Carina Hoang fled South Vietnam in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, endured a traumatic escape from which she barely survived, and now returns to the Indonesian isles to which she once escaped on an annual pilgrimage to uncover the lost graves of other Vietnamese refugees. Guided by faith, spiritual belief and the knowledge it was so nearly her laying in an abandoned grave, her efforts are bringing desperately awaited relief to families yearning to give a proper burial to long-dead loved ones.
‘Gangsta Gardener’ Ron Finley is leading a movement in which people across the globe are transforming abandoned blocks, roadside verges and unloved pieces of vacant dirt into vegetable patches and gardens. The craze is not only beautifying forgotten areas but bringing people together, providing fresh food in areas dominated by fast food and reminding people that they have the power to shape their own future.
WA Australian of the Year for 2016 Anne Carey rose to fame for having the courage to volunteer to fight the ravages of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. She is now embarking on a new challenge – urging Australians to have the courage to be kind. She says it was courage that helped overcome Ebola, and it’s courage that can help stamp out two threats she sees facing Australia – the insidious culture of workplace bullying and discrimination against refugees.
Patricia Lavater has saved hundreds of lives through her work with troubled and drug-addicted young women. She takes women who’ve given up on life, and counsels them, helps them detox and, perhaps most importantly, reminds them of their inner potential.
Wellness and growth blogger Lori Deschene reveals how she transformed from a depressed bulimic on a path to self-destruction to someone who attracts more than two million fans a month to her website Tiny Buddha.
One-time farm girl Wendy Watters is introducing modern-day women to the ancient practice of women’s circles. In doing so she is helping women embrace their femininity, savour beauty, slow down, show authenticity, and reconnect. But how did this practical girl from the bush find answers in such a mystery-shrouded practice?
Perth man Leif Cocks has dedicated his life to saving the orangutan through his not-for-profit charity The Orangutan Project. The battle has plunged him to the depths of despair as he has borne witness to the atrocities orangutans face. But it has also filled him with awe and delight for a creature with an enormous capacity for love.
It’s estimated that one third of all the world’s food goes to waste. But one woman is determined to change that. Through her charity OzHarvest Ronni Kahn is rescuing good food destined for the rubbish heap and providing it to the disadvantaged. In the process she is not only saving food, but lives.
When Karen Winnett’s daughter Eleanor was four months old she was advised her baby would unlikely live past two years old. Go home and love her while you’ve got the chance, she was advised. Or, worse, don’t get too attached as she won’t be with you for long. But this fiercely determined mother refused to listen. Through sheer grit, unflinching determination and steadfast denial Karen has kept her bright and intelligent daughter alive. This year Eleanor celebrated her 22nd birthday.
Two 21-year-old mates have launched a free mobile laundry service to wash clothes for the homeless. In the process they have captured the imagination of the public, not only for washing clothes, but for spending time with people who are down on their luck. The result is helping the homeless regain two things they most crave – dignity and respect.
Jenny Bowen’s charity OneSky, formerly Half the Sky Foundation, has transformed the lives of more than 130,000 Chinese orphans by showering these unwanted children with the most important ingredient missing from their lives – love. How did one woman make such a difference to so many?
After enduring the death of her mother to cancer and brother to suicide, Sally Lucas was not prepared for her own cancer diagnosis and consequent hysterectomy. But thanks to the love of her sister Anne Barbour, she not only survived but flourished to become a mother – a dream she’d thought life had denied her.