A specialist community program across NSW ensures residents feel connected to each other and their neighbourhood.
For Brighton Lakes couple Carmel and Lindsay Hanna, their move to a Mirvac community has not only given them a beautiful new home in a golf course setting but a brand new circle of friends.
And they’re not the only family members to benefit. Their grandsons Cheyse and Ky have a readymade circle of young playmates at their weekly visits and a regular round of community events to enjoy with their grandparents.
While the Brighton Lakes community was establishing itself, Mirvac’s Welcome Plus team members met every household in the 306-lot community, held special events to celebrate occasions such as Easter and New Year, and brought new neighbours together through activities such as fitness classes and playgroups.
Two years down the track and with the last homes completed, Mirvac’s goal has been achieved – the community is now self-sufficient and in control of its own destiny.
Brighton Lakes is just one example of Mirvac’s Welcome Plus program at work. Designed to help residents form friendships and feel connected to each other, it’s an integral part of building strong communities, especially important when residents move in to locations where the local infrastructure is only beginning to evolve.
Since Carmel moved in, her immediate neighbours have become familiar faces, and she often catches up with Helen next door for bingo at the Brighton Lakes Golf Club.
“It’s a lovely community and most people walking past say hello or nod,” says Carmel. “Cheyse and Ky love going for walks down along the golf course and they loved all the Christmas decorations. There was some healthy competition with people trying to out-do each other with Christmas lights, as they also did at Halloween. We had close to 100 little visitors on the night.”
Diana Sarcasmo, Mirvac’s General Manager of Design, Marketing and Sales, believes the effort put in early, to help new residents find their feet and each other, pays off in the long run.
“Every community is unique, with a different set of needs and priorities,” says Ms Sarcasmo. “But there are some things that remain fundamentally the same. Residents want to feel secure in their new surroundings, they want to know their neighbours and where to find the things essential to family life like schools, doctors, shopping centres, parks and good places for dining and entertainment.
“The face to face contact that our community engagement team has with every new resident forms a critical part of Mirvac’s ability to identify what customers want. The feedback is invaluable, allowing us to tailor events and activities to ensure that neighbours also become friends.
Brighton Lakes by Mirvac
“That whole process of community building has now begun at our Gledswood Hills community, CREST, and once again those first seeds of life-long friendships are being formed, from the first Meet Your Neighbour event before any homes were built to the official opening of Galloway Green, the park and playground that has quickly become the meeting point for kids and their parents. And it will continue until, like Brighton Lakes and The Avenue, the resident community is ready to take over.”
Having an open space where the community can come together is a non-negotiable inclusion in Mirvac’s masterplanned communities, leaving a legacy to be enjoyed by residents and the broader community.
Nino Babani, Mirvac Residential’s Development Director for NSW Masterplanned Communities, says the importance of creating good quality open space is now better recognised though it has long been integral to Mirvac’s communities.
“We’ve always been guided by the mantra that parks, green space and places for ad-hoc interaction with the community are essential to creating an enjoyable lifestyle. If we cast back to some of our earliest developments, that understanding of the need to balance the public and private domain is apparent.
“Revolutionary developments such as Raleigh Park in Sydney, The Heath and later Waverley Park in Melbourne, Waterline and Park Hill Village in Queensland all devoted a high proportion of the site to public use.
“It’s a legacy we’re proud of and one of the reasons why so many of our customers and their children continue to buy Mirvac.”
“It’s incredibly rewarding to see the blossoming of friendships as the community matures and residents gradually taking control of the groups that we initially establish. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen this occur at Brighton Lakes and The Avenue at Schofields to the point where we are minimally needed, or not needed at all."
HOW DOES A COMMUNITY GROW?
The right environment is key to community, but so too are the friendly faces that come with it. Here’s how Mirvac helps create neighbourhoods tailored to individual community needs:
1. Warm Welcome
You had me at hello! A member of Mirvac’s Welcome Plus team meets every new NSW resident and provides them with the information they need to settle into their new environment. This also gives Mirvac an understanding of what residents want from their community.
2. Common Experience
Nothing builds bonds like shared experience. Each Mirvac community hosts a range of events throughout the year to bring residents together.
3. Space for Friends
Open space where the community can come together is a non-negotiable inclusion in Mirvac’s masterplanned communities. Parks and gardens allow for unplanned interaction between residents – the accidental catch-up often lead to lifelong friendships.
4. Share the Love
Mirvac’s ultimate goal is to help build communities that feel empowered to take ownership of their own events. In WA, one community now runs the annual Movie Under the Stars program originally established by Mirvac.