2017 Neighbour Day Grant recipient Mike Huynh couldn’t be happier with his neighbours. Thanks to the grant, residents of his Deer Park street have become fast friends – with neighbourhood kids regularly getting together to play.
About 30 residents came along and enjoyed a BBQ and a chat, Mr Huynh said.
“We always used to see each other drive past but we never got a chance to get to know each other and introduce ourselves.
“When you share food with people – you get to really talking, listening and understanding each other.
“My kids play with the neighbours now – because they know them – whereas before they might have been a bit shy.
“It’s been great, whole families have gotten to know each other – we even help out watching each other’s kids for a few minutes here and there,” Mr Huynh said.
Mr Huynh said that in Vietnamese culture there is a very famous saying which many Vietnamese know by heart.
“’Bà con xa không bằng láng giềng gần’ means ‘A stranger nearby is better than a far-away relative’.
“When there is an emergency the first person you seek help from is your neighbour. Your neighbour is your good friend," Mr Huynh said.
Mr Huynh said he was delighted with the outcome – but most importantly felt like he was part of a stronger community.
“We all feel a stronger sense of community now – a strong well-connected community is a safe community and that’s what we want for our street,” Mr Huynh said.
Neighbour Day grants are now open and close on Thursday 1 March. Neighbour Day will be held on Sunday 25 March 2018.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said Council was delighted to offer 48 Neighbour Day grants of up to $250 each to residents for activities to bring people together in their neighbourhood.
“Building strong communities is incredibly important – Council is proud to support residents to get to know their neighbours, welcome newcomers and encourage healthy, safe and well connected neighbourhoods,” Cr Giudice said.
For more information about applying for a grant, phone Council on 9249 4000 or visit Neighbour Day Grants.