Media Release

55,000 community groups to choose from

November 13, 2009

Join In, Join Up! - a national initiative linking Australians with their community via 5,000 local pharmacies and Australia's largest online directory of community groups - is being launched Friday November 13.

The joint initiative of Telstra Foundation, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and community group support organisation Our Community, will see the Pharmacy Guild of Australia's 5,000 member pharmacies across Australia actively promoting the benefits of joining a community group.

"People who plunge wholeheartedly into the life of the community get back more than they put in," says Kos Sclavos, national president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. "Our pharmacists and pharmacy assistants know Australians trust us to provide the best advice - well part of that advice is that joining a community group is good for you. Now, connecting with a new group is only a mouse-click away."

The project has been made possible through the generosity of Telstra's philanthropic fund, the Telstra Foundation. Telstra has also engaged its national team of Telstra Country Wide Area General Managers to deliver the Join In, Join Up! message across the country.

"The Telstra Foundation is pleased to support the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Our Community to connect people and communities all over Australia, helping people to reap the benefits of being actively involved in their local community," says Telstra Foundation national manager Maria Simpson. "We hope that everyone will take the opportunity to find out what's available in their area and join up."

The campaign will be supported by free website, which lists details of more than 55,000 community groups across Australia, making it easier than ever to locate a community group by location and area of interest.

A Join In, Join Up! brochure will be available at pharmacy counters with advice on ways people can get involved in their community and, in doing so, reap the health and wellbeing rewards.

The Join In, Join Up website's 55,000 community group listings include scouting to sailing, men's sheds to men's a cappella choirs, chambers of commerce to community radio stations, surf clubs to amateur dramatics - literally something for everyone, everywhere.

Community groups can go to the website and list themselves for free. There's also online information to make community groups more effective and more inclusive, help for people starting their own community group, and special listings for groups of people who may have the most to gain from joining a community group including: young people, carers, the elderly, new parents and people living with mental heath issues.

Our Community CEO Dr Rhonda Galbally AO says the launch of the Join In, Join Up! initiative is a "landmark moment". "Joining a community group is the best way I know to feel a connection to your community, and it's good for your physical and mental health as well."

With 55,000 choices there's no reason not to join in and join up. Visit

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