Monday, March 03, 2014

Get to know your Neighbours this March

Relationships Australia NT is encouraging Territorians to get to know the people around them and living in their street this Neighbour Day.

Neighbour Day is an annual celebration of community held on the last Sunday of March, falling on Sunday 30 March this year.

The Day was founded by Australia Day Ambassador Andrew Heslop in 2003 after the lonely death of Mrs Elise Brown, who was left unfound by family, neighbours and friends for up two years after passing away in her home.

“Neighbour Day is a timely reminder for us all to get know the people living next door, across the street or working in the same building,” Relationships Australia NT CEO Marie Morrison said.

“We can’t underestimate the value of community and a simple hello.

“As we age and build online communities, our connections with the people around us are lessening.

“On this Neighbour Day make sure you take the opportunity to say hi to your neighbours, host a get together for the people in your street or offer to give one of them a hand with something.”

Relationships Australia was handed the baton from Andew Heslop on 1 January 2014 to grow and manage Neighbour Day in Australia after a national expression of interest process late last year.

“We plan to build upon the strong legacy of Mr Heslop, who has carefully grown and developed this wonderful event over the past ten years,” Ms Morrison said.

Relationships Australia shares the vision and values of Neighbour Day and firmly believes that our communities are only as strong as the people who live in them.

“Helping individuals, couples and families build stronger relationships has been the fundamental aim of Relationships Australia for 60 years.”

Darwin Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim and local Alice Springs resident Jonathan Pilbrow will help spread the message of Neighbour Day in the NT after signing on as Ambassadors.

Mr Pilbrow, a long-term  social worker and Territorian, said he will celebrate Neighbour Day with an open barbeque in his front yard.

“Neighbour Day is important because it encourages neighbours to take a break from their busy lives, and take the time to connect and reconnect, with each other," Mr Pilbrow said.

"I think that good neighbours and good neighbourhoods are one of the keys for a healthy and happy society.

“Good neighbourhoods can help break down social isolation, and improve public safety, with people keeping an eye out for each other, and they can also help to address local issues and problems."

Mr Pilbrow and others have been hosting fortnightly get-togethers with friends and people that haven’t yet met, in Larapinta Park since 2012 and more recently added a street Christmas Party.

People can connect with Jonathan on the ‘Friends of Larapinta’ Facebook group.

For more information on Neighbour Day visit or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.