How to find Help: Phone a Friend

Places to find a Friend

Phone a Friend is the third secret of Seven Secrets for Reducing a Strong Accent. Finding help makes any task easier, but is vital for acquiring new language skills.


Colleagues can often be very helpful and friendly

Social & Sporting Clubs connected with work

Larger workplaces will offer various opportunities to socialise both formally and informally. Ask your line manager what’s available.

Your children’s school

Chatting at the school gate with other parents is a great way to make friends.  Schools also offer lots of opportunities to get involved with working bees etc. as well as a variety of groups that use the school’s premises.

Migrant Resource Centres

  • What are they:  Centres aimed at assisting new Australians settle in: education, training, legal advice etc.  Often located in areas where migrants settle.
  • Finding them: Search for “Migrant Resource Centre” you can refine the search by adding the name of your state capital. Alternatively ask at Centrelink or Medicare offices.

Neighbourhood Houses

  • What are they: Community houses which have a range of education and assistance services run on a not-for-profit basis
  • Finding them: visit for the national body. Alternatively search for Neighbourhood Houses in your area: there are over a thousand in Australia.

Local City or Shire Councils

  • What are they: the lowest tier of government in Australia, responsible for street lighting, bins, paths, parks and other local amenities. They will have a range of services for the local community and lists of clubs, societies and religious organisations.
  • Finding them: visit your Shire or City council offices or website and search for community centres.

Emergency Services:  Country Fire Authority (CFA), Country Fire Service (CFS), Rural Fire Service (RFS), State Emergency Service (SES), St John Ambulance Service

  • What are they: In the outer suburbs and regional areas, most emergency services like the fire brigade are provided by largely volunteer forces like the CFA, CFS, SES and St John’s.  You assist your community, get specialist training and of course plenty of opportunities to mix with like-minded people.
  • Finding them: Search for “Fire brigade” or “State Fire Service”

Community Broadcasting

  • What are they: Australia has a huge network of community radio and TV stations, broadcasting to various special interest groups and communities.  Many focus on broadcasting to ethnic communities (for example Melbourne’s 3ZZZ).  Most of these stations are staffed by volunteers in a range of roles from broadcasters to envelope stuffing.
  • Finding them: visit the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s website: to find your local station.

National Associations

  • What are they: Various clubs and societies exist for nationals: Hungarians, Italians, Indians etc.
  • Finding them: Search on Google, ask your country’s embassy or consulate or ask friends

Religious Groups

  • What are they: Nearly every faith on the planet is represented in Melbourne.  Your local, Church, Mosque, Synagogue or Temple will probably have locals who can point you in the right direction.
  • Finding them: Search on Google, ask friends, go to the library etc.