It's a simple step: a conversation with your neighbour can led to harmony and balance

Neighbours are being encouraged to speak to each other more, in an effort to establish a greater sense of community in the Shire.

A positive relationship between neighbours creates both a harmonious and peaceful living environment, while encouraging a sense of community.

Positive mood: Graham Chegwidden settling in to life in Crookwell.

Positive mood: Graham Chegwidden settling in to life in Crookwell.

"Our long-time residents have a wealth of local knowledge they can share with new residents to help settle them in and make them fell welcome," said Upper Lachlan Shire Council's general manager John Bell.

"I encourage all residents, particularly long-time residents, to reach out to neighbours so everyone feels a part of our wonderful community," he added.

Solicitor and barrister Graham Chegwidden moved to Crookwell from the Southern Highlands in May 2017.

He was looking for a quieter lifestyle, affordable housing, a safe community, access to health services and a place to eventually retire.

"Since moving to Crookwell I have been welcomed everywhere I go,” Mr Chegwidden said.

“I have joined Rotary and been welcomed there, I have been welcomed by my neighbours, and even been welcomed at the local shops - it's been wonderful.

"The local community are very amiable and like to meet new people," he said.

Mr Chegwidden's experience is a wonderful example of the Shire's sense of community spirit, camaraderie and inclusiveness, said Mr Bell.

Community engagement also extends to establishing an effective partnership between service systems and communities. 

A recent government report showed that this has the potential to lead to improved outcomes for Australian children and their families.

Institutions that engage with the communities aspirations, concerns and values, and shares them. 

While also being able incorporate them into the decision-making process are able to meet the needs of the community as a result of being better informed.

The report established an effective partnership between service systems and communities results in a greater sense of ownership, greater take-up of services, and better outcomes for children and families.