When Vijitha and Nilakshi joined Dacland’s Rothwell community with their families they were determined to create a safe and connected neighbourhood to call home.
The pair are currently building their homes down the street from one another and quickly bonded over their desire to create a connected community. They wanted to ensure that their new homes were a safe place for their families to live and decided to act by creating a Neighbourhood Watch group with the support of Dacland.
Vijitha said that being amongst the first residents to build in our community, he was determined to help ensure that safety was a priority in his new neighbourhood.
“I used to live in Carnegie, which is where I saw the benefits of having Neighbourhood Watch. The home owners in the local community around us interacted well,” said Vijitha.
“They looked after each other and it created a wonderful place for us to live, I wanted to replicate this at Rothwell.”
Nilakshi said that she and Vijitha wanted to create a place where they could connect with their neighbours and talk to each other about what’s going on in the community.
“Sometimes when we drive to Rothwell, we see in the surrounding areas that the signs have been vandalised or fences damaged,” said Nilakshi
“We hope that this group helps encourage our neighbours to speak up if they see something happen, so that we can work together to create a safe community.”
To raise awareness and make it easy for everyone to contribute, Vijitha and Nilakshi have created a Facebook group consisting of both current and future residents at the Villages of Rothwell. The page was only created a few weeks ago, but has already reached approximately 80 members.
“Our neighbours have responded really well to the initiative, we’ve been able to connect with other families in not only our street, but a few blocks away,” said Nilakshi.
“The page is still in its early days and as such, there has not been too much activity. Once more families start to move in there will be more people involved.”
As part of creating inclusive and safe communities, Dacland has partnered with Neighbourhood Watch to establish groups in each of our communities. Dacland General Manager of Delivery, Marc Akkerman believes the initiative will support both residents who are currently living in our communities, and future residents who will soon join the community.
“At Dacland, we want to support residents in our community to feel safe and connected in their new homes. We are extremely appreciative of Vijitha and Nilakshi’s efforts to establish the Rothwell Neighbourhood Watch Group. The initiative will help encourage residents to watch out for one another and inspire them to form neighbourly connections,” said Marc.
Chief Executive Officer of Neighbourhood Watch Victoria, Bambi Gordon, is working with Dacland to introduce the initiative to other Dacland Communities. This partnership will see the formation of groups at Wynbrook in Wyndham Vale and Lochaven in Cranbourne West, later this year.
“We are thrilled to be working with Dacland to help it build connected communities across its new developments,” said Bambi.
“Neighbourhood Watch has been around since 1985. It has been built on the core foundation of communities coming together to help, educate, and motivate each other. Our volunteers don’t just meet up face to face, but we also reach out on social media, forming new friendships and connections.”
The partnership is still in its early days, but already is successful in connecting residents at the Villages of Rothwell. Vijitha and Nilakshi are currently working with Neighbourhood Watch and Dacland to create an established group for residents and hope to hold their first meeting later this year, once more residents are living in the community.
“We really appreciate the support from Dacland and Neighbourhood Watch in helping us create a safer community at Rothwell,” said Nilakshi.