What is the Know Your Neighbour campaign?
Know Your Neighbour is about helping neighbours get to know each other and creating connected neighbourhoods and communities. For some, that may mean a first wave or a chat over the fence, inviting a neighbour over for a cup of tea, or hosting a street barbecue. Put simply, it’s about small steps to help and support you in getting to know your neighbours.
How it all began
The Know Your Neighbour campaign is proudly supported by Glen Eira City Council, and promotes Neighbour Day as one of the key activities. Neighbour Day is an annual celebration of strong and connected
communities held on the last Sunday of March. Neighbour Day was founded in Melbourne in 2003 and has evolved into an annual celebration of strong communities and friendly streets for people all-year-round.
Why knowing your neighbours is so important?
We know that when Australian communities foster connection and everyday ‘neighbourliness’ they are soon safer, stronger and more resilient. Besides this, our neighbourhoods provide a great chance for us to meet people who are different from us, which can help us learn how to connect with a variety of people. Know Your Neighbour ideas and resources provide the opportunity, support and knowledge to connect with those over the fence.
Who is it for?
Know Your Neighbour is for all Glen Eira residents. Our long-term vision is for every household in Glen Eira be part of the Know Your Neighbour movement at some point throughout the year in whatever way they can.
When is it? Neighbour Day takes place on the last Sunday of March every year. This kit is not only a great resource to plan your Neighbour Day celebrations, but to help you get to know your neighbours all-year-round.
Register your Neighbour Day event
We encourage everyone organising a Neighbour Day event or some neighbourly action to register it online. By registering, you will have access to the FREE Neighbour Day resource e-kit to help make organising your event easy and keep you up-to-date with neighbourly news and ideas all-year-around.
Know Your Neighbour ideas
- Organise a street barbecue.
- Morning/afternoon tea or ‘around the world picnic’ celebrating your neighbourhood’s diversity.
- Bake something to share and go door-to-door and drop them off.
- Share homegrown produce with your neighbours.
Games and activities
- Organise a games afternoon for children in the neighbourhood — egg and spoon race, treasure hunt, chalk drawing.
- Go on a lolly hunt in a nearby park or a neighbour’s large backyard for kids to find.
- Make a list of icebreakers for people to ask during these events.
- Organise an arts and craft session for the neighbourhood children. Check out GE Arts Online for some ideas to get you started.
Swap and share
- Next time you mow your nature strip, mow your neighbour’s as well.
- Organise a street verge planting project. Check our guidelines here
- Exchange phone numbers in case of emergencies.
- Keep safe — set up a Neighbourhood Watch group or organise a home safety gathering with your neighbours.
- Exchange greetings in different languages; try to learn some basic phrases of the various languages spoken in your street/neighbourhood.
- Start a street book club — invite neighbours over to discuss your favourite books.
- Have a street tea party.
- Organise a do it yourself party — use your neighbourhood’s combined skills and get creative.
- Join the Neighbour Day Facebook page
- Set up a street/neighbourhood Facebook group to help meet and connect with neighbours.
- Set up an informal and inclusive regular residents’ group catch up session.
Out of the box
- Get creative with your neighbours and decorate your letterboxes together.
- Make a book of stories with neighbours that celebrates great things about your street.
- Find out who plays what instrument in your street and organise a musical jam session.
- Start a neighbourhood library (eg. ladders, tools, books, toys, sports gear, music).
- Garage Sale Trail: invite your neighbours to join you in one big garage sale
Street party — permit and closure details
If you would like to hold an official street party, please refer to the Glen Eira Street Party Guide for the full policy, and permit and application details.
10 steps to plan your Know Your Neighbour activity
- Start simple
If you already know some neighbours, ask them if they have any ideas and would like to help. If you don’t know any neighbours, introduce yourself or leave your contact details asking for help to organise your local activity. Leave your details with a connection card
- Decide on your local activity
Decide on what, where and how you will organise your event. See our Know Your Neighbour ideas in this kit to help you decided. Keep it simple and most importantly, have fun!
- Follow up with your keen neighbours
Keep talking with keen neighbours about ideas, make a plan, and delegate tasks. Gather contact details so you can keep in touch leading up to your event.
- Organise your invitations
Include all the details — what, where, when, who. Involve kids along the way; you could ask the street’s children to help design the invitation. Put the invites into your neighbours’ letterboxes at least two weeks before the event. Make your own or use Neighbour Day’s pre-made invitations found on the Neighbour Day website
- Invite people in person
In the week before your event, go door-to-door and invite your neighbours in person. Make sure you go with someone else to stay safe. If some of your neighbours have limited English abilities, try to find ways to communicate and include them as this will help everyone feel welcome and part of the neighbourhood.
- Keep everyone involved
Invite input from people and take up offers of help. Allocate activities and keep people informed on how the planning for your event is going.
- Remind them again
A few days before the event, you could put a simple reminder note in your neighbours’ letterboxes.
- On the day, be a good host
Arrive early to set up and welcome people. Look out for neighbours who don’t know anyone and do your best to make everyone feel welcome. Name tags (with neighbours’ house numbers) can be a great help.
- Plan to stay in touch with each other
During the event, collect your neighbours’ contact details (if they are happy to share them). This way you can keep in touch throughout the year.
- Turn your street into a neighbourhood
Try to keep the neighbourly connections going. What other activities can you get involved in during the year? Keep in touch with everybody and build momentum for local activities year-round. Share your stories on www.neighbourday.org or www.facebook.com/neighbourday
For more excellent resources for your event, go to the Neighbour Day website here www.neighbourday.org to download your full event resource kit.