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Skip the small talk at this Speed Friending event

Social enterprise Welcome Merchant has teamed up with ABC presenter and comedian Jennifer Wong to host an evening of Speed Friending on Friday September 1.

From refugee-powered markets to pop-up dinners with refugee chefs, Welcome Merchant strives to organise unique events with a social impact. While their focus has always been on elevating refugee, migrant and asylum seeker entrepreneurs and artists, their next event – a Speed Friending night with ABC presenter and comedian Jennifer Wong – hopes to break the barriers of loneliness and connect people in Sydney, “third-least friendliest” city in the world.

How the night will unfold: half of the group is seated, and the other half of the group is rotating. Every three minutes, the rotating group will move to another seated person. During these intervals, each pair of people will be given “icebreaker” questions, which will hopefully help them spark a friendship. There will be hosts nearby to help break those silences.

Welcome Merchant says coming alone to the event is fine because the process will help you make friends in no time. When the event concludes, participants can submit a list to the organisers of participants they would like to share their contact information with.

Tickets – which start from $35 for students and concession holders – include a welcome drink and a spread of delicious food.

“It’s very exciting that Welcome Merchant are bringing their feel-good events to address the issue of loneliness in Sydney. Their wonderful hospitality creates such a great environment for meeting new people,” says event host and comedian Jennifer Wong, whose AACTA-nominated ABC show “Chopsticks or Fork?” explores regional Australia’s Chinese restaurants.

Proceeds will go towards Welcome Merchant’s advocacy activities for entrepreneurs of refugee, migrant, and asylum seeker backgrounds.

Guests can also add a $5 donation to their ticket purchase, with proceeds going to Wayside Chapel, a charity dedicated to supporting people experiencing homelessness and social isolation.


Speed Friending event
Friday September 1, 2023
6.15pm – 8pm
Canva Space, 2010
Price: $40 (Full Price) and $35 (Concession). Buy tickets here.

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