Neighbourly kindness changes lives

Published On 22 March 2019 at 10:55 AM

Sutherland Shire Council is encouraging residents to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood this Neighbour Day, with Australia’s annual celebration of community taking place on the last day of this month, Sunday 31 March.

This year’s Neighbour Day theme is Loneliness: What neighbours can do to create connections.

With one in four Australian’s identifying as feeling lonely, Neighbour Day is a chance to check in with people who might need some help or even an extra friend.

“Neighbour Day is an opportunity to assist fellow community members, share a cuppa, or have a chat over the front fence and connect with those who live next door or down the street,” said Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce.

 “If you have a neighbour you think may be lonely, why not knock on their door and ask ‘how are you doing?” or “Can I give you a hand with anything?’” Mayor Pesce added.

Being friendly with neighbours is a great way to stay connected to your community. To encourage residents to connect and be neighbourly, Sutherland Shire Council has introduced new Bin Stickers that read BE A BIN FRIEND. The idea is to prompt residents to make contact with their neighbours and to check in to see if they need a helping hand.

The stickers can be placed on red, yellow or green bins and are a great way to break the ice or strike up conversation by taking part in a community-friendly initiative. It’s also a great way to let your neighbours know you need a helping hand, if for some reason you are unable to put your bins in and out yourself.

The stickers are available to collect from Council’s Administration building, Libraries and the Sutherland Entertainment Centre and will identify neighbourly-minded people so others can feel comfortable to reach out.

“A small gesture can go a long way to brightening someone’s day, or make them feel part of the community. 

“I love living in the Shire and regularly help my lovely neighbour by bringing her bins in or feeding her dog when she’s away,” said Margaret Barter of Kirrawee.

“We have created a wonderful friendship over the years, and she looks out for me and I look out for her - I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

Manager of Engadine Community Services, Melinda Paterson said Neighbour Day is the perfect excuse to start a conversation with someone who lives in your building or on your street.

“It’s an opportunity to say thanks for being a great neighbour, and maybe make a new friend in the process,” said Ms Paterson.


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