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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.

Filming your event

Build your own Kindness Event

Build your own 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

Gathering of Kindness Poster

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

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.

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