Do you believe that it is important to feel like you belong?
I believe that everybody wants to belong, to feel that they are part of a social group, organisation, family or community. It seems that we are so connected as a society yet so disconnected. This is why I felt an inner yearning to make a difference within the community to help reconnect individuals through storytelling and fun.
Here is my story on how this urge to make social change has created a platform for social connectivity, collaborations and more!
My name is Michelle Dumbrell and I discovered early on that even when people were living through difficult situations, that creating fun gatherings would assist in fostering deeper connections, friendships and a sense of belonging. I saw such positive changes in people which created and gave them a greater sense of self-empowerment. I then thought, “Why not try this on a larger scale and do this with the wider community?”
I involved myself in community projects and did not have that feeling of satisfaction with consistent and continued progress. I also attended a multitude of network meetings where I would see the same people in the same situation month after month.
This, however, did give me the incredible opportunity to chat and meet with local creatives and gain insight into their struggles in being able to connect with an audience. This is when I knew that it was time to create something unique to connect these artists with audiences. What put even more fire in my belly was hearing both locals and tourists say that Gold Coast has no culture. RIGHT, it was really time to take action! This is when my life path changed and I created and became director, producer and writer of…
The Couch Outloud live talk show.
The common thread of all shows is social connectivity and we now cover an eclectic range of topics. The show strives to build and cultivate social connections that benefit both individuals and communities as a whole. I am very passionate about bringing people together in real life to make real life connections. The guest speakers and performers are every day people with every day stories from all over the Gold Coast who have either contacted me or being recommended by friends. They share their stories and open up people’s minds to new experiences and opportunities. I have even snuck in a few outsiders who have travelled to take part in the shows.
I believe that when people feel connected with their communities, they feel more pride and more willingness to take actions to help others and foster relationships. I absolutely love connecting people, making a difference to people’s lives whilst enhancing the culture of the community. We have had over 55 guest speakers plus multiple performances which has generated collaborative relationships, deep friendships and a very special one of . . . true love. Believe it or not, your very own stories and experiences can make such a difference to others’ lives and perceptions.
This platform brings the Gold Coast community together in celebration and acknowledgment of how we can add to the creation and expression of our city in progressive ways. This is why The Couch Oudloud is not just a talk show, it’s a movement!
Have a listen to my story on The Couch Outloud Podcast.