Inspiring by Doing: The GOODNESS Inc.


Inspiring by Doing: The GOODNESS Inc.

Kate Morioka is a busy lady. While corresponding with Sibwannan, Kate was in Tokyo, Japan, and then only days later in Vanuatu. To see just how busy she has been within the last two years, just look at how much the GOODNESS Inc has achieved. Despite her busy schedule, Kate took the time out to answer some questions, inspiring us with her thought-provoking answers.

Please tell us a little background about your organisation?

The Goodness Inc is a social platform for inspiring sustainable living based on indigenous knowledge, multiculturalism, community and the environment. We do this by enabling projects, hosting events and workshops and sharing wisdom.

While working on a research project on climate change in Papua New Guinea in 2011, I was awakened by Arundhati Roy’s famous phrase “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” I realised the alternative world that Roy was speaking of was indeed not only alive, but breathing very loudly within indigenous cultures of the South Pacific. With this revelation, I establish The GOODNESS Inc in November 2012 to encourage others to open their eyes and ears, and learn from what indigenous peoples and our ancestors know best: living a simple, ethical and meaningful life in harmony with our environment.

What is your position? What do you do?

As Co-Founder and Managing Director, I oversee the strategic direction of the organization in achieving its mission and objectives. I remember someone saying to me “The GOODNESS Inc is your baby” and my immediate response was: “it takes a community to raise a child so it (The GOODNESS Inc) is your baby too!” I truly believe in this philosophy – our organisation can only thrive when everyone who is part of it takes leadership, responsibility and ownership.

What inspires you?

Two things inspire me:

1) People. Being part of a collective like The GOODNESS Inc means I have the opportunity to meet, converse and collaborate with people who are creating positive change within their own lives and communities. It’s very inspiring to be surrounded by people who not only dream about change but live the change they want to see in the world. I am also blessed to be supported by inspirational elders and mentors, like my grandmother, Uncle Thomas from Erub Island (Torres Strait), John Antonio (Rotuma), Tony Ayers (Gubbi Gubbi descendant) and Howard Buckley (Praxis Co-op).

2) Earth. Our precious planet is a source of my inspiration. It nurtures, protects, feeds and nourishes me physically, emotionally and spiritually. I believe my purpose in life is to keep the earth alive because without it, I wouldn’t be here.

What was one of the most interesting / inspiring moments of your organisation and career?

There are too many to mention. In just under 2 years, The GOODNESS Inc has been able to achieve amazing things like:

  • We supported our members to initiate and implement projects that make a positive difference to communities and the planet, such as holding a film screening in Cairns to raise awareness on asylum seekers, setting up a community garden at a university in Brisbane and advocating on climate change issues in the Torres Strait.
  • We showcased examples of sustainable practice as part of the Econo-me Bus Tour in partnership with the Centre for Social Change.
  • We launched our unique Speed Seed Project, which will match make change makers and ethical investors
  • We initiated soulful conversations on Indigenous, multicultural and intergenerational wisdom on sustainability
  • We were a finalist for the University of Queensland’s Communication and Social Change Award 2014 in the organizational category.

What advice would you give to someone looking to make a difference in your industry / field?

Don’t just dream or talk about change, take action! The best place to start is with your own lifestyle. In the sustainability sector, so much time is spent on trying to change other people’s attitudes and behavior but not enough on self-reflection and self-action. It really doesn’t make sense if you call yourself an environmentalist when you work for a coal company and there’s no use in calling yourself an anti-poverty campaigner if you like shopping for luxury brands. Change starts from within so we need to make changes to our own lives and live the change we believe in.

Do you have any events coming up?

We have two exciting events coming up:

  • Collaboree: conversations about sustainability, Saturday 15 November at Redcliffe
  • SpeedSeed: speed dating for grassroots changemakers and investors, Thursday 20 November at the Maida Lilley Community Centre, Fortitude Valley

To find out more please visit The GOODNESS Inc website, and watch our video.

You can also like us on Facebook.

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