The Australian Chatty Cafe Initiative

The aim of Chatty Café Australia (a registered ACNC Health Promotion and Community Welfare DGR Tier 1 Charity) is to help connect communities and increase social interactions by getting people chatting – either in their favourite local neighbourhood social venues at “Have a Chat” tables or while travelling through other Aussie communities to meet the local folk at “Sip, Chat, Share, Care” venues. Everyone is welcome!

The Chatty Cafe Australia initiative, despite drought, bushfires, Covid-19 and cost of living increases, is encouraging venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, clubs, churches, op shops, libraries, community centres, neighbourhood houses or a range of other social service facilities across Australia, to sign up – wherever people gather and have the opportunity to socialise and chat!

Did you know? The Chatty Cafe scheme is global!

Keeping communities connected

Our Australian Covid experience has shown all of us the impact of social isolation and loneliness on mental health. The Chatty Café focus is very positive on bringing people of all ages and from all walks of life together in comfortable safe social venues to have a chat for as long or as little as they choose. It is Australian “mateship” culture at its best!

Chatty Cafe is about building friendly social connections – through simple interactions that may brighten someone’s day. Along the way it might also combat social isolation and loneliness, which is a big issue in Australia. Research indicates one in four people experience a sense of loneliness and social dis-connection every week

The UK, Australia and our Chatty Cafe Partnership

The UK Chatty Cafe Scheme was created on a wet and windy day in 2017 when Alex Hoskyn was in a supermarket café with her four month old son, who wasn’t being great company at that moment and Alex was feeling fed up!

Alex looked around the café and saw an elderly lady who looked just as down as her and on another table sat a young guy with additional needs and his support worker both looking like they had run out of conversation!

Alex started to think about the positive impact they could have had on each other if they had sat together. Alex knew from experience that when you are feeling lonely, a short conversation with another human can really brighten your day and she realised that you can be out of the house all day yet have no interaction with another person.

It was right there and then that the concept of ‘Chatter & Natter’ tables in the UK began in 2017 and there are now over 1,400 venues signed up in the UK! There are also venues in Poland, Gibraltar and interest building in Canada and the USA.

A ‘Have a Chat’ Table creates a space for people to talk while they drink a tea, coffee, juice etc, or eat a snack or meal or whatever, whether it is for five minutes or an hour – just plain old-fashioned friendly, relaxed conversation. And that chat just might brighten someone’s day!

The Australian Chatty Cafe informal partnership with the UK  organisation started in late 2019, after Glenys Reid had unexpectedly experienced social isolation for the first time in her life in late 2017 into 2018, and noticed a lot of other people in her community at social venues seemed isolated too and were keen to chat if a conversation was initiated by Glenys! And then in 2019 Glenys discovered the UK Chatty Café Scheme! It seemed a perfect fit!

The Australian venues offer “Have a Chat” tables to better suit our Aussie culture. A ‘Have a Chat’ Table creates a space for people to talk; whether it is for five minutes or an hour of good friendly conversation, while you drink a brew of your choice and/or eat a snack or meal.

So while droughts, bushfires and Covid-19 have been a challenge for Chatty Cafe Australia, we are still resilient and strong on our vision to have Chatty tables across most customer focussed social and hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, clubs, pubs, libraries, community centres etc.) in Australia. 

We want folk to “expect” to find a “Have a Chat” table welcoming them in any hospitality or social venue across Australia they go into, if they choose to chat to other customers while enjoying the venue’s delicious offerings.

Our Organisational Values:

  • Kindness 
  • Encouragement
  • Innovation 
  • Collaboration 

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