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Neighbour Day competition win for friendship, support

Neighbour Day Competition
Neighbour Day Competition winner's Candy Cairns with Kelly, Daniel and Maddison Garwood at the fence they modified to make life a little easier.

State of Origin is the only time the Cairns and Garwood families don’t see eye to eye with their otherwise harmonious relationship seeing them named Neighbour Day competition winners.

With about a dozen children between them the neighbouring families support each other beyond the fence line.

So much so, they believe one day the fence will disappear altogether.

As part of Bundaberg Regional Council's Neighbour Day Competition, the local families have been recognised for their friendship and support of one another.

The annual competition encourages residents to nominate a neighbour or neighbourhood that they believe deserves recognition with the aim to encourage the community to actively build strong connections with the people around them.

The Neighbour Day Competition was the perfect opportunity for Candy Cairns to tell her neighbours, the Garwood family, their friendship is valued and that it may even be envied by others in the community.

Candy and her husband Christopher have three children of their own, while Kelly and Daniel have a combined eight or so children living with them at any one time.

“I nominated them because they are awesome!” Candy said.

“They are foster carers; Daniel is an auxiliary fire fighter and works at Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, and nothing is ever a bother for either of them.

“They are awesome people – I’d actually love to be them!

“I wanted them to know how much I appreciate the help they give me with my kids, especially when Chris is away – I don’t classify them as neighbours I classify them as family!”

Neighbours modify fence to keep in touch

The two families enjoy each other’s company so much that they modified their joining fence so they could be in each other’s company constantly.

“We changed the fence halfway down to make a bar at first, this allows us to sit at the fence and socialise,” Candy said.

“Then, we were sick of walking all the way out the front and around the fence to each other, so we cut in a gate!”

Kelly said helping one another not only made life a little easier, but it also made complete sense.

“We were shocked to hear that Candy had nominated us, but then we thought if we’d known about the competition we would have nominated them too, so the feeling is mutual,” Kelly said.

“It was actually the first day of home-schooling when we decided we needed to change the fence.

“It’s fantastic to know they’re safe – well to know all the kids, animals and even the husbands are safe – if they aren’t home they are at the neighbour’s house with others!”

Daniel agreed saying it was only the odd occasion that the two families disagreed.

“There’s three days a year when we don’t talk,” he said.

“That’s State of Origin – otherwise we even meal plan and do cook ups together for the week.

“Having great neighbours makes life a lot easier.”

As part of their Neighbour Day Competition prize, the Avenell Heights neighbours were each gifted with a barbecue pack to celebrate their win.

Find out more about Neighbour Day here.

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