What an absolute privilege it is for Freerthinking to power up Change Day Australia each year. This year on the 16th March Change Day reached an all time high – 77,000 people working in health and social care all around Australia made a pledge to improve the outcomes for clients, patients, residents, consumers and communities.
But numbers are only a small part of the story. We know that 1000’s of pledges are made all over Australia on leaves and pledge cards and never recorded on-line. This is an enormous wave of enthusiasm and energy that is created by Change Day each year.
This is grassroots, social action happening in health and social care services from one end of Australia to the other.
So how did we manage to encourage people in Townsville, Geraldton, Pt Broughton, the Blue Mountains, Ballarat and Devonport (to name just a few of the places that Change Makers are working to improve our health and care services) to participate in Change Day ? How was it that there were forums, seminars, BBQs, parties, paloozas, afternoon teas and lunches all happening at the same time all over the country ?
How come people wrote songs and quizzes, baked cupcakes and cookies, made movies and even took a Pledge Trolley Cam for a ride around a hospital to capture the change in action? Where did all that creativity come from?
This is what we call “leaders everywhere” and it’s what happens when you remind people that they have agency. We are constantly told that we can’t make anything happen without someone else giving us permission, or funding, or a policy, or a briefing, or a bigger office. But the truth is we can make a whole lot happen.
“What is the one thing you could do to fix [any given situation]. Just go do that thing. Go do that thing!”
Michelle Martin, NPR Radio presenter on 'Tell Me More'
Change Day was trending on Twitter, right up there alongside #IndianaJones for most of the day. In 48 hours we achieved roughly 2 million impressions on Twitter with our hashtag #changedayaus.
The Minister for Health in Victoria the Hon. Jill Hennessey MP made her pledge along with the CEO of Ambulance Victoria, the President of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Australian College of Nursing and the Australian College of Emergency Medicine and so many more leaders from all over the country.
If your organisation wants to make change happen and grow leaders everywhere let me know. Freerthinking will be running some workshops in August, 2016 all about how we use social action to transform health and social care. But first I’m heading off to Europe, UK and USA as a Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Social Change Fellow for 8 weeks. I will be meeting with great leaders and activists and then bringing all that back to share with you.
Are you IN ?
Keep making great things happen,