We took to social media to ask residents of our communities across the country to share their stories with us, and nominate the neighbours who have touched their lives and truly become friends and family.

01 October 2019

Communities are made great by the people who call them home, and the relationships and memories that those people create with one another. But the importance of small moments of support and connection shared between neighbours is too often overlooked.

That’s why we took to social media to ask residents of our communities across the country to share their stories with us, and nominate the neighbours who have touched their lives and truly become friends and family.
We were overwhelmed with the influx of nominations we received in just a few short weeks, and we’d like to share a few of our favourites with you. Because true friends deserve a little thanks.

Colin and Mary Doolan

Nominated by: Nesmi Sen Berwick Waters, VIC

When Colin and Mary sold the acreage property they had called home for many years and moved to Berwick Waters in late 2016, it took some time to get used to the idea of even having next door neighbours. “When we moved my biggest thing was, ‘who are we going to live next door to?’. When you live on a property you don’t have that really close proximity to your neighbours,” says Colin. Nesmi had moved into Berwick Waters just a few weeks earlier with her husband and young daughter Leah. Eager to find out who was moving in next door, she quickly struck up a conversation with Colin and Mary. “From the very beginning they were very pleasant, always smiling and offering to help,” says Nesmi. “They used to roll our bins onto the nature strip for us and then put them back. Whenever we go on a long vacation they say ‘don’t worry about your house, we’ll always keep an eye on it.’ And it’s not just to us either, they help everyone in the same way.”

Over the last three years their relationship has grown into a true friendship, with Leah (3) forming a strong bond with the couple. “We’re from India and we really miss our parents,” explains Nesmi. “But my daughter Leah always runs to Mary for some cuddles and rests her head on her shoulder, just like she does with her grandmother.” And according to Colin and Mary, the feeling is absolutely mutual. “I have to say, we got really lucky with Nesmi and her family,” says Colin. “We couldn’t have asked for better neighbours than we have right here.”

Maithri & Ramya Panagoda and Chris Lagana

Nominated by: each other! Discovery Point, NSW

Chris struck up an unlikely friendship with his neighbours Maithri & Ramya Panagoda when both he and Maithri got involved with the resident’s association at Discovery Point. “Maithri and Ramya are like parents to me,” says Chris. “Any help I need, I can ask them. When I was away on holidays this year they checked my mail and started my car to make sure that the battery wouldn’t be flat when I got home.” And the feeling is certainly mutual. “Chris is a lovely young man,” says Ramya. “We’ll often go to each other’s homes for dinner or coffee. He makes fantastic pizza!”

Graeme Howell

Nominated by: Edan Capell Baldivis Parks, WA

When Edan Capell’s partner accidentally electrocuted himself not once, but twice, her neighbour Graeme Howell came to the rescue. “He’s been a great neighbour ever since we moved in, but he went above and beyond to help us out when my partner was electrocuted at work,” says Edan. “Graeme dropped everything to come and help me drive my partner’s car home so I could take him to the hospital.” “The same thing happened the next day and without any questions, just a few laughs, he dropped everything and came with me again. When we had fires in our area, my partner was working away and I was heavily pregnant. Graeme was watering down his house to be safe and without any hesitation he watered down our house and the neighbour on his other side as well. It’s so great to have someone like him next door.”

Amita and Amit Nayyar

Nominated by: Danielle Crea Life, Point Cook, VIC

Before Danielle and Maro Crea moved to Life, Point Cook, she barely knew the people living alongside her. “My husband and I lived in our old place for more than 10 years and we never knew anyone in our street,” says Danielle. “We knew faces of course, but not anyone to talk to. But we bonded with Amita and Amit the day we moved in here.”
With both families raising children of a similar age, it wasn’t long before the neighbours formed a close bond. “We’ve sat together for many cups of tea and picked each other’s kids up from school,” says Danielle. “We often sit together and watch the kids as they play at the frog park, almost every afternoon.”

Danielle says that knowing the people living around her has been a welcome change in her family’s life. “I look forward to making many more memories with the Nayyar’s, we just love living in Life, Point Cook.”

New edition out  now - Live Proud Spring/Summer 2019.  This latest edition tells the story of our 95 year history of creating communities in Australia, as well as many more customer stories. We hope you enjoy the read.