Project about loneliness and belonging in Maldon

Created: Friday, 05 June 2020

 “[Loneliness can be a] sense of being unmoored, unanchored, and not belonging …. A sense that you won’t be found by the world in the way you want to be found”*

We all need to feel a sense of connection and belonging, that we are cared for and supported. The figures suggest that, for many, this need isn’t being met **.

  • Nearly 30% of Australians rarely or never feel part of a group of friends
  • 1 in 4 (25.5%) do not feel they have a lot in common with the people around them
  • 1 in 5 (21.4%) rarely or never feel close to people, rarely or never feel they have someone to talk to (22.1%) and don’t feel they have people they can turn to (21.4%).
  • Nearly 1/4 (24.5%) say they can’t find companionship when they want it.

What the project is about

The purpose of this project is to explore what loneliness looks and feels like for people in the Tarrangower community? Why and how do we become isolated or socially disconnected? And what is it that we do (or could do) to change that?

The project will work alongside local people to:

- research the experience and impacts of social isolation

- identify (and gain understanding and inspiration from) how people have been able to ease loneliness and connect with others

- build on this to create something new.


The process will be one of listening to people’s experiences, their ways of managing, and the solutions they come up with. It’s research, with action built-in. So, community members will have an active part in exploring and defining loneliness as an issue locally, identifying things to build on and new things to try out, getting those things going and seeing if they work.


The project will take place from March to September 2020.

Who is involved so far

A group of 8 community members have formed to guide the project, sharing their own experiences and ideas, shaping how the research will unfold, and putting some energy behind coming up with some 'solutions' to try.

The group has met once and will continue to meet throughout the project.

Getting involved

We would love your help on a number of fronts:

- Tell us about your experience of loneliness, and what has worked for you to keep it at bay.
- Call to book an interview 
- Answer the survey questions when they come out
- Put your hand up to join the advisory group if that's somethingyou'd like to do
- Step up to be part of any of the ideas or activities that come out of the project

Contact on or 54752093

* Julia Bainbridge, How loneliness tells you where to go, The Lonely Hour podcast #33 with David Whyte, August 1 2019

** Australian Psychological Society and Swinburn University of Technology (2018) Australian Loneliness Report: A survey exploring the loneliness levels of Australians and the impact on their health and well-being.