IT’S often accused of making people more disconnected, but those who have moved to Orange are starting to use social media to establish their real life social networks.
Peter Christodoulou recently set up a Facebook page titled Orange is the new Sydney.
Although Orange has experienced an influx of Sydney property buyers and benefited from price rises as a result, it is not a property page.
Mr Christodoulou said many former Sydneysiders struggled to make friends once they moved to Orange, particularly if they were introverts and not used to putting themselves in new situations.
“I know of people who have been here for four years and have no one to go out with and you feel for them,” he said.
“There’s a clique in this town and some people can’t get into that clique.”
He said it was also a leading reason for families not to stay.
“They’re leaving a lot of family behind and they might be stuck at home with the kids,” he said.
“Because of that, they don’t get to make friends and the whole point of getting people to interact is so they can share common interests.”
There’s a clique in this town and some people can’t get into that clique.Peter Christodoulou
For those who moved to the area in the 1980s and ‘90s, he said sharing memories of their childhood and where they grew up might be sufficient.
Mr Christodoulou has lived in the region since he was six years old after his family moved from Marrickville to Millthorpe and the idea for the page came from Mr Christodoulou’s sister, who lives in Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece.
“She’s part of a group called Aussies of Thess for all the Australians who moved to Greece in that area and my sister was the first member,” he said.
“They get together and I thought that would be a fantastic idea.”
The page is still in its infancy, with 24 members, however Mr Christodoulou said the plan was to organise a dinner at one of the hotels where people could mingle.
With a demanding job in the mining sector to juggle, he is looking for help to administer the page and help it flourish.
Orange Young Professionals is another networking group to welcome those who have recently moved to the area, with 1100 followers on Facebook.
President and high school teacher Tom Fennell said it had played an important role in establishing his social circle when he moved to Orange from Sydney two years ago.
“I have made good friends through the organisation and you build up professional connections as well,” he said.
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