Neighbour Day takes on stronger meaning in the face of coronavirus

Photo: Shutterstock.
Photo: Shutterstock.

As Australians become familiar with terms like "social distancing" and "self-isolation" the importance of healthy neighbourly relationships has never been greater.

That's the message from Relationships Australia as they count down to Neighbour Day 2020.

Held annually on the last Sunday in March, Neighbour Day encourages greater social connection with those who live nearby.

Unlike previous years, Neighbour Day 2020 will take on a different look to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

However, the underlying significance of Neighbour Day is now more important than ever, according to Relationships Australia WA executive Kylie Dunjey.

"Social isolation and social distancing are physical measures but they shouldn't mean emotionally shutting ourselves off from those around us," Ms Dunjey said.

"Now more than ever, we need our neighbours.

"Our message is simple.

"Be vigilant and continue to follow the advice of health officials, but please don't disconnect emotionally from friends, family and neighbours."

Ms Dunjey said there were numerous examples of neighbourhood spirit being seen in communities across the world.

"In Italy, neighbours have been singing together across balconies, and across social media in Perth we've seen people offering help to the elderly or disadvantaged," she said.

"This is the true essence of Neighbour Day."