A new Western Australian charity is transforming the lives of autistic children by introducing them to the magic of surfing. Parents cannot believe the change in their autistic children, as surfing with Ocean Heroes transforms their kids from shy, depressed and anxious to carefree, confident and happy.
Penny Elsley’s Welcome Dinner Project is transforming lives by bringing together international students, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and established Australians for dinner. As they connect over food these groups of strangers are reminded of their common humanity. The resultant feeling of connection is, quite simply, changing lives.
What began as an impulsive bid to see if Andrew Costello could help one poverty-stricken Cambodian family has morphed into a charity that is changing the lives of hundreds of rural Cambodians. Cows for Cambodia breaks the poverty cycle by donating the one thing that can make a massive difference to rural Cambodian’s long-term prosperity – cows.
When a young Aussie girl visited Africa two decades ago with dreams of helping the less fortunate, even she would never have guessed at the way her life would unfold. Yet Gemma Sisia went on to found The School of St Jude, which has put two thousand kids through school and boarding, funded students’ university education, and sparked promising futures for young adults who were born into poverty-stricken rural homes or garbage-ridden urban slums.
When Nick Maisey realised the pain of disconnection and loneliness that scars so many people in our modern society, he created a social network that would welcome people from all walks of life to experience the joy of friendship. That network, Befriend, has now transformed the lives of thousands of diverse people united by one simple craving – to truly connect with a fellow human being.
Shocked at the shame homeless women suffered at being unable to access pads and tampons during their monthly period, Queensland woman Rochelle Courtenay launched Share the Dignity to provide sanitary items to those in need. Along the way she learned of the link between homelessness and domestic violence and so turned Share the Dignity’s attention to also helping families grappling with violent homes. This once every-day mum is now embroiled in some of the country’s most traumatic domestic violence cases, but is driven by seeing the difference that restored dignity makes to people’s lives.
Convinced of the power of women scientists to change the world, Fabian Dattner launched a women’s leadership program with a difference. This program, Homeward Bound, would take women scientists to Antarctica, equip them with the tools for change and give the voice to help them halt the destruction of the natural world.
Perth man Peter Sharp of Liberators International has become an internet sensation with footage of his public acts of ‘social art’. He has sparked impromptu dance parties, train dance fests, free hug offers and public meditations as part of his quest to encourage people to embrace fear and experience the joy of connection. These acts are about much more than gaining Facebook likes – Pete hopes they are encouraging viewers to trust, to love, to remember their shared humanity.
As women fed up with society’s expectations for women to play small, Lisa Longman and Stacey Ward founded The Young Boxing Women Project to help 12 to 25 year old women unleash their inner confidence. Through boxing and group discussion, the young women boxers are shedding their fears, stepping up and unlocking a world of new possibilities
Today’s Inspired story is a reminder you don’t necessarily have to launch a charity to be inspiring. Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of finding the personal strength to overcome your own inner battles and then gathering the courage to help others by sharing your experience with the world. Perth woman Sue Tredget has done just that, using her experience with depression to speak up to help the millions of others battling with the grip of this ever-increasing condition.
Moira Kelly has saved the lives of hundreds of children and transformed the lives of thousands more through her work in some of the world’s darkest corners. In areas from which most people flee, Moira has offered hope and love to the kids most people have forgotten – from HIV AIDS infected babies, to disfigured children, to kids suffering life-threatening injuries from war.
Scott Dinsmore set the world on fire for thousands of people across the globe by encouraging them to forgo mediocrity to live a life they love, through the online platform Live Your Legend. While living his own version of a dream life with his vivacious wife Chelsea, Scott was killed in a climbing accident, aged 33. Chelsea fought through her grief to step up and inspire thousands in her own way. This is their story of dreaming, forging, and living a life of legend.