that the key to living a long, happy, healthy life is good relationships, and that the strongest human societies are those that value, embrace and unlock the unique gifts of each person. We want to make that a reality, right here in our own backyard of Perth. The Befriend Team now consists of over 100 people from diverse backgrounds, skill-sets and life experiences united in their commitment to an inclusive, connected society.
The Befriend Board
Befriend is governed by a Board of Management with a range of skills and experiences, united by their passion for building a sustainable organisation that has the capacity to truly advance the cause of social inclusion and enable meaningful community connection for everyone. The Board’s skills include strategic planning and governance, social enterprise, community development, human rights, social inclusion, management of people and projects, business and financial management, evaluation & outcome measurement, education and administration. Our current Board Members are: Tony Hagan (Chair), Lisa Dobrin (Vice Chair), Ben Haines (Treasurer), Emma Ashcroft (Secretary), Nick Maisey (CEO), Misty Farquhar, Michael Scott and Emily Lees.
The Befriend Team
The small but mighty staff team running Befriend operations behind-the-scenes are enthusiastic, passionate, hard-working innovators, entrepreneurs, change-makers and community-builders. Our current Staff Members are: Nick Maisey (CEO), Kathleen Burton (Social Enterprise Development Manager), Katie Ray Curo (Relationships & Inclusion Consultant), Elizabeth Farrant (Community Manager), Sam Lintern (Online Community), Jodie Papiccio (Community Builder Kwinana), Kathrine Butler (Community Builder Belmont), Carolyn Groves (Community Builder Vincent) and Jane Hannay (Community Builder Armadale/Gosnells). The Befriend Team include over 100 volunteers who are the eyes, ears, hands, feet and heart of the Befriend Community. Our team members plan and host our small social gatherings and big events, instruct our workshops and courses, manage our social media, market Befriend to new audiences and manage all the little bits and pieces needed to make a social enterprise operate effectively.
We are always on the hunt for new team members and recruit people year-round, so don’t be a stranger! If you want to help out but you're not quite sure how, fill in your details below to express your interest, and we'll be in touch.