From the worst of times Australians produce the best of themselves.
The darker the days, the greater the hurdles, and the more harrowing the heartbreak then, it seems, the more communities across this sunburnt country pull together.
No matter how you label it – community spirit or Aussie mateship – the essence of helping each out is the very fabric which in woven to become our strong, supportive and vibrant culture.
It is in our Aussie DNA.
Fire, flood or drought? We will dig deep to help. An underdog? We got your back. Unspeakable tragedy? Lean on us.
And while the country may engage in regular, robust debates about all manner of topics which threaten to divide Australians, ultimately we are family.
And family sticks together.
But, like any strong family, it should not just be when times are tough that community spirit should come to the fore. Healthy, supportive, inclusive communities are built on a foundation of constant nurturing and continual care.
People need to care about people more - sometimes we all just need a hug and the chance to have a chat!Jonathon Welch, Choir of Hard Knocks founder
As co-writers Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody explained in their iconic song, “from little things, big things grow”.
“People need to care about people more - sometimes we all just need a hug and the chance to have a chat!” explained Jonathon Welch, the founder of the Choir of Hard Knocks.
Don’t wait until grand gestures of help are needed. Putting your hand up and becoming involved with your community in small and regular ways can do untold amounts of good. Become a volunteer, help out at your child’s school, go to a council meeting, attend community events, shop locally, join a class or group, keep an eye on your neighbours – or just lend an ear or share a smile.
“You’ve got to involve yourself in doing something for other people all the time,” said Peter Cundall, a presenter of the ABC’s Gardening Australia, conservationist and author.
“I know that sounds sentimental, but you see, ordinary people are the most generous people on Earth without question.
“And what I think we should do is constantly try to give as much of ourselves as we can to each other - that's the secret of happiness for all of us."