WHY WE ARE THE WORLD’S KINDEST CITY
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.”