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2017 in numbers

As we approach the end of another year, it’s time to reflect on the progress we made during 2017.

Included within our 78 pairings is our latest match, Andrew (below left) and Ian.

While we’re all about increasing social circles, we’re also about increasing social opportunities. To all gig buddies who are not matched, we inform everyone that they’re part of the Gig Buddies Sydney community, and that everyone who signs up with us is welcomed to attend our social events.

On that note, 390 gig buddies attended our social events during 2017. In line with our partnership with NRL side Cronulla Sharks, 167 buddies attended five Sharks’ matches. We visited Shark Park four times, watching the NRL champions against Newcastle Knights, Canterbury Bulldogs, Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs. We also headed to Leichardt Oval to watch the game against Wests Tigers.

Away from the football field, 223 gig buddies joined us at the following venues and events: six Sydney Festival gigs; North Sydney Hotel; Sydney Comedy Festival; Lazybones Lounge, Marrickville; Sydney Ice Dogs vs. Melbourne Ice in the ice hockey; the Palace Hotel, CBD; Parramatta Lanes Festival; the women’s Ashes cricket; our Christmas party at Goros, Surry Hills.

This year we also made a splash on TV, having appeared on ABC’s 7:30 and Channel Nine’s NRL Footy Show. Also featuring in TimeOut Sydney magazine, this led to a large increase in new applicants.

Our media appearances also saw us receive requests to replicate the Gig Buddies program in other parts of the country (see map, below, for towns and cities from where we received requests). We hope to be in a position to reveal more about the roll out of the Gig Buddies program to other parts of Australia in 2018….

Statistics and external interest aside, it was a great year for our user-led team, Soul Fly Band.

In September they met with federal MP for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman and were awarded the 2017 North Sydney Community Award for “outstanding service to the community”.

They also presented at this year’s ASID (Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability) Conference in Hobart, informing those in attendance how, as our advisory group, they assist in shaping policy and help provide strategic direction for the project.

We’ve lots to be excited about in the first half of 2018: we recently announced our Sydney Festival plans; we’ll soon post further details about our third birthday in February, along with information on our return to the Sydney Comedy Festival, and the five Cronulla Sharks’ games we’ll be attending.

That’s it in terms of the blog for 2017, but we will be back on January 8th, the same day Gig Buddies HQ reopens (we shut down this Friday, 22/12).

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our gig buddies a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Thank you for your ongoing support and we’re look forward to doing it all again in 2018!

Matthew Collins

Gig Buddies Sydney Community Engagement Coordinator

Would you like more information about Gig Buddies Sydney? You’re only a click away. Connect with us via the links below.

Fancy reveling in legendary status? If so, please support us in our cause to get more people out to live events in Sydney. Donations over $2 are tax deductible and all are gratefully received.

Gig Buddies Sydney is an initiative of ACL Disability Services

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