Updated: Sep 1
“…we were very happy to have taken the leap”
I used to live in Sydney, with a very steep driveway hill that made it tricky for me to get in and out of the house. Because of this, my mum and I thought moving to the Central Coast was a good idea. Not only because it can be a lot flatter, but we would be closer to family. My aunt and uncle live around 2 streets away now, which is super convenient.
We moved to the Central Coast in July 2021, literally a day before the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions took effect. Moving was very stressful and having to pack up all our belongings was a big task.
But once we arrived in Gwandalan and got over the stress and fatigue of moving a few of days later – we were very happy to have taken the leap.
“….it didn’t long for my perception to change”
I have been with the Gig Buddies project for around 5 years. I joined because I didn’t have anyone to go out with, apart from my mum. I wanted to go music gigs, comedy shows, theatre and many more events.
I was introduced to my gig buddy volunteer Michelle in July 2016 (below; this photo was taken at the Gig Buddies Christmas in July silent disco at Sydney Aquarium). We met at a café in Chatswood with Matt from the Gig Buddies team, and I remember I was a bit nervous. I wasn’t sure at that time what Gig Buddies was about, and I had a previous experience with another service that left me a bit unsure. But we talked for just under an hour about the kinds of concerts we wanted to go to together and it didn’t long for my perception to change.
Our first catch up was at a local music festival, where we saw a lot of different bands performing. I don’t remember a lot of the bands or where it was, but I do remember having a great time with Michelle.
Over the years, we managed to go to a lot of different events including a belly dancing event and a Chinese New Year event at The Concourse in Chatswood. We also went to see Tkay Maidza at the State Theatre – which was my first rap concert! We also marched at the 2021 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, which was an incredible highlight.
When my mum and I were deciding whether to move to the Central Coast or not, I chatted with Michelle about it on-and-off. She was very supportive and was keen to stay in touch once we moved. This made me feel better about the idea of moving to a new place.
“my advice would be give it a go!”
When the time came to move, I felt a bit nervous. Mostly because I wasn’t sure if I could still be a part of the Gig Buddies project once we had moved. I was feeling a bit upset at the thought of leaving the project and stepping away from Soul Fly Band.
But luckily Gig Buddies Central Coast opened! This along with successfully buying our current house meant it all felt a bit like fate!
Gig Buddies Central Coast is still in the early stages of launching, and due to the current COVID-19 lockdown we haven’t been able to do any Gig Buddies social events yet.
But I was excited when Matthew (Gig Buddies Central Coast Coordinator) told me he had a potential volunteer lined up for me.
My current buddy is Sherie (below; this photo was taken at Event Cinemas, Tuggerah - prior to the Black Widow movie) and we were the third Gig Buddies Central Coast pairing. Sherie and I are both movie buffs and love live music within lots of different genres. So far, we have caught up for coffee and we have also caught up for a Sunday picnic at Budgewoi Park. I think our pairing is going very happily and smoothly so far, and I’m really excited to see what events we get to once lockdown restrictions ends. I have some tickets for rescheduled shows that we might go to, and we also talked about purchasing tickets to see Hamilton down in Sydney!
It can be a bit nerve-wracking to be repaired with a new volunteer, especially if you have been with the same volunteer for a long time. But my advice would be give it a go! And if it doesn’t work out – don’t lose your confidence. There will be someone out there for you that you can have fun with.
What I’ve been doing during lockdown
I am an administrator for around 15 Facebook groups (and counting!) that are themed around movies, tv shows and science fiction – including Dr Who, James Bond, Harry Potter and more. These groups are little communities for people to connect with each other about specific topics. As an admin, I have managed to meet fellow admins from all over the world and made some great friends through that.
During lockdown, we had an incident within the group for Fans of Wolfy Bry. The person who created the group invited another individual to be an admin – however this individual decided to start kicking people out of the group for no apparent reason.
I had to step in, so I managed to screenshot evidence and send to the group creator who was just as shocked as me about this behaviour. When we both tried to confront this individual about what he was doing, he didn’t respond to us and just left the group without warning. When we finally managed to speak with the individual, he told us it was his roommate’s doing – as he had taken over the account and started kicking people out of the group. However, the roommate later denied this and accused him of lying. The roommate even packed up and left their shared house! It was quite a drama.
Thankfully it’s all sorted now, and the group has managed to grow and thrive despite this incident. Being admin for these groups keeps me quite busy!
Aside from this, I have been watching A LOT of movies including Star Trek and older movies, as well as reading ‘Dr Who: The Ultimate Foe”. I’m about halfway through that one!
As we start to come out of lockdown, and everything starts to open up, I hope everyone can get out there and start having some fun again!