Sunday, September 04, 2016

If only we could NEVER stop seeing the world through a child's eyes......................

Children are living proof that we humans are inherently good and that hatred, bigotry, racism etc are learned traits.  Visit any school playground and, the younger the kids are, the less likely they will be seen to care about a persons racial background or disability/difference.

We recently saw this first hand, when Canberra schoolboy Ross Kelly learnt Auslan - the deaf sign language - so he could communicate with a new kid in the class named Isam Gurung.  Isam had recently transferred from a specialist school for the hearing-impaired and Ross befriended him, communicating initially by passing written notes to each other.

Ross went on to learn Auslan so he could communicate with Isam.  Isam went from being a shy person who barely interacted with his classmates to someone who is now a happy member of the school community.

While the school provided interpreter services, Ross' efforts for his friend reach a whole new level of friendship and he was awarded a Special Humanity Award from the Fred Hollows Foundation.

The ABC story includes a video - great story.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

End of a great trip - but Kath's journey continues.

Well, after 10 days and 3,000 klms relying on the kindness of people to eat,  sleep, live and travel,Kath is heading home.

I hope I've gained her a few new Facebook friends/followers and supporters.

Goodonya Kath :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Kindness Factory - changing the world with one act of kindness after the other.

 This is a bit lazy in some ways, but the best way to explain what Kindness factory is all about is to cut/paste from the website's home page:

The Kindness Factory was created by Kath Koschel, a former elite cricketer whose life spiraled into despair and darkness without warning. She fought through the horrible ordeal however, and emerged with a renewed passion for life and a complete understanding of just how powerful kindness can be.
In 2011 Kath made her debut for NSW against South Australia on the famous Adelaide Oval, but no sooner had her career started it came to an abrupt halt. Kath sustained a back injury and just a few months later developed complications from surgery that saw her go within 24 hours having her leg amputated.
It was only Kath’s sheer stubbornness that had prevented surgeons from removing the dying limb sooner. At the eleventh hour her persistence was rewarded when professionals discovered a small bleed in her abdomen that was limiting the blood flow to her leg. Emergency surgery fixed the bleed – her leg was saved.
It was during this period whilst attending rehabilitation that Kath met Jim. There was an instant connection.
Jim had a smile that could make all of the worries of the world disappear. He was the type of man that made everyone feel welcome. They fell in love, and planned a future together. Jim was Kath’s light in this otherwise dark journey.
With a heavy blow, tragedy struck again for Kath in 2012 when Jim passed away; taking his own life. Kath’s new light was snuffed out and her journey plunged into darkness once again.
Kath’s recovery from the mental and physical trauma was a tough one. But throughout it all one thing shone out – the kindness of others who simply wanted to help.
They were small gestures, like offering to help her with a door, but they all helped Kath feel a little bit better. Little things were adding up to make a really big difference.
While on the journey to recovery, on Australia Day 2014, Kath Koschel was awarded the Pride of Australia Medal as someone who had shown courage in overcoming adversity. This courage Kath attributes not to herself, but to the power of kindness shown to her by others.
With a new understanding of just how powerful kindness can be, Kath launched the Kindness Factory on 13th November 2015 to encourage people to show a little kindness in their community, and to share experiences of kindness shown to them.
After all…
One small act of kindness can make a really big difference.

So Kath Koschel is now on the most amazing journey. As I write, she's on day # 3 of a trip that depends almost totally on the kindness of others.
Last Friday, Kath left home with only the following items:
  • the clothes she was wearing and a back pack
  • toothbrush and hairbrush
  • 1 week's worth of prescription medication
  • her phone and charger (so she can document her journey)
  • one change of clothes
  • empty water bottle
You can join me and loads of other people and follow Kath's journey here: and, please, Like her Facebook page as well : and keep up with her travels.

If ever ANYONE is an example of "Stff that is good in the World", it's this lady! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Good news - but I'm having a whinge also...........................

Australia is blessed with a really good climate.

  • The only areas where snow is likely to happen out in regional areas and contribute to a great tourism destination - for local and international tourists.
  • Cyclones in tropical zones happen a lot less often than in other parts of the world
  • Droughts and floods are hazards, of course, but they are balanced by the benefits of living in productive farming areas or beautiful scenery for 95% of the time without these extreme weather conditions.
We also have a LOT of sunshine. Today, in Sydney, in mid-winter, it was about 20 degrees (even warmer yesterday) and there was hardly a cloud in the sky all day. 

So, Australia is perfect country, I'd have thought, to have thought, to have a significant proportion of our energy needs provided by solar power.

Yet, we seem to be so far behind, when compared to other counties.

 OK , less have a break from my whinge to read some GOOD news from the USA.

California USA is often compared to Australia in a number of ways. 
  • San Francisco/Sydney as large coastal cities with beautiful harbours and other features
  • A dryer/desert inland away from the coast, with beautiful natural features
  • LOTS of sunshine
So, when I read today that, earlier this month, solar power plants (that's not including private solar cells on homes and office building, by the way) contributed over half of the power demand in San Francisco during a recent heat wave, I was really impressed.

Which, i'm afraid, brings me back to my whinge.......................................


Monday, June 27, 2016

Villar SIPAG - take a look at what this great organisation can do in a community.

I've been following this organisation for a while now on Facebook and I'm continually impressed by their "Teach a Man to Fish"attitude to supporting their community.

The following is from the 'About Us' page on their website:

Social responsibility is the guiding principle of the Villar Foundation, a non-stock, non-profit organization established in 1995.

Since its inception, Villar Foundation has initiated, implemented, and supported various projects aimed at improving the quality of life of the people in the communities where we live and maintain a business presence.

One of Villar Foundation's earliest programs was 'Pagtatanim Para Sa Kinabukasan', a tree-planting program, to create urban forests in open spaces of subdivisions, residential communities, and schools.

Over the years, its advocacies and beneficiaries have expanded and diversified in order to reach more people and sectors of the society. These include the poor and underprivileged; overseas Filipino workers and their families; the youth; women; the church; the environment among others.

Villar Foundation's programs and projects include (but are not limited to) nutrition caravan (regular feeding programs for schoolchildren); medical and dental missions; river rehabilitation program; religious projects such as building of churches; repatriation of distressed overseas Filipino workers; livelihood and entrepreneurship.

By sharing our resources with the Filipino people who have made possible the success of our endeavors, we shall strive to provide opportunities to the underprivileged and the economically disadvantaged, for them to rise beyond their limitation and pursue meaningful lives as productive members of society.

Ultimately, we envision a healthy, peaceful, decent, and productive life for all Filipinos.

One of their ongoing projects has been to recycle waste plastics and turn them into school chairs - the one with the small attachment that folds up/down to make a desk space. There's a video here about a recent batch of these chairs.

75 of them were given to an elementary school on Iloilo. 

And last Friday, another batch were handed over to a school in Las Pinas.

I'm looking forward to reading about more of their good work. The website gives a history etc and is worth a look, if I've piqued your interest :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's been a while, but let's see if we can can get this fired up again :)

Been about 2 years since the last Post and I think I'm ready to start this up again.

The reasons for starting the Blog in the first place haven't changed and I actually find it rather therapeutic and de-stressing to source things and create the posts.


This young lady deserves a BIG pat on the back.

Ali Leate has been working for 20 years in a retirement community in Sylvania. Ali has Downs Syndrome, which, I guess, makes her story even sweeter.

Frankly, I think she deserves to be recognised for 20 years working in an environment where she makes a real difference in the lives of others, many of whom would probably be aged on infirm. Her Downs Sydnrome is worth noting, I guess - but goodonya Ali and all the best for another 20 years :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hastings shopping centre - a snapshot of the way the world SHOULD work.

Mum and dad moved (finally!) from their house Dromana to a retirement community in Hastings in early 2012. They agreed very soon after the move that they should have done it about 5 years earlier - but better late than never.

There's no doubt that they couldn't have lived in the old house had they both been as ill as they became, so the move was timely. Mum is there on her own now and I can visit a couple of times a week, comfortable in the knowledge that she has a secure and safe home, surrounded by caring - but not interfering - neighbours. My cousin Elaine lives 10 minutes away - an extra safety-net.

Hasting could well be described as "God's Waiting Room". Go for a walk any weekday through the shopping centre and you won;t have to look our for Hoons On Skateboards - it's Seniors On Scooters you'll see weaving in and out of the pedestrians on Main Street.

Every shop or business we visit recognises this demographic bias in the area and makes sure that they are alert and empathetic to their customer base.

Cafe staff hold the door when they see mum coming (she's an a 4 wheel walker, not an electric scooter) and make sure they find her a table where she has access. They escort her through the back doorway to the WC and make sure she's OK getting back inside on her own.

Banks staff, post office personnel, the wonderful staff at the local pharmacy - all of them go out of their way to help the aging members of the local community. The average age of those in Mum's doctor's waiting room would be 70+ - and that's allowing for kids with their parents all bringing the mean average down.

It stands out to me because I see the opposite when I go to busy shopping areas, whether it be Chadstone or Prahran or the Melbourne CBD. That's why I think Hastings is, sadly, the exception and other locations, where older people receive little or no special consideration are the norm.

So hats off to Hastings!