History of the Gatherings
Humanising Health Care
The evidence is clear; there is a direct relationship between staff wellbeing and patient wellbeing. It is well understood that disruptive or intimidating behaviours by staff undermine team effectiveness and create barriers to cooperation.
In 2015, Mary Freer and Dr Catherine Crock AM (Hush Foundation) created Gathering of Kindness, after identifying the direct correlation between organisational negativity and staff wellbeing and effectiveness.
The Gathering of Kindness aims to redress this by building, nurturing and instilling a culture of kindness throughout the healthcare system.
The GOK 2016 invited 100 participants - actors, healthcare clinicians, artists, musicians and innovators to imagine that kindness, trust and respect were the fundamental components of the healthcare system, and that bullying was unacceptable. Collectively they proposed a better way forward.
The overwhelming success of the inaugural GOK inspired us to expand it in 2017 into multiple venues and to broaden participation across a 'World Kindness week'. The key theme of GOK 2017 was "The Power of Kindness"/"Continuing the Conversation". It was a five-day Gathering, and provided participants with the opportunity to share their ideas, their work and their projects. We spread events out across November in 2018 and 2019, and we travelled across Australia (and to America and England!), hosting events with various healthcare services, and sharing resources and information to bring about the change we all need to see in healthcare.
With COVID19 changing our plans for face-to-face events, our Gathering of Kindness 2020 was unlike any before. With thousands across Australia and Internationally, we celebrated a week of online offerings and conversations with renowned experts and international guest speakers.
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