Voices of Optimism campaign launches in August with virtual cafe series

The City of Greater Bendigo is launching a Voices of Optimism campaign and Virtual Café Series throughout August to promote our community’s strong sense of optimism even during challenging times.

For the campaign, the City has collaborated with the Centre for Optimism, which has become a global movement created to empower people to become more optimistic themselves and to foster optimism in those around them.

Centre for Optimism Director Victor Perton will present a free Virtual Café Series each week throughout August, inviting special guests to speak frankly about what makes them optimistic from a personal, business and community perspective despite facing some extraordinary challenges and setbacks in their own lives.

Members from the community are also invited to get involved in the campaign and share their thoughts on what makes them optimistic by recording a short video. Selected videos will be promoted throughout August and September.

Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said the Voices of Optimism campaign aimed to showcase and promote the power of this region’s optimism and she hoped the community would support the campaign and submit a short video.

“Greater Bendigo has a fantastic optimistic community spirit which is why it’s a great place to live, study and work,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“We have already reached out to scores of people in our community and I want to thank them for contributing to our Voices of Optimism initiative.

“So far, we have received many wonderful and varied responses to the question ‘what makes you optimistic?’ which have been truly heartening.

“Our community’s mental health and wellbeing is being challenged like never before as a result of this pandemic.

“We know that many people are doing it tough right now and it’s not easy to feel optimistic, but I hope that when you hear from others in our community about how they remain optimistic that you too will find their responses inspiring and perhaps provide you with a renewed sense of optimism.”

Mr Perton, who has written several books on the power of optimism, said there was an abundant body of scientific research that showed that people with an optimistic outlook fared much better, particularly during challenging times.

“An optimistic spirit can bring significant benefits including happiness, better physical and mental health, better sleep, greater resilience and stronger relationships,” Mr Perton said.

“Optimistic people are better able to balance their emotions more effectively and they bounce back more easily from some of the many stresses and challenges that life can bring.

“Some people are born optimistic, but the good news is that being optimistic can be learnt, it’s never too late to change your way of thinking and enjoy a new better normal.”

The café series begins on August 6 and will run every Thursday for four weeks. Please register to watch the free Virtual Café Series at https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/voicesofoptimism.

Thursday August 6, 2020 – Victor Perton presents Voices of Optimism - in conversation with Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke and her close friend and leadership expert Mary Dwyer who talk frankly about their longstanding friendship and how being optimistic has helped them both to cope with some very difficult times in their personal and work life. Register here for the free virtual event.

Thursday August 13, 2020 – Victor Perton presents Voices of Optimism – in conversation with Coliban Water Managing Director Damian Wells who broke his neck in a cycling accident a week before starting his new role at Coliban Water last year. Mr Wells believes optimism helped him to overcome this life-changing moment.

Thursday August 20, 2020 – Victor Perton presents Voices of Optimism - in conversation with Bendigo Foodshare Chair Cathie Steele about how volunteers and recipients of Foodshare bring so much joy and compassion to those around them with their optimistic outlook. 

Thursday August 27, 2020 – Victor Perton presents Voices of Optimism – in conversation with Bendigo Community Health Services CEO Gerard Jose on why optimism is in his DNA and how his staff continue to remain upbeat, creative and positive whilst providing a critical role on the frontline during the pandemic.

If you would like to contribute to the City’s Voices of Optimism campaign and submit your video, please visit our website https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/voicesofoptimism. Videos selected will be promoted throughout August and September and broadcast on the City and partner social media channels. 


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