Time for community to come to the fore
In these current – and somewhat foreign times – as the Director of Australian Apartment Advocacy I urge you, as a community of apartment owners and residents, to ensure we are vigilant with nurturing a sense of neighbourhood in our respective buildings.
Many of us have seen visions of people in Europe playing instruments on their balconies, exercising and engaging in singing and there is no doubt that this kind of community contact is essential for morale and the sense of belonging that we all need to function effectively in life. But in order to create community, we need to action it!
So please be proactive. Make contact with your neighbours – even if by a slip of paper under the door – which contains your name, apartment number and phone number/email. You never know when you can just be that comforting voice at the other end of the call.
Create a Facebook or WhatsApp page so that your residents can have a forum for sharing ideas, thoughts, recommendations for TV shows etc. Just be mindful that you may however need to make some rules about the comments being more positive than negative and it is recommended that negative comments do get handled on a more one on one level, as it may in fact be a subtle cry for help.
And as a Strata company, you may also decide to spend some allocated funds from the strata levies to purchase spare toilet paper, sanitisation, soap etc as a back up for your community in case of emergencies.
There is no doubt that these next 3-6 months are going to be trying on us as a community of 2.5 million residents, as so many aspects of our daily lives are adjusted. As such it is important that you individually and as a family maintain daily routines such as exercising, reading, prepping meals, game time and so forth so that you feel that you have a sense of purpose and rhythm to your day.
And preparation is undoubtedly key. So download your Netflix and Stan series. Stock up on books. Prepare your gym gear for home workouts. Adjust your mindset and in turn extend your sense of community.
By being connected and compassionate we will come through this time – and I believe with a greater sense of community spirit and resilience, and that would definitely be a bonus!