Champion Spotlight: Compassionate Gold Coast

Australia Playing in the Global Compassion Games

Dr Lynne Reeder, Lead Facilitator – Australia: A Continent for Compassion
Terry Ayling, Lead Facilitator – Compassionate Gold Coast

To walk in partnership with, and complement the work of global Charter for Compassion, developments are currently underway in Australia to facilitate a substantial and nationally resourced movement to advance the vision of Australia becoming a Continent for Compassion.

Australia as a Continent of Compassion will act as a conduit to both recognize the work already undertaken by many existing organizations and to add to that work through specific Charter activities, including of course the Compassion Games.

An Australian Compassion Council (ACC) has been established to have oversight of the imagining and making of Australian stories of compassion; to tell those stories across the Australian Continent, and to link those stories for national and global collaboration and impact.

The ACC will guide the formation and implementation of Australia: A Continent for Compassion, which will include a national launch in 2012, a National Day of Compassion, the Australian Compassionate Action Network, and the Australian Compassionate Cities program.

The Australian Compassion Action Network will provide an opportunity for those not wanting to establish a compassionate city but would still like to formally participate in a meaningful way in the Continent for Compassion activities.

In creating a Continent of Compassion, it is important to acknowledge Australia’s past involvement with the Charter for Compassion. Indeed, in 2010, the Australian Parliament was the first parliament in the world to sign the Charter.

Dr Ursula Stephens, the then Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and others held a historic recognition ceremony of the Charter for Compassion at the Australian Parliament, which included representatives from the Government and Opposition, Indigenous community, diplomats, NGOs, religious and youth leaders.

It is pleasing therefore that Dr. Stephens has accepted a formal role as mentor to the ACC.

In 2013, Prof Diana Slade played a role in Australia becoming an integral part of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare (IRCC). This Centre is home to the AsiaPacific Hub for the Charter for Compassion. IRCHC encourages excellent research and practice and seeks to improve communication in healthcare. Already this Institute has received international support, with over 50 members from more than 10 countries around the world and it is now located at the Australian National University in Canberra.

While the National Day of Compassion and the Australian Compassion Action Network are still in the process of being developed, the Australian Compassionate Cities initiative is now well underway.
Terry Ayling, who is also the lead facilitator of Compassionate Gold Coast, is leading this compassionate cities initiative. The Gold Coast is the sixth largest city in Australia.

The public launch of Compassionate Gold Coast and a pre-launch of Australia: A Continent for Compassion will take place on Thursday 21 September 2017. In addition, these initiatives/launches will be presented to a larger audience at the University of Queensland’s Compassion Symposium on Saturday 23 September 2017.

  • The Launch of Compassionate Gold Coast will include:
    A Sunrise Gathering, honoring our indigenous, spiritual roots; sharing the aspiration and vision of both Compassionate Gold Coast and Australia – A Continent for Compassion;
  • Formal Signing of the Charter for Compassion and Affirmation of the City of Gold Coast as a Compassionate City (Mayor and Councillors);
    Sunset Gathering, in which we honor our key serving Organisations and acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done in our ‘uncomfortable’ Compassionate City.
  • In working towards the Public Launch and to the International Peace Weekend, we plan to participate in an intentional dovetailing our localised events with the World Peace and Global Unity Games Campaign, by providing information and inviting participation in Compassionate Gold Coast and Compassion Games and International Peace Weekend events, including through participation in, and presentations at, the:
    • Bahai Community 200th Anniversary of the birth of Baha’ullah, Interfaith Dinner
    • Hopewell Community ‘Spirituality and Worship’ group gathering
    • Queensland Police Service Multi-faith Dinner
    • RUOK? Day Events
    • Miami State High School, Miami Movement for Compassion, Compassion Short Film Festival
    • Paradise Kids, Spring Fling High Tea
    • The Australian Compassion Council’s First Meeting
    • Multi-faith Advisory + Action Group Gathering
    • University of Queensland Compassion Symposium
    • International Peace Weekend Events

As we develop these significant initiatives, Australia looks forward to supporting and engaging with the global Charter activities in making the world a more compassionate place.

For more information contact:

Follow Compassionate Gold Coast on Facebook HERE
Dr. Lynne Reeder – lynne.reeder@charterforcompassion.com.au
Terry Ayling – terry.ayling@charterforcompassion.com.au