Watching the Australian of the Year ceremony is always a highlight of the Australian day celebrations. I love hearing the stories of ordinary people who have seen a need and become the champion for the cause that is close to their heart. Every year very worthy people are chosen for the difference they have made and the contributions they have made to better the Australia way of living.
This year I was excited that to see that many of the state finalists were singing my song. They are championing causes that I stand up and fight for; the ideals and values that run deep to my core – the worth of all persons. They talk about equality, diversity and acceptance of all people. David Morrison, on accepting the award of Australian of the Year, spoke about the importance of all people being able to live their potential, regardless of gender, race or religion. Yes, these too are my messages.
However, to me they run deeper. I can see that more needs to be done than accepting people of all diversities into the workplace. Excuse me, if I want more! I want to see workplaces that truly exercise equality across all levels. I want to see the cleaners feeling just as part, just as important and valued as the CEO. I want to see the shy worker in the corner feeling safe and free enough to be able to contribute their ideas. I want people of all races, religions, genders, physical abilities, age, social backgrounds and educational qualifications being able to feel a part of this something bigger than themselves, something worthy of them working and striving for. I want to see all people passionate about why they go to work each day. They don’t have to love their work, but the reason, the cause, the outcomes to be something that excites them.
I want to see businesses and organisations take a fresh look at their business models. What works? What doesn’t? Create something new that is inclusive of all people. Design a business model that allows each person to stretch and grow and become all they can be.
I want to see workplaces where all areas of disharmony are addressed, across the board. I want to see the end of employees being mistreated, bullied and feeling that somehow they don’t belong.
We talk about accepting diversity. To do this the first place we need to look is at ourselves and those around us. For what we see, is the truth, that “Opposites are the same.” We are all so very different to each other beyond race, religion and gender. We just are and that is something that that I truly delight it. However the more different we see each other, the more we can turn the view back on ourselves and realise that in fact, we are all the same. We all want and need the same things. We are want and need love and acceptance followed with the opportunity to grow and live our full potential.
This is where we find true community and true success.
This is my passion.