Fostering Community Care In Hobart This Neighbour Day

North Hobart resident Robyn with neighbours Pippi and Remi and Aggie the dog-JS1_0944.jpg

‘Neighbours Every Day’ is a campaign by Relationships Australia to mark National Neighbour Day on Sunday March 31st 2024 and is Australia’s leading campaign promoting the benefits of social connection and building capacity for everyone in Australia to make and maintain respectful relationships.

The campaign has operated in Australia for over twenty years, promoting the benefits of well-connected and resilient communities, and empowering everyone to create and share belonging.

Relationships Australia National Executive Officer, Nick Tebbey, said; “In recognition of the importance of maintaining respectful relationships on every day of the year; Relationships Australia reframed Neighbour Day in 2022 as a national, year-long campaign – known as Neighbours Every Day.”

The annual ‘call to action day’ Neighbour Day continues on the last Sunday in March each year.

In 2024, Neighbour Day will take place on Sunday, 31 March.

Neighbours Every Day is about empowering everyone in Australia to build respectful and supportive relationships with their community.

“Recent research shows us that when people connect with their communities, they have a greater sense of belonging, which leads to improved mental well-being and a reduction in loneliness,” said Mr Tebbey.

“This also contributes to strength and resilience in the face of external pressures, which we have seen increase dramatically in recent years.

“In fact, almost 65% of those who participated in Neighbours Every Day reported an improvement to their mental health, including less psychological distress during the pandemic.

“And there’s even more good news; after engaging with the NED campaign; 85% knew their neighbours better and 99% of these newly formed relationships have endured.”

The theme for Neighbours Every Day in 2024 is “Create Belonging – Share Belonging” – a call to action for everyone in Australia (individuals, community groups, business and governments) to take everyday actions that create social connection and build respectful relationships.

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds echoed the importance of the theme saying, “We all have a role to play in strengthening our Hobart Community and create belonging: for ourselves, for our families and for our neighbours.

“We can share belonging by focusing on genuine inclusion and connection, making others welcome, and by challenging ourselves to connect through empathy and compassion.

“With neighbour day falling over Easter this year it’s a timely reminder of how we can take action by helping our neighbours who may be heading away for the extra long weekend to keep our neighbourhoods safe.”

RACT Communications Manager Ben Hansen said in addition to neighbours looking out for each other, residents could give themselves another layer of protection by taking a few simple security steps before they left home.

“We encourage everyone, whether leaving for the day or an extended period to secure doors, windows, garages and sheds, and not to hide a spare key outside,” Mr Hansen said.

Top tips from RACT include;

  1. Before leaving your home, whether for the day or an extended period, the RACT encourages everyone to secure doors, windows, garages and sheds.
  2. Unplug your appliances and don’t hide a spare key outside for someone to find.
  3. If you have a public social media account, we’d encourage you to think about what you share online – you could be telling would-be burglars that you’re not at home.

“We’re lucky in Hobart that we already have a great sense of community spirit, but we can’t take it for granted”, Cr Reynolds said.

“We can all play a part in building a sense of belonging in our neighbourhood. Linking up with our neighbours does help create connections and it’s particularly special for those in our community who might feel a bit lost or isolated.”

Picture: North Hobart resident Robyn Saunders with her young neighbours Pipi (one) and Remi (three).

/Public Release. View in full here.