Neighbours are becoming harder to find. Ironically so, because there are an increasing number of them, with so many more being housed in less space in multiplying apartment blocks around Lane Cove.
The ‘over the backyard fence chat’ doesn’t exist in these spaces and most people are working long hours. Yet, as Hugh MacKay was quoted in the The Village Observer (February 2015 edition) from his book, The Art of Belonging, ‘our deepest nature as a species is to connect, to associate and to belong.’
I suspect this is a real issue for many people living in apartments. How do we connect with our busy neighbours when there are few natural opportunities to do so? Yet, avoiding this issue risks our social cohesion and leaves many people lonely and unsupported. Add in a language barrier and the odds against a mutually supportive relationship decreases further.
In my six months of exploring Lane Cove, I recognise this as a community of smart, innovative people. It has retained its village nature. Community groups and processes abound and most people are friendly. How then, do we creatively address the isolation issue that may arise from apartment living and continue to be “Lane Cove village” in these changing times?
Recognizing the potentially isolating effect of a non-English speaking background, there are a number of English Conversation Classes being offered at various times and places in Lane Cove. My Conversation group meets Fridays 7pm at Meeting House, 23 Stokes St., Lane Cove North, during school terms. Come and meet your neighbours, have some fun and improve your English. Cost is by donation.
If you are interested in being part of a community group, don’t hesitate to contact me as I am willing to assist you find or form one. I look forward to meeting more of my neighbours!
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.