ConnectFest 2017


By Peter Farrugia

In October, Flourish Australia partnered with mega-conglomerate Mirvac to present ConnectFest, a one-day, fun-filled event to celebrate wellbeing. The event was part of Mirvac’s National Community Day, a celebration where Mirvac employees connect with their local community to build ties of friendship and enhance health and wellbeing.

Flourish Australia was selected as a partner because of our standing in the community and the tireless work we do to support strong communities.

ConnectFest was held at the Bicentennial Parklands at Sydney Olympic Park. A team of 30 people from Mirvac volunteered their day and assisted with the planning, logistics and set up of the event, which had a young peoples focus and involved music, games, activities, bike riding, photo booth, silent disco, 3D movie experience, sports and a barbeque lunch.

Throughout the day, staff from Mirvac and people who access Flourish Australia services spent time getting to know one another, sharing aspects of their life and discovering each others passions, hobbies and interests.

Alison Perizi, Flourish Australia’s Fundraising and Partnerships Manager, was a leading contributor in developing the event. “ConnectFest is a terrific opportunity for Flourish Australia to build a co-operative and friendly partnership with Mirvac, one of Australia’s leading property groups,” she said. “It is important that we capitalise on opportunities that strengthen Flourish Australia’s position as a leader of mental health services and supports. Partnering with Mirvac enables us to lead key recovery messages that support good mental health amongst people.”

One of the outcomes of the joint celebration was to enjoy recreation in the great outdoors. The quintessential Australian way of life, the Aussie barbeque, was a key feature of the event. Mirvac representative, Lachlan, was in charge of catering. “There’s nothing better than a sausage sanga at a picnic,” said Lachlan as we all enjoyed a freshly cooked lunch.

As we know, a balanced diet is an important part of maintaining our physical and mental wellbeing. Jade Ryall, Flourish Australia’s Back On Track Health Manager, endured greens were on offer to ConnectFest’s guests. 

“Fresh, colourful salads are a quick and healthy way to add some variety to our meals, increasing the nutritional value and helping meet recommended daily serves of vegetables,” said Jade.

All in all, everyone enjoyed the day. The feedback was positive with comments highlighting people’s most favourite activities. “It was good to acknowledge mental health, meet others from similar sites and participate in activities that support recovery,” said one participant.

Another participant said, “It supported my recovery by coming together, having fun and connecting with new people.”

“It made me forget about my mental health issues for a moment!” said another.

The sentiment of ConnectFest was captured in a comment from a young person. “It was a magical day. It made me happy. I hope we do it every year!”

The final word came from Alison. “What a wonderful way to celebrate life, share with friends old and new, and enjoy the fruits that come from connections of friendship,” she said with a smile.

From Flourish Australia, thank you to all those who contributed to ensuring the success of ConnectFest.

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