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Tim Philips-Johansson talks to Jonny around the community of trade in Perth.

Jonny Nease is in quite a unique position. Based in the world’s most remote city, Perth - some would say isolation should be easy. We spoke to WA’s World Class Ambassador on how he sees the west-side of Australia’s bar community staying positive and connecting through these times.

Tell me about your community and what it means to you?

The Bar Community in Perth in a word is ‘neighbourly’. People genuinely care about each other and go out of their way to ensure that others are in a positive state of mind. This is incredible, especially being an ‘expat’ and having made Perth my new home. It’s not just my wife and her family that make this home, but all my mates in the industry.

How do you personally like to currently connect to your community?

I love seeing friends in different locations and trying whatever new drink they’ve made, or just having a chat. At the moment, being ‘on-location’ has obviously taken a back seat for ‘online’ but it’s been great to tap into all the video apps and platforms to engage with groups and co-workers from venues – be it over a virtual Martini! This is how I mainly connect; by having meaningful conversations. That’s why it's great to see the local community here working so hard to still stay connected in the current climate.

That’s amazing to hear. What are some of the positive impacts to your local community you have seen in the past month?

People making a concerted effort to stay connected. Within our new personal distancing world it’s vital to make sure no one gets forgotten. The Perth bar community isn’t letting that happen.

As people are on social media quite a bit, there’s a real push to help out each other’s venues. It’s not just bars, but breweries and restaurants are all getting involved. People are sharing quite a lot of each other’s content and knowledge.

At the end of the day, we all want every venue to make it through to the other side of this.

How do you feel the bar community as a whole has improved in the past 10 years?

There seems to be a move away from ‘egos’. People wanting to be on the front of a magazine have been superseded with bar teams working together to be at the forefront of our industry. Not only is this a more professional outlook, it fosters positive growth between individuals.

What are some ways we can look out for our fellow team members in times of personal distancing?

By staying connected. It’s as simple as a phone call, or having a Zoom catch up between multiple friends.

Also, having honest conversations about practical needs. For instance; with my bartender neighbour they needed me to watch their dogs while they went to deep clean their bar. A simple request, but one that enabled her to get some paid hours - plus I got to play with her dogs! Win-win.