19 June 2020

Connecting Gungahlin Neighbours

| My Gungahlin
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Building on the highly valuable Neighbour Day theme, Communities@Work and its merging organisation, GRCS hosted a joint morning tea for the local community on Monday 8 April 2013.

Communities@Work CEO Lynne Harwood, spoke about the need to create resilient neighbourhoods and the organisation’s goal of connecting people and services. She strongly encouraged neighbours to catch up over a cuppa or just to make a friendly connection.

Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Federal Member for Fraser, endorsed the comments and emphasised the benefits of robust neighbourhoods in the community. He spoke about the foundation of Neighbour Day and the Government’s focus on supporting communities.

‘Neighbour Day’ was founded in Melbourne, Australia in March 2003 by Andrew Heslop after the remains of an elderly woman were found inside her suburban home.

Mrs Elsie Brown had been dead for two years – forgotten by her neighbours, her friends and her family. It was not until a neighbour eventually realised she had not seen Mrs Brown for an extended period of time that Victoria Police were notified. Sadly when officers broke into her home they found Mrs Brown’s skeletal remains still wrapped in a blanket on her sofa.

It is estimated Mrs Brown had died sometime in January.

Her memory lives on in the legacy of Neighbour Day, which focuses on connecting neighbours, communities, friends and families. Community sector organisations such as Communities@Work and GRCS work hard to promote inclusive neighbourhoods to help prevent a re-occurrence.

Connecting Gungahlin Neighbours proved to be a great occasion for schools, community groups and local businesses to ‘partner up’ as community neighbours connecting residents to services and activities in the region.

There was great fun and laughter from families caught up in the spirit of the event and surrounded by much activity, balloons, displays and information give-aways. The diversity of the Gungahlin community was emphasised by the attendance of a wide range of residents from different cultures.

Communities@Work’s “The Yellow Van” was present with its mascot ‘Yummi’ and proved to be very popular choice for photos with the children. The Yellow Van was grateful to receive donations from the local families.

Small cut out figures representing what a neighbour looks like were decorated by Ngunnawal, Palmerston and Harrison School children and connected up on the pavement as part of an activity creating a neighbourhood display.

Coles Gungahlin supplied scones, People Choice Gungahlin provided cupcakes through Jo’s Kitchen (a home-based business in Harrison) and “Links for Life” participants and HACC volunteers contributed home-made scones. Special My Gungahlin treats were provided by Crafted3.

Other organisations displaying information and providing activities included the Child and Family Centre Gungahlin; Land Development Agency; Centrelink Gungahlin; Defence Community Organisation; People’s Choice Credit Union; My Gungahlin, Just Better Care and Neighbourhood Watch. and the Centenary of Canberra.

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