For those of us proud to call Northern Tasmania home, one of the highlights is the strong relationships we have built and established - and many visitors see this warmth too.
But not everyone.
As the Launceston Global Shapers Hub, we keep hearing lived experiences of those in our city that were not born here.
Many are here to study at the University of Tasmania, but others who choose Launceston as the place they want to live are not welcomed the same as everyone else.
In the dark of night, they are told to go back home. When accessing services, sometimes they are missed. When applying for jobs, it is harder to get their foot in the door because their name isn't 'typically Tasmanian'.
We cannot not let this happen.
We need to hear these stories, and learn from them. But more than that, we need to embrace the diverse communities that are choosing Northern Tasmania as a place to study, live and work.
There is so much written about how contact with diverse communities helps all of us break down prejudice and embrace difference, but we need to do more than turning up to a single event and having a quick conversation.
It takes more than one quick conversation at a dinner table to help someone feel included in our region. We need to build strong, lasting relationships and connections, where they feel welcomed at any forum and event, not just special multicultural ones.
Throughout the Global Shapers Community, we are often talking with people across timezones, ethnicities and nationalities to understand what is happening in their community and sharing from ours.
We're building strong relationships with people around the world who are passionate about change in this and other forums, knowing skin colour, the place you were born or anything else often used to divide us, does not define our value in society.
Even at our events and through other youth organisations in our region, we are seeing a fantastic group of young people that cares about this place and wants to be involved - but cannot do it fully. Not every opportunity is presented to them.
There are barriers that stop them easily being involved, even in a small connected region like ours.
There is no argument that Northern Tasmania is a warm, embracing place where people matter. For most of us, that is evident. The challenge is how we do it for everyone.
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