We had a great event for Neighbour Day on Sunday 18th March. The Brimbank City Council helped fund our BBQ with a Neighbour Day grant and we had about 50 neighbours through who were mightily impressed with what everyone contributed including great company, the famous pulled lamb of our new neighbour Luke and all the amazing healthy salads, muffins and cookies that we feasted on! It was a great day with a lovely team helping out including our resident Couch Street Fairy Lulu, Lucia Bourke who came incognito to wow us with her face painting for the kids and a wonderful party pack from the Albion and Friends Toy Library including a roller coaster ride for the toddlers. In addition to a Facebook post our generous neighbours printed and delivered 300 invites to the local streets and we were rewarded by meeting some new and old friends on the day. Extra fun with the weather turning nasty at the last minute!
What started as one block of apartments expanded to the entire Esplanade and has further grown to include the residential part of Acland St and surrounding streets. With more and more people asking to join, there are now 99 members! We’ve chosen the name Green Knoll Neighbour Group as Green Knoll is an old name for St Kilda, particularly the bit of it near us. We started with one Community Connector, then two and now we have five people sharing the organising. We create lots of opportunities to meet up in person – St Kilda is full of great spots where we can share a meal, a drink or a coffee.
As it was working so well in my building (see earlier blog post), I decided to connect with all the neighbours in my street – the Esplanade in St Kilda, Melbourne. A letter dropped invitation to everyone brought out some great people and we have been meeting in local cafes and getting to know one another over a drink or a meal. We all share a love for the area. My neighbour Lorraine has joined me in being a connector for the street and we are looking for people who will initiate gatherings within each building (as there are about 8 apartment buildings) in addition to our whole-of-street group. We have 49 people in the group so far.
Like many people I thought it was a great idea to connect with my neighbours and start living in a community instead of just a street, but I hadn’t got around to it. With Neighbour Day approaching on March 29 I bit the bullet and dropped an invitation for morning tea in my apartment in the letterboxes of all the people (owners and renters) in my building. Fourteen neighbours came along, many meeting for the first time. We haven’t looked back! Every month or so we have morning tea in different apartments, with 10 to 20 people coming each time.