Passionate about kindness
Merewether local Michelle Boundy is the Community Champion for the Stay Kind organisation for the Newcastle and Hunter Region.
Stay Kind is an Australian not-for-profit organisation , it is driving a social movement that promotes harm reduction through kindness. Its vision is to make Australia a kinder place and to reduce bullying, hazing, violence, self-harm and suicide among young Australians as well as the wider community. Each year in July, schools, workplaces, and communities join Stay Kind in encouraging simple acts of kindness, aiming to create long-term cultural change. Stay Kind collaborates with schools, universities, and workplaces to identify and implement solutions to promote and embed kindness all year.
In her capacity as the Stay Kind Community Champion Michelle Boundy developed and implemented a number of initiatives including the highly successful 50 Walks Project, the 50 Acts of Kindness Project (Kind July) and the Bathers Way 50 when she walked 50 kms in one day to promote World Kindness Day.
She has devoted hundreds of hours to raise awareness about the uplifting psychological effects of kindness and has raised significant funds for Stay Kind, while bringing their core message to the wider community.
Michelle’s projects have brought together hundreds of people from around the region in a series of events, which raised community spirits and generated feelings of well-being and hope in a very difficult and challenging time. Her key message has always been the importance of kindness and the difference acts of kindness can have on individuals and their communities.
The projects drew widespread support and participation from local politicians, including Newcastle’s Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Tim Crakanthorp, MP, local businesses, Police Superintendent Matt Appleton, the academic community at the University of Newcastle, football personalities like Owen Craigie, allied health professionals, people with a disability, and those who identify as proud indigenous people.
Michelle used iconic images of the Newcastle foreshore and beaches to help publicise her projects and to generate a sense of pride of place for the wonderful natural beauty of Newcastle. These images drew interest from people from all over NSW who travelled to Merewether to be a part of the fundraising events.
She also garnered interest from around the world, including from the US, India, the Netherlands, and Singapore, with people from many nations sending donations, messages of support, and some even participating in virtual walks along Bathers Way with Michelle, who was live streaming on her mobile phone.
Many of the participants described Michelle as ‘inspirational’ in her energy and enthusiasm for spreading the kindness message and expressed their gratitude for her championing wellness through walking and physical fitness. Some of them had never been to Strzelecki lookout or over the Newcastle Memorial Walk until they walked with Michelle and thanked her for showcasing these incredible vistas.
This year Michelle has been a guest speaker at various events where she shares her passion for kindness and described her projects.
Michelle said it has been a great honour and privilege to represent the Stay Kind Foundation and to serve her community. “Showing kindness to someone costs nothing but can change or even save someone’s life.”
For more information visit www.staykind.org/
Read more community news in the Spring edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.