From coffee and can openers to kindness: How neighbours are spreading joy

I’ve lived in five nations, seven cities, and 17 distinct addresses during the course of my life. In October of this year, I relocated to Australia.

I shared an apartment in Melbourne’s CBD for 19 months. I am a kind and cheerful person who enjoys conversing with strangers. But for the next 19 months, I only made acquaintances with the building’s manager.

When I moved to Southbank, everything changed. It’s only a 25-minute walk from my former apartment, yet it’s a completely other universe.

On my level, I discovered a little colony. I was soon joined to the WhatsApp family group for the floor.

Despite the lockdown, we stayed in touch every day. We kept each other up to date on the latest COVID values. When heading to the grocery store, pharmacy, or post office, someone would enquire if anyone needed anything.

When several of us needed COVID testing owing to the various exposure sites in Southbank, one of our neighbours kind volunteered to fetch us food or supplies while we awaited our findings.

My new couch came on a Saturday morning, just as I was leaving for the market. The 25-kilogram packed sofa was delivered to my floor by three of my neighbours. They had a beautiful round of drinks waiting for me at the neighbourhood cafe after the lockdown restrictions were lifted.

We get together in our neighbourhood cafe for hot chocolate or a drink when someone is having a bad week or when Melbourne’s winter gets too much.

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