Building Social Connections: #justsayhisydney
Published by: Inner Sydney Voice - Autumn 2016. February 2016.
As a society we all need to reach out and connect at some level. You just never know what affect a simple smile or ‘hello’ might have on someone else or on yourself for that matter. Rene McKenzie-Low introduces a project designed to encourage Sydney siders to just say ‘hi’.
Bringing community together can be a challenge in any environment. One of the key elements is finding a shared value that speaks to everyone. Global issues surround the divide of many people’s opinions and belief systems. Whether it is personal or influenced by the media, what remains as the core value for most, no matter who they are, is that they want to feel safe and valued. More importantly, if you strip back all the worries and fears that surround such emotive topics you’ll find most just want to live in harmony.
This is quite often a hot topic of discussion for community members that I speak with. Having had experience working amongst many different cultures, abilities, ages, youth, gender etc. when you get down to the nuts and bolts of what everyone’s core values are, we all want the same thing – acceptance.
As the Community Engagement Manager of City West Housing, one of the constant topics discussed with tenants was for a project that would challenge people’s perceptions and interactions with those around them on a day to day basis. We wanted to create the opportunity to promote a positive exchange, connecting with the wider community irrespective of their particular group/demographic.