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World changers

Changing lives one dinner at a time

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.

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Cows for Cambodia breaks poverty cycle

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.

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Gemma Sisia – Giving the gift of education in Africa

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.

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Befriend: Growing the magic of connection

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.

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‘Pad lady’ provides dignity to desperate women

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.

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Peter Sharp – Reminding humanity of our common connection

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.

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Young women box their way to confidence

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

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