"To see different races and creeds working together for the common good in the rotting mud - battlers, millionaires, Christians, Muslims and other religions piecing this small community back together with hard work and laughter - it makes me want to get rid of that rotten word 'unAustralian' because that's Australian."
"It was my dream one day I come to Australia, The dream is gone, now it is real. Now I ask what I can do for Australia."
"If you not part of the solution then you are very much part of the problem. "
"Societies fall apart when good people do nothing. "
"I've made my wealth out of this country. I feel very strongly in giving something back to this country. And I think this country can always do with a higher degree of philanthropic support than we do now."
"Some have reflected that this heroism, this natural desire to pitch in to help others in need and the tenacity to come together to rebuild communities that has been seen in such abundance over the past few weeks was not so much Australian as inherent human traits. Whichever way these characteristics are viewed, they are attributes which are strong foundations for any society and ones that will enrich a community the more it is permeated by them. Pitching in to help, doing what you can for those who are suffering and worse off than you are, even those you don't know, are values that would extend compassion, altruism and generosity towards all sectors suffering disadvantage."
"As we weep for what we have lost, and as we grieve for family and friends and we confront the challenge that is before us, I want us to remember who we are. We are Queenslanders. We're the people that they breed tough, north of the border. We're the ones that they knock down, and we get up again. "
"To feel cared about without judgement is the most rewarding feeling. After the Tsunami, all I wanted was someone to give me hope that I could go on, and I wanted to give hope to others, which in turn would help me. The only way you can help other people is being true to yourself. "
"I feel that it is imperative that I give something back to the world around me in any way I can. If that means teaching people the power of their mind, the power to change the outcome, to look upon life positively rather than negatively etcetera, I think that that's part of what I'm driven by."
"It will take Australia two generations to develop the culture of personal responsibility and the level of philanthropic activity entrenched in the United States. In the US, an amount equivalent to 3.8% of GDP goes to charity. In Australia it is less than 1%."
"Many people in the commercial and industrial fields need to be and want to be released from the barren perspective that makes up so much of that frenetic and inane business life. They long for involvement in purposes which are of real human worth."
"Community also needs to be fostered in order that the latent goodwill and actual expertise of able people in different sectors of society may be fed into creative interactions which benefit all."
"Our suburbs by and large are social deserts. Yet they are filled with people with emotions, energies, experience, information and skills - especially skills in life. ... I am convinced if people could find their place in some positive, supportive and intentional group committed to the liberation and development of one another and one another's families, then many social needs would be resolved or even avoided."
"By directly participating we deepen our understanding of citizenship. It's not easy living in a community, but it's more meaningful than a lot of other things."
"The question of what's the cause of social ills in terms of drug addiction, suicide, mental illness - much of it comes back to the loss of community."
"We are social beings. We come out of a tribal village heritage. That's part of who we are and that's what grows us. It has also oppressed us. I think we've gone to the other extreme - individualism. That deprives us of the support and meaning that comes from being in a community."
"About 20% of households are only one person; the nuclear family has shrunk and become increasingly unstable, broken up. We haven't got the social and intimate support in our personal environments we used to have and that we need. And all the substitutes that we've drawn on - the materialism - are not a substitute for that."
"Why do people have to be dragged to the polls? It's not because they are dumb. They know they don't have much of a say. They have a vote every three years and that's all. If we're really going to get past apathy and reactivate, you've got to give people real power and the only way to give people real power is to have real say over real issues."
"Ultimately we have got to co-operate for our common destiny."
"You've got to involve yourself in doing something for other people all the time. I know that sounds sentimental, but you see, ordinary people are the most generous people on Earth without question. And what I think we should do is constantly try to give as much of ourselves as we can to each other - that's the secret of happiness for all of us."
"In this role my wish is to build our understanding of what it means to protect the rights and human dignity of all Australians. Upholding human rights is about looking out for each other, taking the idea of fairness seriously. And it goes to the heart of who we are as a nation."
"It is our spirit which brings to life our whole being; if we are spiritually drained and depleted it is very difficult to remain positive in difficult times. In our contemporary lifestyle material goods are necessary to provide temporary relief but are not sustainable, as they will never be enough."
"After the fire it was a silent forest for many months. The first time I walked through the forest and heard the first bird that lifted the soul absolutely. It is like there are two courses running parallel - as the community goes through its recovery; the forest is doing the same in the background. "
"Simple old-fashioned values that come from a sense of community are the key to a great society. I believe we all have that sense from childhood memories, when life was simple. It's those memories that should drive us to reflect on our values."
"I've always felt that what I do in life should be good for the community. I think that's the measure of being an Australian citizen. It's not so much where you're born, it's what you're actually doing beyond what people expect of you."
"The essentials of leadership are all about the use of one's talent in the interests of society."
"... that ultimate success in community leadership will only be achieved if it stimulates participation by others who are also to be seen as in their own way leaders and not merely helpers."
"Every eye is an eye. When you are doing the surgery there, that is just as important as if you were doing eye surgery on The Prime Minister or King. "
"Our vision is for a world where no one is needlessly blind, and Indigenous Australians enjoy the same health and life expectancy as other Australians."
"When I've seen an opportunity I haven't sat down and called a committee meeting, We've gone and done it."
"I just know when you do good things, it helps other people and makes you feel good... I don't think I'm a goody-goody for one second, but I believe that helping people was the right way to be. And you just gave someone else a hand up, help them up and they'll come back and help you if you need it."
"The neglect this implied, the suffering and wasted quality of human life were appalling."
"A smile is just such an amazing thing. And to think that some of those people can now smile because they can see you, that gives me that sort of charge, energy - that's what powers up my batteries. That's the joy that I have and that keeps me going. That's my rocket fuel, I suppose. "
"Fred didn't have a favourite colour. He was just pleased that he could see all of the colours in the colour chart. That was his wish for everyone. Fred wanted people to experience the joy of seeing vivid colours - in nature: the greens and browns of the mountains; in their work: the orange, red and black of the back of the retina; and in life. "
"I believe that the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other. "
"It stems from my Australianisms and belief that everyone is a fundamental cog in the wheel."
"Anyone afraid of what he thinks television does to the world is probably just afraid of the world. "
"Everyone has pain, everyone feels loneliness, everyone has challenges and hard times. Everyone feels some fear, some wondering about what it's all about, some joy in life. It's very lovely to hear what we have in common, and to recognise and celebrate the differences as well. "
"Some minds remain open long enough for the truth not only to enter but to pass through by way of a ready exit without pausing anywhere along the route."
"... it is easier to recount grievances and slights than it is to set down a broad redress of such grievances and slights. The reason is that one fears to be thought of as an arrant braggart."
"He looked at the book, took my name, and consulted his records. Then he informed me I had been lost at sea and was dead. Under the circumstances, he could not possibly give me any money... Even the fact that he was dealing with someone who had been dead for several days failed to awaken interest in his official heart."
"O sleep, O gentle sleep, I thought gratefully, Nature's gentle nurse."
"Fortunately, perhaps, I was completely ignorant of the orthodox theory of the disease (polio-myelitis)."
"My mother used to say, 'He who angers you, conquers you!' But my mother was a saint."
"... panic plays no part in the training of a nurse."
"A measure of victory has been won, and honors have been bestowed in token thereof. But honours fade or are forgotten, and monuments crumble into dust. It is the battle itself that matters - and the battle must go on."
"His response was remarkable for its irrelevance, if for nothing else."
"I was wholly unprepared for the extraordinary attitude of the medical world in its readiness to condemn anything that smacked of reform or that ran contrary to approved methods of practice."
"In the end we won't be judged as a society solely by our growth statistics or economic activity graphs. We will be judged by the quality of the life that we foster for all members of the community and the compassion we show for the disadvantaged. "
"When anyone wins, we all win and the celebration is real and when anyone is lost, we are all lost and sometimes knowing the sadness of it, feeling the waste and the loss, is our quiet duty and our deepest honour. I suspect that the human spirit that can soar to great heights can also sit in the silence of hopes dashed. It's hard to feel the jarring thud of disappointment without trying to rescue; without trying to cheer up; without appearing to have all the answers and yet that is THE lesson that is key to life by the Wayside."
"In our society, we are all open to scrutiny by the public. Leaders in the future must continue to pay careful attention to the demands and expectations of the community. They must be strong defenders of values and high standards, and must ensure that these apply throughout their organisations."
"Never see a need without doing something about it.
"Whatever happens...men, women and children have to be prepared to put other people first and thereby create the miracle of the species which is people living together in harmony and putting other people first, before themselves."
"You need a civil society... Bushfires can achieve the change from society to community. Bushfires can. Floods can. Ghastly crimes and disasters can. Places can change, but it takes blood, sweat and tears. "
"The persistent appetite for human beings for community is what we should all be dedicated to. "
"I embrace the concept of enlightened self-interest - that in doing something for others, people also reap profound benefits for themselves. It might involve a little bit of sacrifice and discipline, but, and this is so crucial to understand, that participation has given me back so, so much more than I have given it."
"I am confident there is a cause for everyone. Think of how you can contribute; we all have different skills."
"Each and every one of us will be confronted by a major challenge in our lives ... We can choose to shut down, retreat into our safety zone and not participate in life, or we can decide to learn from the experience and make a difference to the lives of those around us. "
"What a community gets in its leaders is exactly what it asks for, no more and no less. Our leaders reflect the kind of society we are, the role we seek to play in the world and the way we see ourselves."
"Sitting around complaining about society achieves nothing. "
"People are happiest when they are giving, they are saddest when they are just taking. And that is the core message of community."
"There is something going on in the community that some of our politicians... seem to be missing... So many people are seeking authenticity, a return to simplicity, meaning and community. It's there in the burgeoning not-for-profit sector... It's there in the vegie patches that are being planted in so many more back gardens. It's there in the outrage people feel about the treatment of asylum seekers. It's there in the explosion of writing and communication and creativity in what's known as the social media... It's everywhere. There has been an inversion: the real leadership is coming from the community..."
"There is nothing so costly to the state as a ruined life. "
"Many things we need can wait, the child cannot... To him we cannot say tomorrow, his name is today. As Australian of the Year I say to Australia - our time is now, we cannot wait."
"If you are able, you are obliged to contribute to society, not just look after your own backyard."
"People need to care about people more - sometimes we all just need a hug and the chance to have a chat! "
"Why are teachers as important as doctors? Doctors save lives where teachers help make lives better!"
"In life, you gotta do something. And the medical journals keep on saying if you've got a goal or some passion in life, you'll outlive all the other guys who - the bank manager that retired. They gave him a rocking chair and he rocked himself to death. So you gotta have a passion, whatever it happens to be. Whether it's this or something else, it doesn't matter, as long as it's a reason to get out of bed every morning, as my accountant of 50 years keeps on saying. "
"The purpose of life is to matter and be ever mindful of the opportunities that we can both individually and collectively provide for our Families and Communities in making a difference to their outcomes."
"The concepts of community and community life, have since the Dreaming, always held special significance for Aboriginal people because both provided the physical, cultural, spiritual and social environments, which supported children, young people, families and the aged."
"Stand up for what you think is right. That might be very different from what I am saying today, but you are allowed to differ from me just as I am allowed to differ from you. That is part of our strength as a country that we can differ from each other."
"I hope I have repaid Australia for the humanity it showed me, as it has shown to so many others over the years."