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In 2015, I had the great fortune to visit Necker Island for 4 days with Business Chicks.
It was a life-affirming few days, spent with incredible and inspiring people. For some time, I had been thinking about how I might contribute to the world in a more philanthropic way. My personal and professional life were both going really well, and the philanthropic world was the one I really wanted to create a vision for.
On my third day, early in the morning, I was writing a vision for a private foundation I would like to create, and drew out the very early concept for a book where I could showcase ordinary people doing extraordinary things. As I looked to the gorgeous Caribbean sky to contemplate my thoughts, I could clearly see a rainbow. Rainbows are very symbolic to me. as my Nan, who had been one of my early female role models, told us before she passed away, that we would always find her in rainbows. I felt like she was with me, approving of what I was doing and thinking. The first session of the morning was a guest speaker by the name of Jane Wurwand, who is the founder of Dermalogica. Jane was amazing, and her story really resonated with me and by morning tea my foundation was named ‘Rainbow Jane’, in honour of my Nan, and of Jane herself.
Rainbow Jane has become a small, personally funded, for-purpose foundation. The aim of Rainbow Jane is to create events and/or tell stories that inspire people to do something for themselves, whilst giving back to worthy causes in communities, both in Australia and overseas. The first project was the creation of a book that would not only showcase stories of philanthropy and inspire others to get involved, but would also utilise the funds raised to give back to the next generation of philanthropists trying to get new projects off the ground.
The usual clutter of life meant that I didn’t start the book straight away, but in 2016 I took six months off from my corporate career to spend more time with my family, and to create what has become Inspired Kindness. The interviews were so much more than I expected. They were fun, entertaining, and as you would expect, inspiring. I was also in the early stages of pregnancy, and at times it was emotionally overwhelming realising just how many social issues there are out there that need to be solved, as well as realising the hugely privileged life I have, and wanting to have an impact on every cause I was hearing about. I de-briefed regularly about this with my friend, and photographer, Mel who was with me every day. We both felt the same, and constantly asked ourselves the question, “Are we doing enough?”.
Emma’s book, Inspired Kindness: 30 Stories of Inspiring Leaders Doing Something Extraordinary to Change Our World
During this time, Trump was also elected and I began to wonder exactly what world I would be bringing my daughter into. After the interviews were complete, I took a month off to regather. When I went back to the words and re-read them, I found myself inspired again and excited to share these people’s incredible stories – what makes them tick, why the cause they represent is so important to social change, and what motivates them all to keep going, even on the toughest of days. What all these people had in common was absolute passion and determination, an unbreakable spirit to see through what they had started, and in general, an inspired kindness. I hope I’ve done these incredible individuals justice and can’t thank them enough for the time they spent with me; sharing their lessons, highs and lows, their optimism and dreams for a better world. They showed me that if we were all inspired to be kinder, and give back as little or as much as we can (time, money, thoughts, prayers), in some way, no matter how big or small, imagine how fantastic our world would and could be.
CONNECT WITH EMMA HERE.