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Australian Flood Story The Courage of Kindness

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Background June 2011

Michael Lloyd-White | Chairman | Founding Director

First and foremost, a single fulltime father of two girls age 7 and 9, who were the inspiration for Michael embarking on a journey very different to his business career, which now sees him spearheading a campaign promoting World Kindness to challenge bullying. After watching reports of teenage bullying on the nightly news he realised that 98% of the problem had nothing to do with the bully or the victim, it was the bystanders. Michael knew he only had a five year window of opportunity to make a difference before his girls attended high school and run the risk of being greeted by a “mean girl culture.” He embraced the African adage, "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child" and was able to identify with parents, community leaders and businesses, inspiring them into action. When asked on the “Sunday” program by Mike Munroe featuring “Beating the Bullies” Who did he think was responsible?” He replied, “I am!  It’s no point blaming someone else when it’s a community problem, we all need to take responsibility.”With this he rallied the goodwill of many into a simple campaign to celebrate “World Kindness Week” launched the "Game Changer" for a community in need and expanded Goodwill Ambassadors in all sectors across the state education system within 12 months.

Since then the campaign has received endorsement from Her Excellency, the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir,  placed on WKW the NSW School Calendar and received international recognition from the global 20 nation member peak body, World Kindness Movement,  where he hosted their international conference in Sydney, all within the first year, without funding and without an organisation, just the will to, goodwill.

Michael has just returned from meeting with the secretariat in Singapore, where he discussed Australia accepting the role as Secretariat for the World Kindness Movement, he then met with the Ambassador for Qatar and proposed incorporating the World Cup with World Kindness theme. Michael was then invited to attend the Malaysian Parliament to discuss with one of the Prime Minister’s advisers about Malaysia becoming a member of World Kindness Movement and hosting an Asia Pacific Conference with the First Lady as a patron. From making the decision to not be a bystander and participate in the Village, Michael can now see the world being a little kinder through “ Ultimate Acts of Kindness,” where our students may put at risk what they value most, being their popularity and relinquish the safety of silence, speaking up for others in the face of adversity or injustice, realising You Have To Be Cool To Be Kind.  To Register your interest or nominate someone for a Cool to be Kind Award at the World Kindness Dinner on the 5th of November at the Sydney Westin

go to worldkindnessaustralia.org   or email



Event

THE BIG HUG  ON BONDI BEACH        November 2010                                             


We can now confirm the rumours are true, whilst the rest of us get on with our day to day busy lives, a campaign has been gaining momentum and capturing the hearts and minds of anyone who has wiped the tears of a distressed child who had experienced the cold shoulder of exclusion and bullying.

Whether it’s the playground or the workplace these cultures exist leaving the vulnerable, most at risk. In a moment of unanimous agreement, Waverley Council supported the motion to promote World Kindness Week. It will culminate in a “THE BIG HUG” on Bondi Beach on Sunday 13th November at 10am providing free breakfast on offer for participants, its promising to be well attended. Lifeguards from Bondi Rescue and students, parents and teachers from local schools who will be literally on hand ensuring beach goers participate in a symbolic joining of hands and random hugs.

 Waverley Council’s Deputy Mayor, Miriam Guttman –Jones and Lifeguard Terry McDermott from Bondi Rescue, were appointed as Goodwill Ambassadors for World Kindness and promoting Bondi Beach as the Kindest Beach in Australia to raise awareness to the initiative.

Cr Guttman-Jones says,” I am proud to be a Goodwill Ambassador for World Kindness Week and that Waverley Council supports this campaign and THE BIG HUG on Bondi Beach. In this world of negativity it is uplifting to see a movement with a positive message. If we instil at an early age that bullying is NOT COOL and that acts of kindness ARE IN then we have hope for the future. We must understand that it is kindness and compassion that defines our humanity, while hate and anger only take us to a darker place.”

When we asked Bondi Rescues, Terry McDermott, why he got involved he said, “I’m excited to be appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador and be in a position to support kindness which is the foundation of our personal well being and develops a healthy respect for our fellow man.  There is no place for bullies, wherever we are and the BIG HUG event at Bondi Beach for “World Kindness Week” will remind us all that it is easy to be kind.  We live in a lucky country and enjoy so many privileges so let’s celebrate kindness and think of others – give a hug and a smile and the rewards will be all yours.”

Over 400 NSW schools have enthusiastically adopted the initiative in 2010 when World Kindness Week was placed on the NSW School Calender with the support of the Department of Education and Training .

This was not surprising as the recent survey, overwhelmingly confirmed parents place their child’s welfare and positive social interaction with others, over and above the other education hot topics like BER and MySchool.

The strategy is simple, rather than fight bullying and treat the symptoms, promote kindness. Not a new concept, in fact it has been gaining a wider acceptance around the world since 2000 where 20 countries agreed to set aside 1 week a year to promote World Kindness Week and World Kindness Day on the 13th of November each year. NSW schools across the state are supported the concept by nominating teachers, students, parents and School Education Directors to work together in the name of kindness. To date this campaign has had zero cost and zero funding, relying on the sweat equity of all those involved through word of mouth and the desire to see a community engaged in making a difference. 

“Through this we hope to see “Ultimate Acts of Kindness” become more common   place. Eg students relinquishing the safety of silence, thereby placing their popularity, what they value most, at risk. Speaking out for those who may be unable to by saying, “That’s Not Fair!” That takes courage, the courage to be kind.”  Says,  Michael Lloyd-White Chairman World Kindness Australia

Sharon Brownlee, Founding Director and Former State President of the Federation of P&Cs said,” If it takes a village to raise a child, then it’s the village’s responsibility to be involved.  This initiative keeps kindness on the agenda and plans to have Goodwill Ambassadors appointed from the classroom, the Boardroom to all levels of Government.”

Spotless being the first multinational company to appoint a Goodwill Ambassador have come on board to support the campaign. Their National General Manager Tom Gibbons speaking in his capacity as the company’s newly appointed Goodwill Ambassador and also Founding Director of World Kindness Australia said,

 “For us it was because it struck accord with our own organisations philosophy. We also have in excess of 30,000 employees within Australia, many who have families and children who go to school and may have to face the same issues and challenges regrading bullying.”

With international recognition from the peak global body of the 20 nation member, The World Kindness Movement and endorsement from Her Excellency, The Governor of  NSW,  World Kindness Australia, has been formerly registered and is seeking Goodwill Ambassadors to be appointed across the nation perhaps taking up executive roles in State and Regional branches. 

To  register your interest online and nominate a neighbour, student, parent,  teacher or colleague for the “Cool To Be Kind Awards at the Gala Dinner  During World Kindness Week go to worldkindnessaustralia.org 
or email


Goodwill Ambassadors for World Kindness September 2010

World Kindness Week is celebrated around the World from the 7th November to the official World Kindness Day on the 13th November. The idea behind this started with the 20 nation member World Kindness Movement (WKM) which crystallised at a conference in Tokyo in 1997 when the Small Kindness Movement of Japan brought together like-minded kindness movements from around the world. The WKM was officially launched in Singapore on 18 November 2000 at the 3rd WKM Conference. The mission of the WKM is to inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world. The current members of the movement are 20 kindness organisations with representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dubai, France, India, Italy, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, United Kingdom and the USA. 

In Australia we are encouraging everyone to perform simple Random Acts of Kindness appointing Goodwill Ambassadors from the Classroom, to the Boardroom and within our corridors of Government. For a teenager at times though, it may mean having to relinquish the safety of silence, stand up and speak out, putting their own popularity at risk, that takes courage, the Courage to be Kind .

The World Kindness Week initiative is a major campaign celebrating the students, teachers, parents and citizens, as a community in action, acknowledging that ” It's Cool to be Kind.”   

Goodwill Ambassadors undertake to support ongoing kindness campaigns in their own organisation. Ambassadors take the initiative to create a better environment within their workplace and community by keeping kindness on the agenda whether it be the classroom, the staffroom and or  the boardroom.

This campaign challenges bullying by creating initiatives to support other school programs and addresses OH&S concerns by maintaining healthy, safe and happy work environments.

Working and networking with other like minded individuals on a volunteer basis, Goodwill Ambassadors will be directly involved in bringing about change and raising awareness to alternative, positive behaviour to the Status Quo. World Kindness Australia was formed to support the campaign is contributing to global initiatives with the World Kindness Movement If you would like to nominate a colleague neighbour or friend for making the world a little kinder, register on line or book a table for the  “Cool To Be Kind Award” Presentations on the 10th of September at the World Kindness Gala Dinner at the NSW Dept of Education William Wilkins Gallery Level 5 35 Bridge St Sydney.

 Register your interest at worldkindnessaustralia.org or email


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