Neighbourhood is a community building project that is not so much about what you get out of being a member, but more about what you choose to become a part of. We think of Neighbourhood as an intention, a direction, a promise, a way of relating and a place all at the same time. For us, Neighbourhood is where we are, where we want to go, how we want to do it and who we want to be in the process.
You can be a part of Neighbourhood, as a member, a volunteer, a neighbour, a community organisation or local business. However and how often you like. If you want to. At Neighbourhood, there is a role for everyone that wants one.
Neighbourhood was created by the team at The Pear, but is kept going day in day out by people in the neighbourhood. With the support of local volunteers, Neighbourhood organises regular activities and community events and spearheads local projects.
Neighbourhood is where we know each other
and we share a collective responsibility for neighbourliness
where we are
Our neighbourhood is on unceded Kaurna land. Its postcodes are 5014 and 5013. It is Alberton, Cheltenham, Pennington, Queenstown and Rosewater. But that’s not all.
Neighbourhood is near. We can go where we need to go on foot, by bike, by mobility scooter, pram or wheelchair. Our neighbourhood crosses local council boundaries. It is firmly rooted in Power territory, but open to those donning all or no footy colours.
Neighbourhood is at The Pear, where we thicken relationships over tea and coffee. It is at QT, where we work and grow things together. It is also our parks, where our dogs meet and our kids play. It is the pavements, stobie poles, trees and front yards that all share potential for chance encounters and art. Our neighbourhood is beautiful and ugly in more ways than we can count.
We love our place and are grateful that we live here.
how we do things
Here at Neighbourhood, we call what we do ‘doing neighbourhood’. It is an action, a verb, that when cultivated becomes a habit. With commitment, we build our neighbourhood’s strength like you would build a muscle. It is something that we do together, and that we can get better at the more we do it.
We build it into our routine by turning up, by sharing our passions, by opening ourselves up to meeting others. We seek energy and harness it in a way that makes it something valuable for everybody involved.
It takes a particular state of mind to neighbourhood, a certain openness. A willingness to say ‘yes’ to trying new things and to be open to the joy and sadness that comes with being neighbours.
Neighbourhood is about gathering: to meet, make, learn, swap, share, fix, care and play. It can be messy, but it is primarily great.
what we want to achieve
In our neighbourhood, we are free to be whoever we are, however we are. We can ‘just be’. People know who people are and what they’re good at and not good at. We know what we can share and respond to what others need. We feel a sense of belonging and connection in our collective efforts to care for each other and our surroundings. We value everyone’s role and input, regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, race, religion and sexuality.
Neighbourhood is where we know each other and we share a collective responsibility for neighbourliness.
who we want to be
In our Neighbourhood we honour our neighbours. We are kind. We listen. We learn from our mistakes. We build each other up and look after our environment. We respect each other, and pay our respects to past, present and future Kaurna people as the Traditional custodians of our neighbourhood and all of the Adelaide Plains.
You are at the heart of neighbourhood, and you belong here.
Get your copy of the Neighbourhood statement
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Get to know us
Together with Christie, Joost started the company in late 2017. with the idea of activating an old shop at the Alberton train station for community use. The rest is history. Five years later and many coffees in, you can find him behind the La Marzocco early in the morning. Joost looks after the daily operation of Neighbourhood Node. He is the 'handy man', the bookkeeper and occasionally the resident plumber. He is full of ideas (not all great).
The other half of The Pear's founding duo, you won't see much of Christie at The Pear during the week because she works full-time in the city. Rest assured, her creative ideas make their way into the day-to-day operations of the coffeehouse. If you've ever wondered who is behind the fabulous revolving murals around the corner from The Pear, it's Christie. Her background in the arts has been the foundation for many a Neighbourhood project and community event, with many things still on a long list of plans.
Having only been in Australia for 6 months, Annemijn joined The Pear team just before opening in January 2018. The Pear's aim of connecting neighbours resonated with Annemijn, who had traded her hospitality days for the union movement in the early 2010s. The Pear turned out to be the best of both those worlds: building relationships and bringing people together over coffee. The neighbourhood embraced Annemijn with open arms, providing a much needed sense of community having moved halfway across the world. Annemijn lives in the area with her partner and toddler, and from November 2023, Annemijn will be taking some maternity leave as they welcome a new family member into their life!
When Tahnee joined our team in 2019, she took to making coffees like a duck takes to water. We can say with certainty she is the quickest learning barista in the business, especially given that she doesn't drink coffee herself! Tahnee lives just down the road in Port Adelaide with her kids and family. She's a keen netball player, loves a day at the beach and has a deadly sense of humour. If we had to pick someone to keep us giggling on a deserted island, it'd be Tahnee hands down!
Freeda has lived in Alberton for 7 years and couldn't imagine a better place to live. For her, it is the sense of community, neighbourliness, playgrounds and of course The Pear coffee that makes it home for her and her family. Before joining the team in December 2020, Freeda and her daughter spent plenty of mornings walking down to The Pear! Freeda loved getting to know neighbours, which is why she helps to organise regular activities and supports neighbours to volunteer their time for the benefit of our community.
If you've met Lauren, you will know that her infectious laugh has been brightening up our mornings at The Pear since well before she joined the team as Coffeehouse Manager in 2021. Lauren used to bring in her two and then three kids pretty much every day when they lived in Rosewater, and became such a cherished part of our unofficial crew that we had to make it official. Lauren has a passion for early childhood education and hospitality, both of which come in very handy at The Pear!
A Pear regular since our inception and a nurse by trade, Alberton local Celena was ready to take on an additional challenge as her child started school. What better place to do that than the place you spend so much time anyway. You may have already met her wonderful pup Toby, who was lovingly immortalized on a stobie pole a few years ago for being the cutest local dog! We are so happy to have Celena on board to support the team with all things at The Pear. You'll find Celena behind the coffee machine on Mondays, whilst continuing to care for people in hospital on other days.
Morgan is Pennington local and has been a regular at The Pear, along with her family including her two adorable children, over the past 5 years.
Morgan is a qualified Youth Worker and is also currently studying Social Work at Uni. You can find Morgan at QT on Thursdays and at The Pear on Fridays where she'll be busy working on Neighbourhood projects & activities.
For those of you that have been to The Pear over the last few years, you will have inevitably met Jamie. She came to us to do some work experience back in the day, and happened to stick around to become one of our beloved baristas! Jamie is a person of many talents - not limited to singing, song-writing, playing musical instruments, teaching yoga and screen-printing. Jamie is a creative soul through and through, and we are thrilled that she keeps coming back to us in between her adventures.
When we got to know Aileen, we had no idea that she was our neighbourhood's main supplier of homemade gingerbread around holiday time. If you love gingerbread, she's the one to know! Aileen is an Alberton original, having grown up here herself and raised her own family. With her dad having been a member of the local Pigeon Racing club, it is not surprising that Aileen developed a bit of an interest in birds herself. You will find her donning some kind of owl related jewellery or piece of clothing on most days. Aileen runs baking activities for neighbourhood kids during the school holidays, and it is safe to say not many of the things that are made on those days make it home before being eaten!
Adam is an Alberton local, tech Whiz and he’s super helpful to have around if you’re in a pickle with any technical issues!
Adam volunteers his time and skills fortnightly on Tuesdays for a drop in tech/IT support session. He tries his absolute best to help solve those pesky IT issues, and we are so grateful for his persistence and efforts!
If you know anything about the history of Alberton or the Port, you will know Brian Samuels. Brian has a passion for both local and South Australian history. He was a foundation Committee Member of the Port Adelaide Historical Society (1972) and one of the first staff of the History Trust of SA (1981). In early 2022, it was Brian who inspired the creation of the Alberton History Walk Project by leading a guided walk through our neighbourhood that sparked so many recollections from people who live and used to live here. Brian also shares a love of another significant heritage activity: folk / heritage dancing, sparked by attending one of the Bogaduck Bush Band’s early Mylor Bush dances around 1971. In October 2022, Brian led the inaugural Neighbourhood Bush Dance, to be followed by a second one in November. Given their success, we are hopeful the dances will become a regular occurrence in our neighbourhood activity program.
You may recognise Carmen from the various activities she participates in and helps facilitate at The Pear and QT. You can find Carmen in the Queenstown Neighbourhood Garden on Monday mornings tending to the garden with planting, weeding, watering and putting her wonderful green thumb to use! Carmen is an experienced Disability Support Worker, so when she's not busy in the garden, she's often supporting clients to join other Neighbourhood Activities.
If you have ever been to The Pear on Friday mornings, you will know the remarkable sight and sound of Tai Chi happening under the veranda. Tai Chi has been a passion of Carol's for over two decades, but never did she think one day she would be leading a group herself. Yet here we are, more than 4 years in to weekly Tai Chi group at The Pear! We lovingly say that Carol and her partner Barry are part of the furniture of The Pear - we couldn't imagine it without them.
Apart from racing our Pear babies up and down the street on her gofer and being the only neighbour with not one but two Port Adelaide Football Club mugs on our mug wall, Deb is our official craft coordinator. Those beautiful knitted blankets that we have at The Pear, and that we donate to homelessness support services each year, are put together lovingly by Deb. She absolutely adores her grandson Teddy almost as much as she adores the Power footy players, and we just adore hearing Deb filling The Pear with her laughter every Wednesday morning!
When Eimear retired as Professor in Mental Health Nursing, she came to The Pear to talk about ways she could get involved in supporting positive mental health across our neighbourhood. Over the years, Eimear has hosted a range of conversations and activities aimed at just that, with great success. Eimear loves an excuse to put together a gift basket, so for World Well-Being Week and Mental Health Month, she always creates some brilliant well-being basket. We continue to learn a lot from Eimear's knowledge and experience about how to create community that supports people with all kinds of lived experience of mental illness and mental health issues. How lucky are we to have her as our neighbour!
"Here comes trouble" is what Glender jokingly says about herself when she walks into The Pear on Wednesday mornings. We met Glender early on in our Pear journey, and found out she was a life-long experienced knitter the same week that someone came to ask us about learning how to knit. Talk about serendipitous! Together with Glender we started a weekly Knitting Club, which over the years has evolved into the Wool Craft Club. Following Glender's lead, the group have knitted items for several charitable causes and vulnerable people, which we are very proud of. To us she is no trouble at all, we love her ideas and love having her around.
You'll find Ian and his dog Frankie at The Pear most Friday mornings, stamps and Justice of the Peace Handbook ready for anyone that needs something signed and sighted by a JP. But Ian is more than our local JP, he has helped organise community events, organised quizzes, hosted conversations about Economics of Sustainability and more recently has taken on the role of volunteer QT Host. Ian supports various social justice movements, and if anyone in our neighbourhood would win a 'most outspoken t-shirt' competition, it would be him! He is a passionate music lover, and if you want recommendations on what upcoming gigs to go see you should chat to Ian.
Kay is one of the friendly and welcoming face you will see at QT for weekly Wednesday bingo, and Tuesdays for QT hub users.
Kay bakes delicious biscuits, is handy at craft and loves animals!
She has 2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 duck! If you’re at QT on Tuesdays you may see her fur-baby, Amber, and sometimes even taste some freshly baked biscuits!
Neighbour Liana is a bit of a superhero in our neighbourhood, working as a Refugee Health Nurse during the week and offering a free vinyasa yoga class to anyone in the community on the weekend! Walk down to Company Square on Saturday morning during the warmer months, and you will see a large group of very relaxed yogis listening to the birds whilst doing their stretches. When Liana started yoga she wanted to create a safe, accessible and welcoming space for our local community to experience the joy of yoga - and that is exactly what she has done!
Liz is one of those volunteers that has been with us for so long, we can't remember a time without her. An English teacher for most of her life, Liz has a love of books and talking about books that is infectious. Liz has led The Pear's Book Club since early 2018, welcoming various new members over the years. Her passion for stories extends further than those that are written down, and led her to become part of the Alberton Oral History Project in 2022. During the week, you will find Liz and her doggy Jett as our volunteer hosts at QT.
Margaret is one of the warm and welcoming hosts at QT on Tuesdays, along with, Kay!
This dynamic duo loves to offer support to QT Hub users, helping you get set up at a co-working space. They also make a great cups of tea and coffee!
Margaret is also an avid bingo fanatic and can be found at QT for weekly Wednesday bingo.
When Phil retired he realised that working full-time meant that he had missed out on opportunities to connect with other local people. Retirement offered Phil a chance to join The Pear's Tai Chi group, and to volunteer behind the scenes in the kitchen on Fridays. If you're wondering why our cups are extra shiny on Fridays, Phil is why! Fun fact about Phil is that he learned to fly an aircraft in 2014, before crossing the Simpson desert in a 4WD. Currently Phil's four-wheel-drive adventures take him, his wife and their fancy caravan regularly for trips across Australia.
Sharon has been leading The Pear's Walking Group since the beginning (of time), but she has recently proven that she is capable of picking up the pace! In November 2022, Sharon completed the New York City marathon in just over 7 hours and we reckon she will soon be a jet-setting marathon runner. When she is not busy walking, running, dancing or looking after her grandkids, Sharon is working on a cookbook for people with intellectual disabilities, which will obviously be for sale at The Pear once it comes out!
An avid gardener herself, Simone came along to a Garden Club meeting at The Pear early in 2022 to meet other local gardeners. But what she found was a lot more than just other green thumbs! Simone became one of the founders of the Alberton Oral History Project, learning how to conduct and record oral history interviews; edit audio files and put them together in a sound walk that can be accessed via people's mobile phones. A lawyer by trade, an experienced gardener, a budding oral historian and a dragon boat racer in training... We are stoked to have Simone on our volunteer team.
Tarsh is a Queenstown local, often spotted out and about with her two young (and very cute!) children.
Tarsh is currently on maternity leave from her role in Youth & Community work. She and has spent some of that time facilitating cooking groups at QT.
Steve has recently moved to Queenstown from the country, where he was a high school teacher.
Now retired from teaching, you will see Steve driving around the neighbourhood in his yellow car with his rock music pumping!! Steve is a regular at The Pear most days and loves to meet other locals.
Steve is also our local quiz master, with one very successful Neighbourhood quiz under his belt, with many more to come!