Created by the United Nations in 2011, the International Day of Friendship on 30 July brings attention to the power of friendship in creating peace and community cohesion. 2021 will be the first year that an Australian-based alliance is celebrating the day to raise awareness about loneliness and the importance of friendship and connection.
COTA Victoria is one of the founding members of the Friendship Alliance, a group of organisations large and small that are passionate about working on the issues of loneliness and social isolation. The Alliance has awarded $1,000 grants to ten community organisations throughout Australia to participate in events or create resources.
In Victoria, the Alliance is supporting U3A Prom Coast to host a morning tea designed to attract new members, new experiences and subjects of interest, and potentially new tutors or facilitators. The U3A community currently has 160 members scattered throughout the South Gippsland Shire.
The Northeast Multicultural Association is using its grant to host a lunch in Wangaratta’s Central Hall for CALD residents from across their region. To mark the occasion, the association is hoping to arrange an address by a prominent local political leader. The association is also providing special buses so more isolated members of their community can attend.