Thursday, May 30, 2024
Editors editorial

Celebrating diversity and kindness

I had the privilege of attending two events to celebrate International Women’s Day, an event that celebrates all women globally and recognises their achievements.

This event begun in the early 1900’s; the first in Australia was in 1928 in Sydney. and was organised by the Militant Women’s Movement calling for equal pay for equal work, an eight-hour working day for shop girls, and paid leave! It’s important that we celebrate this day, firstly to honour the women who fought for equality before us and secondly to recognise how far we have come since those days

The first event I attended was an industry event run by The Landscape Association. A panel of four women from different sectors of the industry shared their thoughts on inspiring inclusion and discussed experiences they had throughout their careers in a male dominated workplace. An open discussion was had about what can be done to elevate the position of women in our industry. You can read more about that event in this issue.

The second event was run by Georges River Council with guest speaker Kath Koschel, the founder of the Kindness Factory which is a global not-for-profit organisation which aims to “inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things” and to embrace kindness. Her goal when she started the business in 2015 was to inspire one million acts of kindness.

Kath was a professional cricketer and iron-woman competitor but after breaking her back and damaging her spinal cord she defied her medical prognosis of never being able to walk again. It didn’t end there. As fate would have it, Kath had to learn to walk again three times, due to breaking her back again, and also faced having a leg amputated. During this period, she also suffered serious personal losses that most people would never have to deal with in a lifetime. So many people from all walks of life showed her such tremendous kindness and Kath added that you need to be kind to yourself first before you can help others – kindness is the key to connection! One small act of kindness can change a life. Kath said kindness was the catalyst for starting the Kindness Factory.

Kath has also raised over $300,000 for charities, including Limbs 4 Life, when aiming to break the Guinness Book of Records ‘Burpee Challenge’. The challenge was won.

To quote Eleanor Roosevelt “A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” I think Kath has proved Eleanor Roosevelt right. After a very dark period in her life, she has emerged with a renewed passion for life and understands that kindness can be very powerful.

The following questions were put to the audience and now I pass these questions on to you. Have you laughed today? What are you grateful for? What is the kindest thing you have done today?

You can start small says Kath, maybe mow someone’s lawn, or buy them a coffee. Here is a good one I saw on her website – have you let someone in front of you in the traffic? Simple!

Enjoy the read

Karen Smith and your Hort Journal Team

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