How many of your neighbours do you really know? Would you like to meet more locals and be more connected the the community of people who live in your neighbourhood? Neighbour Day is a chance to do something about it.
Hard to believe, but Australia’s Neighbour Day is already in its twelfth year. I admire the people behind Neighbour Day, and since this important annual event found a new home with Relationships Australia it is only going from strength to strength. Although Neighbour Day was founded because of a tragic event that happened in 2003, the positive contribution it has brought to communities around Australia is undeniably remarkable and deserves commendation.
So what’s Neighbour Day all about? Neighbour Day Is Big News For Your Local Community because of what it sets out to achieve, as per its five principal aims:
- Strengthen communities and build better relationships with the people who live around us.
- Create safer, healthier and more vibrant suburbs and towns.
- Promote tolerance, respect and understanding.
- Break down community barriers.
- Protect the elderly, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.
Here at Housenet and Neighbour News Network we not only actively support this, we also share many of these objectives too. We are particularly interested in using online technology to break down social barriers between people in local communities. Social isolation is a pretty serious thing. The health risks involved are the same when you smoke 15 cigarettes or consume six alcoholic drinks a day. How do we fight this? There are lots of ways, but here are some suggestions to start:
1. Participate in Neighbour Day.
According to Relationships Australia (the organising team behind Neighbour Day), there are hundreds of event registrations already and they are expecting around 40,000 participants on Sunday, March 29. Celebrating Neighbour Day need not to be grand. It can be as simple as inviting a few neighbours for a drink or host a barbecue party like Kevin Horder on the 29th. Did you know that Kevin, together with his 19 Brimbank neighbours, were awarded $250 grant to organise this kind of activity on Neighbour Day? You too can also be creative as much as you want. And if I were you, I would start collaborating now with my neighbours to plan what to do on Neighbour Day.
If you want to know more about Neighbour Day or would like to register your event (they are giving free kits and resources to those who register), please visit their website neighbourday.org.
2. Join Housenet to connect with neighbours, online.
If you don’t know where to start and you don’t have any contacts with your neighbours, Housenet.com.au is a convenient platform to meet and socialise with people in your suburb. All you need to have is a valid e-mail address to register and once you are in, our system will automatically connect you to your neighbours and receive updates regarding your community. To get started, you can follow these easy steps. If you are hosting a simple dinner on Neighbour Day, you can also announce and invite your neighbours through Housenet’s events page
3.Tell us about your neighbourhood community on Neighbour News Network.
Encourage others in your to participate by sharing with us what you and your neighbours are planning on Neighbour Day! Neighbour News Network allows you to write about where you live and share your voice to members of your suburb. Your news or comment will be published as a blog and is also indexed by search engines and may even be syndicated nationally. Whether you are having a small barbecue treat on your backyard or organising a street party, the Neighbour News Network is a great way to get the word out.
Housenet and Neighbour News Network fully support Neighbour Day. I encourage you to get behind it and get involved, but more importantly use it as an inspiration to strengthen your community and build better relationships for the other 364 days of the year as well.