For many living in the city, opportunities for access to GLBT community events and a sense of community involvement can often be a part of everyday life. In rural and regional areas the feeling of connectedness to our community can be harder to find.

Fortunately for those in rural and regional NSW, there are increasing numbers of community groups helping to connect people through coming together in social and advocacy-based activities.

One group that has been building these community bridges since 1999 is Come Out (Inc), a social, non-profit, non-funded, community-based volunteer organisation that brings people together through BBQs, dinners, day trips, dances, bingo nights, sports events and other activities driven by its diverse membership.

Not to be mistaken for a coming out group, Come Out has quickly spread from a small group of outer Sydney suburban branches to a growing network of community connections across NSW and beyond.

The next link in the Come Out chain will soon be found in Wollongong, where it is hoped that a Come Out branch will be a welcomed addition to the existing groups in the area.

The official launch for Wollongong’s Come Out branch will be a BBQ at ACON’s Illawarra Community Space on Saturday, June 26, 1-5pm. This will be a great opportunity to get involved early and bring your ideas to help shape a vibrant and active group in the Illawarra.

Visit http://www.comeout.org.au/ for information on your local branch, or if you don’t have one, why not grab some friends and discuss the possibility of starting one?

info: For more information about groups, services or organisations in the southern region, contact ACON on 4226 1163 or email tslattery@acon.org.au

Trevor Slattery is the Education and Community Development Officer at ACON’s Illawarra branch.

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