Connect with your neighbours

The Engage Network aims to connect people, including those feeling isolated during the pandemic. File photo. 227030_01

By Alesha Capone

Wyndham council has become the first municipality in the state to join Neighbourhood Watch Victoria’s Engage Network which aims to connect people, including those feeling isolated during the pandemic.

Neighbourhood Watch Victoria chief executive Bambi Gordon said the network aimed to link residents with organisations, such as councils, businesses, social and community groups.

She said the reasons for people wanting to connect with organisations could be as varied as safety and crime prevention, to engaging with culture or leisure groups, making friends or to find a sports activity for children.

“We also noticed in the pandemic there has been a real craving for connection,” she said.

Ms Gordon said Wyndham was selected as the first council to join the network because the municipality already has 13 Neighbourhood Watch groups.

She also said Neighbourhood Watch has a “great relationship” with the council thanks to Wyndham’s community safety portfolio holder, Cr Susan Mcintyre, who is a long-serving member of Neighbourhood Watch.

Ms Gordon hopes all of Victoria’s 79 councils will eventually join the Engage Network.

Cr McIntyre said community safety required a partnership approach between emergency services, local organisations and residents.

“Wyndham city is always looking for ways to broaden and strengthen these partnerships,” she said.

“Given the work of Neighbourhood Watch already under way in Wyndham, the Engage Network was the perfect way to solidify that work.

“Neighbourhood Watch groups do more than just look after safety, they help connect neighbours and contribute to the overall wellbeing of the community.”

Ms Gordon said Neighbourhood Watch wanted to reach out to community groups and not-for-profit organisations that would like to get involved with the Engage Network.