Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, bringing together local people across the country for a chat, an afternoon tea, a street party or any other small or large gathering.
The principal aim of Neighbour Day is to encourage people to connect to others who live nearby. Held on the last Sunday in March every year, it’s the perfect day to say thanks for being a great neighbour and for being there to lend a hand.
“It’s well known that good relationships with others support our mental health, reduce social isolation and make us feel connected to our community,” said Alison Brook from Relationships Australia, the organisation promoting Neighbour Day.
“Friendships with neighbours and others who live nearby are some of the easiest friendships to maintain and make a big difference to the strength and resilience of local communities.
“Often local councils and shires like to know about street parties or events in local parks, especially if people plan on closing streets or using large areas of a public space. Check the website of your local council or call them to find out if you need permission for your event.
“This could also be a good time to gather a group together to see if anyone wants to help you out in organising an event,” Ms Brook said.
The Neighbour Day website offers great ideas to help you celebrate Neighbour Day as well as free, easy-to-use resources including posters, selfie signs and calling cards to download. You can follow Neighbour Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to hear what others are doing in preparation for the big day.
This year the Neighbour Day theme is the importance of a supportive neighbourhood for children and young people. The theme encourages all Australians to support safe and welcoming communities for families with children and young people in their neighbourhoods.
Neighbour Day was founded in 2003 by an Australian community activist, Andrew Heslop, who was shocked when the remains of an elderly woman were found inside her suburban home more than two years after her death.
In response, Andrew began co-ordinating a national ‘Check on Your Neighbour Day’. He gifted Neighbour Day to Relationships Australia in January 2014.
“The community you want starts at your front door.” TM