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Reception for Stay Kind, Admiralty House


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cammeraygal People of the Eora Nation, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Welcome, all, to Admiralty House. Linda and I are delighted to have you here and to host the Stay Kind reception.

It is good to be able to gather under the same roof at the same time! Not a Zoom screen in sight.

This reception today serves, I think, two purposes.

It allows us to come together in the lead up to the festive season and to enjoy each other’s company.

Second, it is a celebration – of Stay Kind’s purpose and achievements, and where we collectively say, ‘We did well. We did really well’.

I mentioned Zoom a moment ago.

During lockdown it was important to Linda and me to stay in touch with the many organisations we support, as well as community groups across Australia, to get a sense of how things were playing out on the ground. Over the course of the most recent lockdown period we participated in about 270 calls.

There’s an enormous amount of great work being done by many people and organisations. We shouldn’t be blind to the challenges we face, but we also should acknowledge the huge amount of kindness that exists in our community.

Not a day goes by where Linda and I don’t give thanks. We find ourselves, particularly at this time of the year in the run-up to Christmas, giving thanks to the organisations that give, give, and keep on giving to community.

Stay Kind is a fine example. Stay Kind was founded out of tragedy. It has since become a national movement of kindness.

It’s hard for me to put into words the depth of feeling I have for Stay Kind, and everyone involved with it. But, simply, the work that you do is critically important, and you are good people.

Your achievements are well known to this audience, but let me mention some of them. 

More than 72,000 successful interventions made under your flagship Take Kare Safe Space Program. That’s 72,000 young people who arrived home safely after a night out.

Research from UNSW has identified that 20 per cent of all interventions averted serious harm and that nearly 25 per cent of participants had a pre-existing mental health problem.

Despite the many difficulties of working through the pandemic, you still managed to successfully implement your national Kind July campaign.

And, you continue to pursue research opportunities to inform your work, to activate schools’ programs that are underpinned by kindness, and to bring the corporate world together to explore ways that kindness can positively impact the workplace.

There are other equally notable achievements.

None of this would be possible if not for the support of all of you here today – the Stay Kind family: the donors, corporate partners, supporters and volunteers who help make our society safer for young Australians.

Thank you for your generosity, commitment and kindness, and keep doing what you’re doing.

As I said in my interview with Jane Hutcheon as part of Kind July this year:

“Being kind shouldn’t be done in difficult times only. But it is particularly important in difficult times.” And, as Linda said during the interview, “It is much easier to be kind than unkind.”

It’s great to have you all here. Enjoy this celebratory reception. My thanks again to all at Stay Kind for the important work that you do.