Connected Us is a podcast series from Befriend. Featuring seven episodes, it’s a series that focuses on community life, the challenges of navigating social relationships and the joy of finding real connection. We hear from people who have had unique life experiences that have shaped how they connect and understand how fundamental our collective need to belong really is.
Connected Us is our first podcast series and we couldn’t be prouder of it, or more grateful to our participants who openly shared their stories, thoughts and perspectives on our fundamental need for belonging.
1. The Builder
Alyssa Nixon-Lloyd has always had a keen interest in community. Growing up in a small country town, community-building was second nature to her family who were actively involved in community life. In this episode, Alyssa talks about how she creates community – whether through hobbies or interests or simply her day-to-day interactions.
2. The Sociologist
2020 will always be known as the year we all jumped on online to socialise. But we had a question; what do we gain from face-to-face social connection that we can’t replicate through digital connection? In this episode, we talk with Dr. Roger Patulny, a sociologist at the University of Wollongong who studies the importance of social connection and impact on those of us who are isolated.
3. The Researcher
We see a lot in the media about the downside of online connections and the superiority of face-to-face friendships. But is it all bad? In this episode, we talk with Dr. Loretta Baldassar whose research into online relationships finds that the digital world actually has a lot to offer in terms of social connection.
4. The Dreamer
Valerie Weyland dreams big. In her early 20’s she moved by herself to Australia, a place where she knew no-one, to play basketball. In this episode, we hear how Valerie fell in and out of connection, experienced prejudice and judgement, navigated migration and changed careers, all whilst on her inner journey to find belonging with herself. Her journey today is an expression of her connected life, as she creates spaces for women of colour to come together, connect and thrive.
5. The Optimist and the Listener
Fee has a happy knack of seeing the best in everyone. As a woman with an intellectual disability and autism, her fearless view of the world empowers her to make connections wherever she goes. She’s navigated her connected world and learnt a lot along the way, often sharing her discoveries with Leslie, her support worker of six years. In this episode, we hear from both Fee and Leslie, as they share their perspectives on human connection.
6. The Empowerer
In this episode, we talk with occupational therapist and disability rights advocate, Dr. Bec Waters. Bec teaches a unit about disability at Curtin University and is well known for her strong views on how much of our “help” actually helps keep people with disability in a position of disempowerment. In this truly eye-opening discussion, we discover what genuine connection with people with disability looks like (hint: it looks a lot like genuine connection with anyone else).
7. The Facilitator
Dave Lindner is Befriend’s Community Connector – he’s the guy who helps Befriend members create new communities and connections. In this episode we chat with Dave about the challenges inherent in kickstarting community and why you don’t need to feel that you’re alone in trying to figure it all out.
We’ve also created a handy guide with some thoughtful, prompting questions to help with you reflect whilst you listen.
To access that, click the button below!
With thanks to Lotterywest who supported us to come up with this podcast adventure and Podcraft Productions, who gave it life and nurtured it into being!