WHY WE ARE THE WORLD’S KIND­EST CITY

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - LEA EMERY lea.emery@news.com.au

WHEN Michael Lloyd-White ar­rived on the Gold Coast this week he kept his pur­pose se­cret.

The World Kind­ness Foun­da­tion chair­man, Mr Lloy­dWhite, wanted the chance to se­cretly ob­serve the Gold Coast and see why it had just been named the world’s first World Kind­ness City.

Mr Lloyd-White was not dis­ap­pointed.

“They didn’t know who I was but they went out of their way to be nice,” he said.

On his first day he had a full wal­let re­turned by a flight at­ten­dant, a cab driver go out of his way to find the best cur­rency ex­change and an up­grade to his ho­tel room.

Mr Lloyd-White it was small acts like this which all acted in the Gold Coast’s favour in it’s bid to be named the World Kind­ness City.

It took two years for the Gold Coast to meet the 10 dif­fer­ent cri­te­ria which in­cludes host­ing an­nual kind­ness awards, pub­lic dis­plays of kind­ness by the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, host­ing World Kind­ness Cards to pro­mote ran­dom acts of kind­ness and plac­ing Kind­ness Week on the city’s calendar.

At a meet­ing in Seoul last month when the city was liv­ing with the threat of nu­clear mis­siles test, the World Kind­ness Foun­da­tion voted to name the Gold Coast the first World Kind­ness City.

Gold Coast kind­ness am­bas­sador Glenn Tozer said it was about en­cour­ag­ing the coun­cil to act in ways that help peo­ple who may have dif­fi­culty in help­ing them­selves, in­clud­ing when mak­ing laws.

“It’s pretty huge to have the in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion ac­knowl­edge the work going into our city,” he said.

Cr Tozer said ex­am­ples of what helped bring the city over the line were small projects like beach mats for the dis­abled, do­na­tions to com­mu­nity groups and work to make the city more ac­ces­si­ble to the dis­abled.

He said ev­ery­day acts were the ma­jor de­cid­ing fac­tor.

“There is a bunch of un­sung he­roes who are out there ev­ery­day do­ing great work on be­half of the Gold Coast,” he said.

Mayor Tom Tate said the kind­ness ac­co­lade would help pro­mote the city dur­ing the Com­mon­wealth Games.

“The feel­ing of wel­com­ing when some­body is ask­ing for in­for­ma­tion,” he said.

“I know in the time of dis­as­ter the com­mu­nity spirit bonds us to­gether to make sure peo­ple are looked after.

“When you add all that I think it’s an ap­pro­pri­ate ti­tle.”

Gold Coast Tourism Chair­man Paul Dono­van said the kind­ness was a part of the heart of the city.

“It is ideal to be de­clared the kind­est city in the world as we pre­pare for the Gold Coast 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games less than six months from now,” he said.

“We have been wel­com­ing peo­ple from all over the world since the first vis­i­tor ar­rived gen­er­a­tions ago, so be­ing kind is part of our DNA.”

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