Melbourne Man Initiates Neighbourhood Day

Melbourne Man Initiates Neighbourhood Day

Western Australia Minister for Community Services Robyn McSweeney

Grants To Support Caring And Inclusive Neighbourhoods

Victor P Taffa

Community Services Minister Robyn McSweeney today announced grant funding for initiatives to celebrate ‘Neighbour Day’, with 14 Local Governments each receiving grants of up to $1,000.

The Neighbour Day concept was conceived by Melbourne man Andrew Heslop in 2003, compelled by widespread media coverage following the discovery of an elderly woman’s remains in her own home; she had been deceased for two years, without her friends, family and neighbours knowing.



Mr. Heslop wrote to The Age, suggesting a ‘National Check on your Neighbour Day’. His proposed suggestion was soon honoured and renamed as Neighbour Day, a day that aims to develop networks for more caring communities and strengthen ties with non-government organisations at a local level.

Mrs. McSweeney said the funding for these events would assist community members to feel less socially isolated and become more active members of society.

“It is so important for everyone, particularly senior citizens, to have a sense of trust in knowing the people around them, and to look out for each other.” Mrs. McSweeney said.

“In many situations, knowing your neighbour can be essential you might be locked out of the house and have no way of contacting anyone without a telephone; or in some cases, you may be concerned for your safety or wellbeing, and need the reassurance and support of a trusted person living close by.”

“I encourage residents in local communities to attend one of the events in their area. Whether they are hoping to make new friends or acquaintances, or simply wish to be more involved in the community, it’s never too late to know your neighbour.” Mrs. McSweeney said.

As Local Governments are best placed to meet the needs of the community at a neighbourhood level, funding will be more targeted and effective.  Successful grant applications approved for funding include:

  • Shire of Northam community barbecue for local residents to promote social physical activity programs run within the shire;
  • City of Albany Neighbour of the Year Award, inviting community members to nominate a neighbour who is committed to supporting seniors within their area;
  • Town of Bassendean garden party for elderly citizens within the community.