ARRC – Autoimmune Resource & Research Centre

‘Cafe Conversation Groups’ in NSW, ACT, QLD & NT

As COVID_19 restrictions gradually lessen, the recommencement of some ARRC Cafe Conversation groups may be on the horizon.  Recommencement is determined by local rules and regulations and also by the comfort of the group members.  Personal safety and comfort is a priority.  It may also be the case that we readdress the recommencement if local situations change.  Specific public health guideline regulations will need to be followed including the sensible practice of hand washing, social distancing & gathering numbers. Local venues may have additional requirements.  Please check with your selected venue for any specific requirements.

Northern Territory (new)

Parap  RSVP essential: Vanessa 0402933739

Australian Capital Territory

Weston  RSVP essential: Kate 0404774144

New South Wales

  • Armidale  RSVP essential: SMS Heather 0409712302
  • Budgewoi  Friday 13th August 2021 @11.30am. RSVP essential: Vicki 0439451591 (Pending COVID-19 restrictions)
  • Gosford    RSVP essential: Mery-Anne 0412092498 
  • Maitland  RSVP essential: Jan 0458257676
  • Newcastle RSVP essential: Carolyn 0409566889
  • Orange  RSVP essential: Daphne 0429920421
  • Port Macquarie  RSVP essential: Diane 0423349421 
  • Sydney 
  • Tamworth  RSVP essential: Robyn 0448778894
  • Wollongong 



Please email for further details.

About the Project

The ARRC facilitates local community support connections through its new program ‘Café Conversations’. This program acknowledges the vast geographical distance of patients, the difficulty many regional and remote patients have in attending seminars and workshops and more formal support group meetings, and the need for close local support.

This program was born from participants attending ARRC seminars and realizing that they were close neighbours. It was suggested that sometimes meeting in a park or café local to their homes would be a great support.

It is good to have someone to talk to that understands how you might be feeling without having to explain everything over and over again.” – Seminar participant.

How does it work?

ARRC is the connecting avenue between members to protect privacy and contact details of potential participants.

  1. If you interested in hosting an event in your area contact ARRC and register your details.
    Groups can be small and also larger depending on your area and interest
  2. Upon receipt of your registration ARRC will send contact letters to members living in your nominated area to notify them of an interest in forming a group.
    If there is interest from other members
  3. ARRC helps you organise casual social gatherings in your local area by inviting and introducing members in this initial gathering.
  4. The café conversation group is then formed with the group members deciding where they meet, what times they meet, how often and what format the meetings will take.
  5. The group can decide to exchange personal details at this point or may choose to keep their contact details private.
  6. ARRC offers ongoing support in sending notifications of planned conversation meetings and whenever specific educational or management needs arise.
  7. ARRC does not manage the chosen group structure after the 1st meeting of the group.
  8. Your café conversation group will be listed on our website by location with new members wanting to join contacting ARRC and being notified of planned conversation meetings.

For more information about setting up a group or joining an existing group please email