BY CRAIG MOORE, SIT N CHAT
Sit N Chat is a not-for-profit innovative initiative that is making a significant impact on the community by fostering meaningful connections and improving people’s well-being. Volunteers chat with people at markets, events and door-to-door, and now Brisbane City Council has unveiled two new Sit N Chat conversation tables on the Wynnum Waterfront at Darling Point and Lota Park.
The tables are marked with a large orange plate on the tabletop’s surface that reads: “Anyone who sits at this table is open to have a conversation with anyone else who sits at this table”.
Sit N Chat has successfully created a space for individuals to engage in open and authentic dialogue – now everyone can volunteer their time by sitting at a table.
The table concept is the brainchild of Craig Moore and Clair Molyneux, co-founders of Sit N Chat. Social isolation and loneliness can be harmful to both mental and physical health and is considered a significant health impact on our society. An estimated one in three (33%) Australians reported an episode of loneliness. Sit N Chat is helping people in the community by tackling social isolation and loneliness.
In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals feel disconnected from their neighbours and communities. Sit N Chat’s conversation tables provide an opportunity for people to come together, share their stories, and build lasting relationships by providing a platform for face-to-face conversations, combating feelings of isolation and creating a sense of belonging.
At a standard public table where two or more people are already seated, most will sit at another table, but the conversation table gives you permission to join in. Engaging in conversations with individuals from diverse backgrounds allows participants to gain new perspectives and broaden their horizons. These conversations encourage empathy, understanding, and tolerance, fostering a more inclusive and cohesive community.
Craig has also approached Queensland Rail with the concept of a chatty carriage on its trains. Sit N Chat is hoping to place conversation tables in public spaces, like parks, schools, and retirement villages all over the country. Imagine conversation tables in high schools where the grade 12s could run their own conversations with younger students, before school and at lunch times, encouraging a stronger sense of unity.
Sit N Chat started in 2022 and now local companies are helping out, too. Century 21 Wynnum recently supplied promotional bags with two-for-one coffees and meals from local businesses. The Cave has helped print 5000 safety cards listing all food banks, emergency numbers and charity contact details.
For more information about Sit N Chat, please go to sitnchat.org or contact [email protected].