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The 6th annual Neighbour Day will be held at Tootgarook Primary School this Sunday, 30 March from 10am – 2pm. Fun for all the family including presentation of Good Neighbour Awards and Scarecrow Awards, School Bands, Pet Parade, Giant Slide and Jumping Castle, demonstrations and lots of community activities.

The aim is to encourage everyone to have better relationships with their neighbours and develop a greater sense of community caring, especially to look after the vulnerable and elderly who live alone.

Neighbour Day was founded in March 2013 by Andrew Heslop after the remains of an elderly Melbourne woman was found in her suburban home. Mrs Elsie Brown had been dead for two years – forgotten by neighbours, friends and family.

When her water account had gone unpaid for two years Police were notified. Her skeletal remains were still wrapped in a blanket on her sofa.

Remarkably other utilities remained connected and neighbours had watched piles of mail, store catalogues and newspapers build up at her front door but did nothing.

Andrew suggested a ‘National Check on Your Neighbour Day’ in a Letter to the Editor of The Age, published on 17 March 2003. His concept was refined, renamed and Sunday 30 March of that year, the first Neighbour Day was observed.

Importantly it also brought to prominence a major issue faced every day by senior Australians.

So come down and meet your neighbours at Tootgarook Primary School and Family Life Community House at Carmichael Street, Tootgarook.

Compiled by Debra Mar