Community at the forefront of kindness week

Central Gippsland Health (CGH) wants the community to get involved in its second Gathering of Kindness (GoK) Week which puts kindness at the forefront of healthcare.

GoK Week will be held from 12 – 16 November with activities planned across all CGH campuses, culminating in a full day of inspiring presenters to close the week off. The week features as a highlight during CGH’s annual WELLvember event, which started on 1 November.

GoK aims to address bullying and negativity within the health workforce by building, nurturing and instilling a culture of kindness throughout the healthcare system.

With the theme, Kindness Works Here – Be part of ensuring that kindness is at the forefront of healthcare, CGH is this time inviting the community to be a part of the solution.

“We all know that we need to change the conversation between the patient and their families, carers and health service professionals,” CGH Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Frank Evans, said.

“Let’s talk about a kinder health system and how we may get there. Gathering of Kindness Week is about being part of the solution and continuing the conversation. Kindness starts with all of us.”

GoK was created in 2015 by Mary Freer and Dr Catherine Crock of the Hush Foundation – an organisation that aims to reduce stress and anxiety for children and their families in hospital.

The appetite for this positive approach to better relationships in healthcare and beyond grew rapidly and CGH joined forces with the Hush Foundation for last year’s GoK Week.

CGH GoK Week key organiser, Kelli Mitchener, said last year’s event brought together people from inside and outside the healthcare sector who shared the same vision of a healthcare system where kindness, trust and respect were the fundamental components. With the public invited to participate in this year’s week of events, Ms Mitchener hoped these sentiments would be embraced more broadly.

“Kindness is not just good for patients, it’s also good for healthcare workers who communicate better and make fewer mistakes when they listen empathically to each other,” she explained.

“Gathering of Kindness Week at CGH is an opportunity for our community members to interact with many other inspiring people who will come together to re-imagine, not only a healthcare system, but a world that has kindness at its core.”

Following suit from last year, the ever popular Wellness Community Walk will again kick GoK Week off in Sale, Maffra and Heyfield on Monday 12 November. Kindness badge making was also popular last year and will feature heavily again in 2018.

Author of The Long Road from a Broken Heart, Jeremy Scott, will be speaking on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon, while on Friday the speakers that attended the Melbourne GoK event will be visiting Sale and Maffra, including  Lorraine Dickey (Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Narrative Initiative), Lucy Mayes (Author  of Beyond the Stethoscope), Maria Berry (Aged Care Warrior), Catherine Crock AM (Founder and Board Chair, The Hush Foundation), Rosie Keeley (Program Manager Patient Experience and Consumer Engagement for WA Country Health Service) and Sharee Johnson (Psychologist, Coach, Facilitator and founding committee member of the Hush Foundation). Sharee is a Sale local who has been assisting CGH with the organisation of GoK week.

The Hush Foundation is also bringing its renowned performance, Hear Me, back to the stage.

While all events are free, registration is required for some and can be done by visiting All of the details are available on the event program.  For more information, call Kelli Mitchener on 5143 8494 or

Gathering of Kindness Week Program 2018


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