Written by Iona Reid
Now that you have unpacked your boxes (or like many of us you might still have them in the garage) you can start finding out more about the community we live in and if you want to, getting involved. So where do you start and why bother?
There are several great advantages in learning more about the area in which you live. Ranging from quick access to resources and services in the local area, extending your social and support networks (for you and if applicable your children too), finding new opportunities and interests, having fun at events, keeping safe, to even potentially making financial savings. You might also have many specific questions upon moving in such as where is the local post-office pick-up point? Where are the local schools? Where is the closest coffee shop? This is where your new community can help you.
There are some great webpages that provide information on joining a community and what the advantages are and offer tips and advice. These are a quick and great read. Some of the information that follows is summarised from these webpages:
- Getting to know your community after you move – blog by Emmet Pierce
- Tips and reasons to join a community – tip sheet by Shire Council Augusta Margaret River WA
5 quick tips
- Get to know your neighbours
Start a conversation with your neighbours and get to know them. It is nice to have a friendly face to say hello to. Neighbours are a great first step in learning more about the community you have joined and can be a valued help! A front yard conversation goes a long way to establishing a great rapport with your neighbours. Bin collection night is great for this!
- Check out social media and websites
There is an abundance of Facebook pages and websites that are specific to local areas and communities that you can join. There are also apps that some councils have developed for their residents (Camden Council has one). Land developers of the estates in which we live also have webpages and social media presence as do schools, sporting associations, religious groups etc. Local adjoining suburbs also have social media pages worth joining too.
Some examples of these include:
– Gledswood Hills Resident Group
– The Hermitage 2557
– The Hermitage Care Network
– Gregory Hills Residents and Community
– Camden-Narellan Noticeboard
– Camden Council
- Attend events, activities and join interest groups
Several events and activities are held across the year. Local councils hold regular events for the community, and these can be found on the Council websites or in the newsletters. Land developers also hold social events for their residents (such as for Halloween and Easter) to encourage community participation. Local libraries also offer a wide variety of events and workshops that are not just for the kids. Christmas lights competitions are held each year that you can get involved in too.
There are also a number of clubs, sporting clubs, local community groups, volunteer organisations, interest groups, church communities, and parents and kids meetings that you can join too.
We will be holding community events too, so keep a look out here.
- Walk, run, ride or drive around your neighbourhood.
So many estates now have lovely parks and gardens with walking tracks. Travelling around your local area is a great way to learn what is near you and meet your fellow residents. Some parks even have exercise equipment you can use, or local pop up takes away food stalls.
- Start using a local business and seek recommendations on services
There are many trades, services, and businesses that you will find in your local areas (some may even be your neighbours). It is a great idea to get to know these services. You never know when you might need an emergency plumber to call out! A webpage can be found here that is starting to list some of these online.
Community was incredibly important during 2020 and the response to COVID. Our community came together to give people the space to reach out if they needed help, offered a Where’s Wally walk around our local parks to help engage kids, placed teddy bears in windows for walks around the estate for parents and kids to see, offered food drives and charity drops offs by local members, and our residents provided some of the best year Christmas light displays on many houses we have ever seen.
We have a wonderful community here in Gledswood Hills and it is up to you how you want to engage with that. If you have some useful tips and hints for new members to our community, please use the Facebook page to give your suggestions.