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 to lend a hand.
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, connection card or another 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 online. By registering, you are putting up your hand to show that you and your neighbours want to create something; connected, healthy, inclusive, supportive and resilient neighbourhoods. The online registration form takes about 30 seconds to complete.
By registering, you:
- get access to 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 and work out how we can best support you
- keep up to date on neighbourly news and ideas
- go into the draw to win some Neighbour Day prizes
If you prefer not to register your support, you can access the Neighbour Day 2020 resource E-kits after 1 October 2019.
Thanks in advance for getting involved and creating connections!
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 from 1 October 2019 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 nametag file in the free e-kits or get people to write their own nametags using sticky labels.
Contact your local council or shire
Many local councils and shires are 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 or 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(!) neighbourly 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
Event hosts tell us that the top 3 ways to promote Neighbour Day events are:
1. Face-to-face invitation,
2. a friendly invitation left in their neighbour’s letterbox/under their front door, and
3. on Facebook.
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.
Check out our 2020 theme page for Social Connection and resources you can use on social media including graphics and selfie sign.
Remember to tag us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and use the hashtags #NeighbourDay #CreateConnections #NeighbourDayEveryDay #ND2020
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! Some hosts provide a few crafty materials and have neighbours make their own nametag. It provides something practical and fun for guests to do on arrival and helps break any nervous tension. Share what you know about Neighbour Day: how it was started, some of the places around the world involved, and some good neighbourly stories.
Encourage people to leave their mobile number with older residents so they have someone to nearby 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 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. Also, ask your guests to keep an eye out for others whilst at the event, safety is everyone’s responsibility.
And, a good neighbour always ensures that their friends get home safely.