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Blog Posts 2022

Australia National Day of Compassion 2023

Australia National Day of Compassion 2023, a graphic of Australia with indigenous characters on the top corner

I wonder what happens when you start the day listening to Ron Nirenberg, current Mayor of San Antonio, in conversation with Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of Charter for Compassion, about how compassionate infrastructure in cities can affect the well-being of its citizens, and how the dream of having a Compassionate USA may materialize; what this can look like and how we can achieve this goal. Then, we hear the happiest man on Earth, Matthieu Ricard, talk about The Path to Wisdom in a conversation with Lynne Reeder, Researcher and Leader of the Australian Compassion Council (ACC). Ricard has been an inspiration to many through his research and many books about Happiness and Altruism, offering us ways to develop the potential for compassion, proving how essential they both are for the wellbeing of humanity. 

This could possibly be exactly what one needs to trigger the compassion we’ve buried within and start to make the changes necessary, in whatever our area might be, to alleviate and free ourselves and others from suffering - that is the point of Compassion, after all, isn’t it? 

Imagine what happens when you realize that the day doesn’t end there, and that all day, you can listen to inspirational talks around Compassion and Deep Wisdom in Education, in Health, in Business, etc., with titles such as The Art and Impact of Wise Leadership, The Deep Wisdom of Australian Indigenous Insights, Can Deep Wisdom guide Political Leadership?  

All these are part of a carefully selected series of presentations reflecting the magnificent work being carried out in Australia by ACC and its partners. Each year, the ACC organizes a National Day of Compassion on September 21 that offers a meaningful opportunity for participation in learning about and practicing compassion. This is the third year the National Day has been convened, and the theme is Compassion and Deep Wisdom.   

Deep Wisdom comes after Deep Dreaming, which was the theme last year, and it makes sense to have them in that order: when we give ourselves permission to Deep Dream, we can dream up solutions, put them into practice, and come out the other end a little wiser. Just by looking at the caliber of speakers in this year’s program, it is obvious that something has changed; we might be on the right track, and wisdom is definitely peering through. The depth promised from each one of these presentations, could offer a path as we struggle to understand how we can change what is wrong in the world. Australia offers wonderful insights into the issues we all endure due to colonization, exclusion, racism, and violence in its many forms. This is usually expressed in a very heartwarming conversation with experts who not only are wise in their fields, but loving and passionate about what they do, and careful and loving towards who they do the work for. 

These free and online sessions will be held on the hour for 50 minutes each, featuring international and Australian thinkers reflecting on a wide array of aspects of deep wisdom.  

Starting September 21 at 9.00 am and finishing at 6.30 pm AEST (please note that is September 20 from 3 pm to 1.30 am in the US and Canada Pacific Time)  

Register for the Launch Event here (from 8 am to 9 am) 

Register for the National Day Sessions here (from 9 am – 6.30 pm) 

The full program of events is available here


Mérida McCarthy
Program Coordinator at Charter for Compassion