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The Kindness Hub

If you can’t make it to GOK 2018 events, don’t despair!


We encourage you to hold your own events during and after Gathering of Kindness week.  Your event could be an organised gathering, a session at a weekly meeting or even just a collection of conversations   Film them in short grabs (even on your phone) or tell us about them so we can share them with the community on our More Gatherings page.


Please explore our Kindness resource Hub - a collection of useful resources for you to build kindness at work for yourself,  your colleagues, patients and families.  Consider running your own mini events or start conversations in your workplace.


And please add your own resources, comments and feedback on the Contact page so we can keep the conversation flowing!  If appropriate, we'll add them to the Hub.  And please join our Facebook Group to share your thoughts and ideas.

New videos!


Elizabeth Broderick AO has drawn from her considerable experience in human rights to deliver a series of video insights for us.  Watch out for more on our Videos page!  They will be a wonderful resource for starting meaningful conversations. We thank Elizabeth for her generosity and wisdom.


We encourage you to host your own gatherings and create discussions among your colleagues and associates.

To that end we have created a range of resources, ideas and inspirations to get your conversations off the ground.

range of items for sale.JPG
Buy your kindness online now!


Wearable Kindness 

Get ready to cap, tee, and even tote for Gathering of Kindness 2018.

Based on demand and feedback the range has been expanded to include the very popular Gathering of Kindness as well as our 2018 hashtag #KindnessWorksHere.


Both equally efficient and scientifically proven to promote the benefits of kindness wherever you wear!

Hush Music

The Hush Collection features music composed and performed by some of Australia's most eminent artists, especially to create a calming environment for patients, carers and health professionals.  Some of our music features lyrics which can be used to stimulate conversations about kindness and the value of the arts in health.


Videos can be a powerful means to elicit discussion.  Here we present a collection of thought-provoking and inspiring videos created by kindness colleagues.

Kindness Connections

Here we include links and information about a variety of organisations, endeavours and resources in research and professional development in specialised and more general applications throughout the health care sector and beyond.  Be it information or inspiration, we're here to share.  


We have collected some of the literature that discusses the role of kindness in health care.  You can use it to find articles to discuss at staff meetings or journal clubs.

In Macedon, Victoria in March-April 2016, 100 leaders, philosophers and innovators gathered to conceptualise ways to transform health care culture.  The inaugural Gathering of Kindness was not only inspiring but also provided practical recommendations for advancing kindness in health care.  


Here we provide the summary of the two-day event with recommendations for other Gatherings.

Gathering 2016

#KindnessWorksHere posters

Below are a series of posters in different sizes, with each download including 6 different posters with messages of ways to care for yourself and others. 

Feel free to display these in your office or around your healthcare organisation!



What is kindness?


Kindness can look like a smile.


It can sound like a please, a thank you, or a hello.


It can taste like a cup of tea or coffee made for you when you're tired near the end of your shift.


It can smell like a flower someone brought in and put on the staff room table, or a cake someone made to celebrate a birthday.


It can feel like a hug on one of those terrible days, or a greeting handshake with a patient.

It comes in all shapes and sizes.

Welcome to the Gathering of Kindness Toolkit!  As well as hoping you can join us at our official events, we also encourage you to host your own gatherings and create discussions among your colleagues and associates.


To that end, we have created a range of resources, ideas and inspirations to get your conversations off the ground.


We also enthusiastically welcome any suggestions, requests and videos of your gatherings.  Send us your input via the Contact page.


We can add you to our More Gatherings page.  Check it out to see who else is having conversations.


Happy gathering!

Caring for our health professionals


Workshop Resource List


Shree Johnson, Dr Caitlin Weston and Lucy Mayes have compiled this excellent collection of resources for those wanting to delve deeper into the literature on kindness in health care.


From a workshop conducted at Monash Health, November 13, 2018


A tool for 'kindfulness'


By Christine Ireland, teacher.


The Kindness sessions I went to on November 3, 2017, were immediately applicable to not only my line of work, but also to every association with which I am involved with. (Also very applicable to marriage!) It spoke to the fact that we all impact significantly upon each other’s journey.


Professionally, it was about bringing the joy back to the practice.


For me it was apparent from the workshops that even though kindness in the workplace (and life) manifests itself in many ways, but so too does its absence. I then began collecting phrases from the presentations that fitted these two categories. The power of seeing the lists side by side was knowing that items on the negative side could be replaced with items from the positive side. This understanding, this mindfulness it seems gives power to kindfulness.


With a little flexibility and creativity, I have designed this simple tool.

Download >




Shapes and Sizes

Organised social gatherings...

...such as off site breakfasts or dinners. A film night, a BBQ.  Or smaller on site shared lunch dates or birthday acknowledgments.

"Work-free zones"...

...where work is not the staff room!

Physical activities...

..., such as Frisbee throwing (check it out..there's international competitions!), barefoot bowling (Best in summer).


Encourage staff to attend organisational sponsored sessions such as mindfulness or yoga.

Workplace activities...

..., such as grand rounds, ward based activities, conferences off site.


Make sure staff feel welcome to attend these, and that  their effort and work is acknowledged and supported. We're all busy, but we are also our best resource.

Hand-over meetings...

...where a minute or two could be devoted to a 'kindness' question such as:

  • 3 examples of how we show each other we care?

  • 3 examples of how we show our patients we care?

  • What can we do better, both for ourselves and for our patients?

  • What are we not doing  as well as we could?

Private reflection...

...As you leave work for the day, reflect on these, and other questions, for even a minute:

  • Did I listen to my colleagues today? Did I listen to my patients? Did I interrupt them? Did I speak, and explain things, in a way they could understand? Was I kind to people?

  • Was I listened to by other team members? Was I treated with respect by the team? Were people kind to me?

Filming your event

We'd love to see footage of your events and post them if you choose.  Here are a few quick guidelines for filming and sending.


  • You can film on your phone.  Try to make sure the space is well lit so we can see you.  Remember to hold your phone horizontally so it doesn't look like you're all in a phone booth.

  • No need to film everything, but we'd especially like to see and hear your ideas and conclusions.

  • When you have your film, send it to our web coordinator, letting us know if you'd like it posted on our Other Gatherings page, and any extra information you'd like to share.

  • If the video file is too large to email, there are free, easy-to-use file transfer services like Dropbox.  Upload your file there and email us a link.

Build your own Kindness Event

Talk, debate, workshop, panel or world cafe topics:

  • Professional Boundaries - panel discussions or debates e.g. Boundary violations or Broadening our repertoire

  • Psychological safety in healthcare- why is it so important.

  • How will we build a community of kindness?

  • What stories can you tell of when kindness in your workplace made a difference?

  • Will we come up with a Consensus statement about Kindness

  • Kind leadership in healthcare- how could that work?

  • Creativity and the arts- can they bring a new perspective to our workplaces

  • Surviving bullying in the workplace- self care and caring for others

  • Practical self-care strategies and practices

  • The ‘busyness’ epidemic, how to be kind and connected in the modern workplace

  • How to have kind conversations, communicating with compassion

  • Emotional intelligence, what it is, what it means in healthcare, how to develop/improve it

Gathering Gear

T-shirts, polos and more are available for your gathering participants!  Use them to identify volunteers or as a giveaway to attendees. 


Some suggested gathering activities:


  • Join World Kindness Australia as an organization or individual.

  • Nominate staff as World Kindness ambassadors- hold a certificate ceremony

  • Mindfulness /Yoga sessions

  • Schwartz Rounds

  • Leadership Walkarounds- leadership highly visible and engaged at every site

  • Use volunteers in Gathering of Kindness T-shirts

  • Live or recorded Hush music is available for use in clinical areas

  • Filming of events and staff comments, vox pops we can share later as a community

  • Gather staff ideas on how to promote kindness and joy at work.

  • Involve staff in painting corridors or other places where possible.

  • Exhibitions- photos or artworks

  • Hold a Walk for Kindness

  • Narrative workshops

  • Comms and media support - press release templates (to come)

  • HUSH plays: Hush can provide our healthplays for your organisation.

    • “What Matters” (New Kindness play being launched during GOK 17)

    • “Hear Me”

    • “Do You Know Me”

  •  Hold a Film Festival - we have an ever-expanding collection of videos designed to provoke thoughtful conversation

Thanks to Noni Bourke for providing the image below.  Click to download a copy to use as a poster or postcard. 

Gathering of Kindness Poster

More resources available right here:


You are not "My Patient"

by Katrina Hall

Eastern Health


You are not my patient


I do not own you


I do not control you


I do not have any rights over you


I do not manage you


You are a person


You are a person I am sharing my day with


You are a person who deserves my respect


You are a person I can offer advice and support to


You are a person who may share things with me 


You are a person who has your own story


You are a person who has your own ideas 


especially about your body, your health and your life


You are not My Patient, you are you.

Host your own events - and tell us!


Let us help to showcase your Gathering of Kindness events.  Leave your details on the Contact page to register the name of the event, date, time, venue and a link to further details.  You'll be included in the list of other events on the More Gatherings page.  Remember to visit this Toolkit page and other pages in The Kindness Hub for more advice and shared information.

The Kindness Exchange


The Kindness Exchange provides a collaborative place online to share and promote local kindness innovation and improvement projects. This is the place to showcase the great work that is happening to promote Kindness and Joy at work across Australia and Internationally. It is also an opportunity to recognise the commitment and expertise of staff working in healthcare.


Submit your small and large-scale Kindness innovations and improvements to share with and benefit the broader health system.  You can submit your initiative using the form here or download a copy.  Read more below.

About Kindness Exchange


The Kindness Exchange provides a collaborative place to share and promote local Kindness innovation and improvement projects from all healthcare organisations across the World.


It is designed to share solutions that can be adapted to suit other local health challenges, without the need to duplicate work that has already been undertaken.

Small and large scale innovations and improvements generated are recognised and shared to benefit the broader health system. 

The Kindness Exchange aims to:


  • Collect and promote information and resources about current Kindness projects, and improvements across Australia and beyond.

  • Provide resources to assist and encourage health professionals to make improvements and foster Kindness in their own healthcare setting/organisation.

  • Deliver a learning platform for new ways of improving and innovating for local needs and share experiences and lessons.

  • Connect health professionals with others who share similar interests to improve the patient/consumer and staff experience.

If you prefer, use this Word version and email it to

Why Submit?


If you’ve designed or implemented a project that aims to improve the patient or staff experience, the Kindness Exchange is a great opportunity to share your project with a wider audience and recognise the efforts of your team. You’ll have a page on the Kindness Exchange dedicated to your project, so other's can see what you’ve achieved and work out if it will help them solve a similar health challenge in their organisation or facility. Your summary can be used for a number of purposes, like sharing with your team, applying for speaking opportunities or promoting your project in the community. You don’t even need to have a completed project to publish it on the Kindness Exchange – we also accept projects that are in the planning or implementation stages.



Eligibility Criteria


Your project will be assessed by our team against the eligibility criteria outlined below.

Only high-quality projects that score at least nine will be considered, so it is important to ensure your submission is relevant, useful and current. 


RELEVANT: Is it relevant to all health services?

5: Highly relevant to all health services and possibly internationally

4: Relevant to many health services across Victoria and nationally

3: Relevant to a number of health services in Victoria

2: Relevant to a small number of sites in some areas

1: A unique project that’s not relevant to other areas and settings


USEFUL: Does it provide enough information to implement the project in other settings?

5: Provides all information and resources required for wider implementation

4: Provides most of the information required for wider implementation

3: Provides useful information but doesn’t consider wider implementation

2: Provides some information but focuses on implementation in pilot sites

1: Provides very little information about implementation of the project


CURRENT: Is it a unique project that has been implemented or evaluated recently?

5: Developed in the last 12 months and is considered topical and a high priority

4: Developed in the last 12 months and is part of an ongoing improvement program

3: Developed in the last 18 months and is part of an ongoing improvement program

2: Developed 2-3 years ago but content is now outdated and has no limited relevance

1: Developed three or more years ago and has no clinical relevance today



The Kindness Exchange is a public website, which means it’s available for anyone to read. For this reason, you’ll need to be careful when including politically-sensitive information or negative outcomes. Consider whether what you are writing will impact your organisations’ reputation or generate negative media attention. If you’re not sure, contact us for clarification



How to submit your KINDNESS Project 
  • Fill out the online form or download the Word version and email to


The publishing process
  • Our team will use the eligibility criteria to determine whether your project is suitable for publication on the Kindness Exchange.

  • We will work with you to develop your project summary to the highest standards, by providing feedback and edits on your submission.

  • You will have the opportunity to review our edits and provide any further information, changes or approvals required.

  • Once everyone is happy with the content in your summary, we will publish it on the Kindness Exchange.

  • Your project will have a dedicated URL that you can use to share your project with your team or other stakeholders. New projects will also be mentioned on the Hush Website .



Hush Music

The Hush Collection features music composed and performed by some of Australia's most eminent artists, especially to create a calming environment for patients, carers and health professionals. Some of our music can also be used to stimulate conversations about kindness and the value of the arts in health.


Please use the music in your own kindness gatherings and discussions.  You can use the supplied lyrics and descriptions to facilitate conversations.


The tracks can be streamed here.  If you'd like to purchase CDs, please visit the Shop Hush page.  You will be supporting our work and assisting the development of more inspiring music!

Sky Blue


From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet


This inspiring piece features reflections on kindness by kids from Jesse's grade 6 class, spoken by Matilda Rintoul and Leila Winsbury.

“Kindness is when someone says you are a friend.

If you make a mistake it is kindness that people give to you, to help you realise that you did something wrong.

Even though someone doesn’t like someone, they can still be kind."

Sticks and Stones


From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet


Like other songs from Hush 16, this is inspired by stories of young patients fighting serious illness. This song by Naomi Crellin addresses bullying and the importance of speaking out.

"You can turn sticks and stones into microphones

And make your feelings heard

It only takes a word

It begins and ends with you."

Finding my Brave


From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet


A shining example of the strength a child can summon in adversity, the words by Josh Concilia and Sophie Toll are a fresh way to look at illness.

“I imagine it as a big, dark faceless creature with muscles.

It tries to scare me and take over my body, but it doesn’t know I am a superhero."

Dance of the Paper Umbrellas


From Hush volume 13: The Magic Island


A gentle but joyous orchestral piece from one of our most loved composers.

"The idea for Dance of the Paper Umbrellas started when I visited the ward at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and witnessed what wonderful work Dr Catherine Crock and her team do.  It was a moving experience that was still with me, when a few days later I sat at my piano.  I wondered what kind of piece I could write the would be uplifting. I wanted to enter the world of magic and possibilities.  I imagined a cake adorned with multi-coloured umbrellas.  A dance formed in my head, starting with a pattern in harp, marimba, plucked strings and flutes"

Elena Kats-Chernin

A Hula Hoop of Space


From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet


An insightful observation about personal space, permission and empathy from 11-year-old Sienna.

“People have a hula hoop of space. Let them have that space. If you want to go inside it, then ask." 

Step Outside


From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet


A song about knowing your own strengths and appreciating the strengths of others.

"Talents can be:

Finding nice leaves; walking far; being interested in things or being good at describing things.

I think one of my main talents is laughing… and annoying my brother.”

The Ocean and the World


From Hush volume 16: A Piece of Quiet


A beautifully dreamy song By Naomi Crellin about the inspirational power of writing "your own storybook"

"And she said to me:

'You see, it wasn’t long ago life was dark and dim'

Her boat began to sink; she’d let the ocean in

She sank beneath the waves, but found that she could swim."

The Gathering of Kindness Anthology

Order the Anthology

To order the Anthology, visit our store.

Cost: $25 plus $5 shipping per book (contact us for more information)


Who is this book useful for?


Anyone who works in the healthcare industry. Anyone who wants to learn how to build a kind culture. Anyone who wants to understand the different perspectives of people on every side of healthcare. Anyone who enjoys reading stories from real people. Anyone who wants a thought-provoking read for their waiting room or coffee table, or who wants to stimulate discussion at their own Gathering.


This book is designed to be visually appealing and is perfectly suited to be read in small parts. The Gathering of Kindness Anthology will show you the variety of human thought.

The healthcare industry has struggled to separate itself from a culture of bullying and stress. Rather than focusing on merely escaping this culture, the way forward is to focus on the type of culture we do want to create - a kind healthcare system.


Based on this philosophy of taking the positive direction, the first Gathering of Kindness event was run in Melbourne in 2016. A wide variety of people attended - not just doctors, but patients, family, administrators, politicians, media, lawyers, students, musicians, and artists. We wanted some way to record the conversations and ideas that came from this wonderful assembly of people, so at the end of the conference we collected contributions from over 40 of the participants. It is from these contributions that the Anthology was formed.


The Gathering of Kindness Anthology is a collection of incredible stories, ideas, action plans, and creative impressions of this kind healthcare system, and how to get there.  And by purchasing the book, you'll be supporting the Hush Foundation and helping continue the quest for kindness.


Kindness Videos

Here we present a collection of thought-provoking and inspiring videos from kindness colleagues.  They are a wonderful resource for starting meaningful conversations.  We will continue to add to the collection.

Kindness in Cancer Care 

The Kindness in Cancer Care videos are a collection of short stories sharing what ‘kindness’ looks like for people during the cancer care experience. These stories are from people in our regional and rural communities.

Paul Levy on Kindness

Paul Levy, former hospital CEO and health blogger, explains that kindness is not a directive but a reflection of the underlying values of virtually every health professional.

Chris Turner - When rudeness in teams turns deadly

At TEDxExeter, emergency medicine consultant Chris Turner discusses research and describes real-life experiences where rudeness between staff impacts outcomes.

Kindness Works at Bass Coast Health

Thanks to our friends at Bass Coast Health for creating this video summary of what kindness means in their workplace.  "Kindness matters. And the evidence is very clear - there is a direct relationship between staff wellbeing and patient wellbeing".

Small Acts of Kindness


An inspiring look at how acts of kindness can transform the patient experience.  Produced by Far West Local Health District, NSW


The Honourable Linda Dessau

Patron in Chief of the Hush Foundation, Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau, Governor of Victoria, talks about the need for a more compassionate healthcare system and the contribution Gathering of Kindness 2017 can make to the conversation. We thank her greatly for her kind words!

Dr Raj


Dr Rajagopal, human rights award winner for his work in palliative care in India, and the 'spiritual leader of ethical medicine', has much wisdom to offer the cause of kindness.  We also recommend you look at Hippocratic, the documentary about Dr Raj.


We are kind by nature.  Dr Raj reminds us that we are innately kind, but our circumstances don't always allow that kindness to be expressed.


What healthcare needs  Dr Raj believes health care has been too disease-focused and needs a greater focus on empathy, dignity and respect.

More from Elizabeth Broderick

The importance of Kindness.  Liz talks about handing dignity back. "We are all born equal in rights and with dignity".

Being Too Busy.  It's at our busiest moments that we need to remember kindness. "We're too busy NOT to be kind".

Upgrade to Kindness.  The most effective leaders communicate with authenticity and shared vulnerability.

Breaking the Kindness Barrier.  The power of story allows us to connect at a deeper level.

Elizabeth Broderick


Elizabeth Broderick AO has drawn from her considerable experience in human rights to deliver a series of video insights for Gathering of Kindness.  These videos, which could be used to open a discussion, emphasise why kindness should be a driver of all interactions in health care.


Check the Playlist on our YouTube channel for the full collection.


We thank Elizabeth for her generosity and wisdom.

The Leadership Lottery.  There is a need for leadership which includes compassion and encourages authentic communication in both directions.