Be the change you want to see in the world!

What difference can one person make? How can one small act positively improve someone’s life? What about when 50,000 simple acts combine on the same day?

Australia’s inaugural Change Day will aim to do exactly that, by encouraging people within and connected to the health system to fulfil pledges to improve someone’s life on the 11th of March and beyond.

Pledges can be made online and grand gestures are not necessary – something as simple as a nurse smiling at patients in the corridor is heartily encouraged.

The driving force behind the project, Mary Freer, says the event is a great opportunity to improve our already world class health system.

“We’re promoting a very positive message about working with the resources we have here in Australia while talking about what works and what we can improve,” Mary says.

“People can just pop online, click the pledge button and enter their pledge. They don’t have to wait until the actual day so we can build up a mountain of pledges by March 6..

“We want everyone to talk to their colleagues and friends, encourage people to participate, to donate blood, to be organ donors, to be sun smart, or just more empathetic.”

Mary Freer

Mary Freer

Change Day is part of a global drive for change in the provision of health services with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK leading the way.

The NHS ran the first Change Day in 2013 exceeding everyone’s expectations.

What began with a small team of medical professionals wanting to make some small changes to their workplace within the NHS soon grew to be something special.

After some initial twitter success the group set the ambitious target of 65,000 pledges in celebration of the NHS’ 65th birthday.

“They ended up getting 189,000 pledges so it was enormously successful and that had kick on effects,” Mary says.

“There was a paediatrician who pledged to taste his patients’ medicine to better understand why they wouldn’t take it that is now in the process of improving the taste of certain antibiotics.”


Australia’s Change Day involvement began after one of Mary’s British colleagues rang and asked if it was something that Australians might support.

“I said the only sensible thing I could think of because I just think this is a brilliant idea.  So on behalf of Australia I said ‘yes’”, Mary says.

“And then I kind of turned and thought who the hell am I to be speaking on behalf of Australia but then set about getting together a passionate team of health professionals and leaders to begin the process of change.

“These are people who aren’t necessarily from the biggest companies but they have a passion for change and I think that is what is most important.”

This attitude reflects Change Day’s firm focus on grassroots action with anyone welcome to get involved not just those from big corporations and not just those working directly in the health system.

“This isn’t about money, this about people making a decision to do one simple act that will lead to a positive outcome,” Mary says.

“I always think – ‘imagine being the patient who was going into hospital on a day when 189,000 people had got up that morning and pledged to do things better’.

“They would surely have a better experience or stay. That is what Change Day is about and we are all pretty excited.”

Plans for the March 11th event are well and truly underway in many other countries including Canada and Norway.

And with more pledges coming in daily, change is on the way!

Get involved and make your pledge today at www.changeday.com.au.

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