How to celebrate Neighbour Day
Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, encouraging people to connect with those who live in their neighbourhood.
Whether through a cuppa, a picnic in the park, or a message of support; Neighbour Day is the perfect opportunity to say thanks for being a great neighbour and for being there when I needed you most.
Neighbour Day is celebrated on the last Sunday in March every year with the aim of fostering strong personal connections that last the whole year round.
Pick a time and place
Whether it’s a cuppa with a few people or a barbecue for the block, your Neighbour Day can be as big or small as you’d like. Decide what’s manageable. If possible pick a communal area (such as the front lawn or car park), rather than inside an apartment or house. This will be less intimidating for residents who don’t know many people and it will encourage more people to join in. Or you may choose to drop off a calling card or postcard message of support or thanks to a neighbour.
Register your event
We encourage everyone organising a Neighbour Day event, or those who are planning on doing some neighbourly action, to register. By registering you are putting up your hand to show that you and your neighbours want to create something; connected, healthy, and resilient neighbourhoods. The online registration form takes about 30 seconds to complete.
By registering, you:
- get access our free resource e-kit to help make organising your event easy
- help us to see where and how many people have caught the Neighbour Day bug
- keep up to date on neighbourly news and ideas
- go into the national draw to win 1 of 10 $100 supermarket vouchers, as well as some other very neighbourly gifts!
If you prefer not to register your support, you can still access the Neighbour Day resource E-kit.
Thanks in advance for getting involved!
Work as a group
Get some neighbours involved in the planning and work out what needs to be done – invitations, publicity, food, name tags, balloons and cleaning up. Get children involved – they love a party!
Invite your neighbours
Register to download the Neighbour Day poster on to A4 or A3 along with the invitations. Just add the time, place and contact details. Let people know if they should bring food and drinks. Decide the best way to invite your neighbours. Knocking on the door and handing them an invitation is a nice personal touch, however you could pop it in the letterbox or come back later if they are not home. There is a name-tag file in the free e-kits or get people to make their own nametags using sticky labels.
Contact your local council or shire
Local councils and shires are often supportive of initiatives to strengthen their community. Councils across Australia are also signing on as Very Neighbourly Organisations to show that they support the Neighbour Day ethos. In support of Neighbour Day and community involvement, some councils offer assistance through free loans of barbecues, portable coffee machines, cricket sets and more. If you are planning a street party or an event in a local park, it’s also important to contact your council or shire to see if you need permission or a permit to host your event.
National Parks and other state/territory parks
Many people choose to celebrate Neighbour Day in one of our many awesome national parks or state recreation areas and invite people to bring themselves and some food and drink to meet up and share. It’s a great idea to get outdoors with your community. Parks and other land managers have asked that if you decide to arrange a neighbourly get together on public lands, that you check with them in advance to ensure there are no clashes. They often book out sites for other special events, and it is important to be neighbourly and not take over a site with your unexpected crowd. You may find that depending on the size of the activity that a permit is required, so be sure to check beforehand. Just Google your local national park service, state recreation area or public land manager and it should be easy to find the contacts.
Promote your event
If you are organising a larger event and want to open it to the general public, ask local shops and cafes to put up the Neighbour Day poster with your event details. Let your local or regional newspaper know your plans – they might write a story or take a photograph. Tune into your local radio station for tips and talkback on great neighbourly activities near you. Encourage work colleagues, family and friends to have their own event. We’d love you to share your stories about great neighbours and neighbourhoods to encourage others to get involved.
Say g’day and get to know your neighbours
Make sure you have a few people to make introductions and give out name tags. Shy people will be grateful! Share what you know about Neighbour Day: how it was started, some of the places around the world involved.
Encourage people to leave their mobile number with older residents so they have someone to contact in an emergency.
Any risks associated with the conduct of Neighbour Day events are the responsibility of the host individuals and organisations and their neighbourhoods and communities. The wellbeing of participants should be considered in the event planning.
Consideration should be given to keeping everyone attending an event safe, particularly children. Some tips are: stick to an invitation-only event; work with the local councils or relevant authorities in respect to road blocking permissions; ensure alcohol is consumed in moderation; observe fire bans; and be careful near lakes, rivers and other bodies of water.
And a good neighbour always ensures that their friends get home safely.