10 February, 2023


In the face of unbelievable adversity – there is courage and kindness!

Before the much-anticipated return of the students, all teaching staff spent three days engaging in professional learning (PL).  For the first time, one of those days was for all staff across the College and it was wonderful to have us all together!

On the all-staff day, we were blessed to host Kath Koschel as our Keynote Speaker.

Kath Koschel is the founder of Kindness Factory, a global not-for-profit organisation and movement which inspires ordinary people to do extraordinary things. A former professional cricketer and Iron Man competitor, Kath has defied all medical prognoses by teaching herself to walk on three separate occasions. Despite facing other serious personal, mental and physical setbacks, her resilience allowed her not only to overcome these challenges but also see the good in the world when most others couldn’t.

Kath taught us – she provided us with an opportunity to gain perspective on our own situations and to reflect on the resilience and courage she displayed.  She spoke about the kindness of strangers and the profound impact they had on her life.  She is a true embodiment of being agile and courageous, two of our Learner Attributes.

Her story, whilst inspiring, was at times incredibly moving and many of our staff were brought to tears as she described her challenges.

Staff comments include:

“Truly inspirational and made you think about what is important and worth worrying about.”

“Powerful story that builds gratitude and perspective…”

“She was engaging, humorous, created a space for us to have some insight into her life journey and made us think about empathy and connection and its importance in our context and in life…”

“Kindness is key in this busy world, thinking of small things that can make a difference to others.  A positive note to take on board as we commence the year…”

“This was the most inspiring part of the whole day and added much perspective to what we do and the privileges we have.”

“Kath was excellent.  So engaging and down to earth and by sharing her ‘lived experience’ made such an impact.”

“A marvellous example of triumphing over adversities – very uplifting, great presentation.”

“She was unbelievable!  Her story captured me, inspired me, and made me reflect on my own ability to show kindness.  She is at the forefront of my mind and will be for a long time as I set goals myself to be kinder to me, my family, and those around me.”

“Open, vulnerable, emotional, inspiring.”

“I was enthralled for the whole session. It was a real and heartfelt talk, that pulled at my heartstrings.”

In November 2015, Kath founded Kindness Factory, with the goal of encouraging and inspiring 1 million acts of kindness. Her site today has over 5 million acts logged. To date, she has raised close to half-a-million dollars for various charitable organisations and was the recipient of the 2016 Pride of Australia Medal for showing courage in the face of extreme adversity. In January 2017, Kath was awarded the Young Australian Medal and the people’s choice of Australia award.  Kath recently appeared on the Sunday Project to talk about the release of her book ‘Kindness’.  We are hopeful that Kath might visit us again during 2023 to talk to some of our students.

Virginia Berechree
Head of Professional Learning, Research & Innovation

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