This Sunday 28 March is Neighbour Day and to help celebrate we’re encouraging the community to be neighbourly, whether it be stopping to say ‘hello’ to your neighbour or introducing yourself to someone new in your neighbourhood.
Neighbour Day is an annual celebration of community that aims to bring together people who live next door, across the street or in the same neighbourhood.
A neighbour is also no longer necessarily defined by location alone and can be someone in your wider community, your workplace, or online.
Deputy Mayor Nora Lamont said this year’s theme ‘Every day is neighbour day’ highlighted the importance of taking neighbourly actions every day of the year.
“As we’ve seen during the numerous challenging times over the past year, neighbours can help and support each other in times of need. We have the capacity to build communities beyond our physical location – neighbours can be anyone,” Cr Lamont said.
“Neighbour Day provides all of us with an opportunity to recognise the strength we draw from our communities, and to continue to build creative connections with neighbourhoods and wider communities. We are asking everyone to get creative, reach out, and to encourage social connection,” she said.
Maroondah City Council has partnered with Neighbourhood Connect to deliver a series of free Let’s Get Neighbourly workshops, inspiring people to become ‘community connectors’ in their neighbourhoods.
“Our Let’s Get Neighbourly workshops are a great way to get to know your neighbours and strengthen the sense of community Maroondah is known for,” Cr Lamont said.
According to Relationships Australia, people living in neighbourhoods that are highly connected enjoy overall higher levels of physical and mental health.
“We know that people who connect and bond with their neighbours experience a greater sense of belonging. Social connection makes us feel better and can help prevent loneliness, isolation and depression,” Cr Lamont said.
“I encourage residents to reach out to the vulnerable and lonely members of the community to create a connection – whether it’s a few friendly words across the back fence, inviting your neighbour over for a cuppa, organising a community get-together, or stopping for a chat when you’re walking the dog.
“For those who have elderly neighbours, it’s also a good opportunity to drop in and make sure that they are ok and to remind them that they have neighbours they can call on if in need. Even just knowing that there is someone close by to call on can give people greater peace of mind.
“For those who already have established relationships with their neighbours, then this is the perfect chance to say ‘thanks’ for being a great neighbour. But it’s also a good excuse to introduce yourself to new members of the neighbourhood or get reacquainted with those you haven’t spoken to for a while,” Cr Lamont added.
“We are blessed in Maroondah with a strong sense of community and I encourage residents to plan a get-together with neighbours, including children and young people, to get to know each other better,” she said.