News«GABN Ararat Young Professionals (The Advocate 27-Jan-23)
GABN Ararat Young Professionals (The Advocate 27-Jan-23)
1 February 2023
30 September 2023
4.22 minutes

Author: Dominic Gallo (Ararat Young Professionals)

THE Ararat Young Professionals, what is it?

First, a little bit of backstory. I’m originally from Wangaratta – a regional Victorian town 4.5 hours from Ararat where I became involved in running a social group called the Wangaratta Young Professionals. This is a group of like-minded individuals who wanted to network and socialise. This would often involve organizing social events and activities depending on what was happening in the area. This included ski trips, hikes and winery events as well as the monthly catchups. There was no real age limit, and the definition of “professionals” was up to your own interpretation. If you classified yourself as a young professional, then so did we.

When I moved to Ararat two years ago I noticed this would be something I would love to start up here as well. Ararat is a regional town and there aren’t a lot of opportunities for socialising and networking for young people outside of work and sport. For people new to town (like myself) it would certainly pose a challenge to make new friends.

Making friends can have many benefits other than the obvious. Your health can be drastically affected by the amount of social connections you have. “Loneliness can have dramatic consequences for your health. Loneliness can lead to disrupted sleep patterns, elevated blood pressure, and increased cortisol (a stress hormone).”

“Younger people (teenagers and people in their 20s) are also at risk when they are isolated. A lack of social relationships can have a direct impact on a young person’s physical wellbeing by increasing the risk of obesity, inflammation and high blood pressure.

These 3 health issues can lead to long-term health problems, including heart disease, stroke and cancer, but a varied social network can help protect against physical decline.”

From health/healthyliving/Strong-relationshipsstrong-health.

“Poor quality and low quantity of social ties have also been associated with inflammatory biomarkers and impaired immune function, factors associated with adverse health outcomes and mortality” from https://www.

Simply put, having more close friends can have real health benefits.

Particularly with the past few years of the pandemic, social opportunities have been severely restricted and this has had a measurable effect on the population’s mental health. This is especially clear in smaller, more regional/rural towns.

In order for people to make new friends and connections. A consistent recurring event such as the Ararat Young Professionals monthly catch-ups (on the first Friday of every month) would be a great opportunity for young people looking to make new friends or just expand their existing social networks. There is no formality or pressure, simply turn up to the events and introduce yourself.

The Ararat Young Professionals Facebook page:

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