The Limestone Coast Young Professional Group (YPG) has amassed a following with a major influx in numbers joining the group this year.
The YPG Facebook group provides a space to post social events, rooms for rent, workshops and everything in between with the purpose of connecting people and fostering friendships.
YPG page admin Belinda Anderson said the group had experienced a large surge in numbers and fellow admin Rhiannon Mathers said they were seeing lots of new faces.
“We have close to 700 members now which is just huge, I think we were at about 500 in February,” Ms Anderson said.
She said many people were coming to the region on three and six-month contracts and were deciding to stay.
Ms Anderson believes young people are enjoying living in the region and had heard positive feedback, with many not realising how much there was to do – or how big Mount Gambier was.
“It’s not just around businesses and services to see and do, it’s around all the beautiful outdoor activities and the walks and nature, so that’s a big thing that we do hear,” she said.
Ms Mathers said there had been a turnover with people leaving, however there had also been a big swing of people moving to the region.
“It ends up being a bit cyclical, we have people come in on either graduate programs or short stints at hospital for teaching sort of graduate roles,” she said.
“Then once they have done a few years we see them move back to the major cities because they have got that work experience they need to get the next role.
“I think it’s mostly just there are so many opportunities here whether it’s with regards to work and kickstarting a career or finding something in the region, but also that you can find a lot to do here external to that.”
Ms Mathers said similar challenges were often raised in terms of work and career progression difficulties, which she also believed contributed to the turnover.
The YPG holds social events and Ms Anderson said several groups had now formed within the group including surfing, a book club, movie, trivia and gaming groups.
Ms Anderson said people did not need to be ‘young’ or a ‘professional’ to join, did not need to attend uni or have a job and members ranged anywhere from 18 to 40 years old, both locals and new movers.
“It’s a sense of belonging, we all need to know people or have some form of outlet and I’m a firm believer of we all need something outside of our workplace,” Ms Anderson said.