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Our First Random Act of Kindness

Our First Random Act of Kindness

Our Random Acts of Kindness project is about working out what it is that people need and then doing our best to give it to them. This one was our first.

 

When we hit Dunalley Primary School last week, the recently-opened oval was teeming with grubby school kids playing soccer and the demountable classrooms were looking nothing short of homely. It was a stark contrast to the charred black Eucalypts, lone chimneys and burnt out paddocks that greeted us on the way in.

 

“The whole idea of the new school for me is to connect the whole community,” local resident/Nutella-Ad-style supermum Elizabeth Knox explained as we wandered past two girls playing 'imaginary skipping ropes' on the newly varnished deck. (Must bring skipping ropes next time.)

 

The school, church, hall and 90 residences in the small, seaside town of Dunalley were all razed to the ground in the catastrophic Tasmanian bush fires last January.

 

“I realised straight away that one of the first things we needed to do was get the school back up and running. People had lost everything and without a school there'd be nothing to stay for. They'd just go and rebuild somewhere else.”

Though she'd never say so, it was largely thanks to Elizabeth's coordination from her HQ at the pub that a temporary school was opened in time for the start of term and plans for a new permanent school were immediately on the agenda.

 

An important part of the rebuild is the construction of a commercial kitchen that will not only function as a classroom space for primary and VET-level students, but also host community events for up to 100 people. That's a lot of scallop pies.

 

When we asked Elizabeth how exactly we could help Dunalley, she thought of the kitchen first. We were very relieved to be given a wish list to take with us to Sydney's Chef Warehouse because this is exactly how we want our Random Acts of Kindness to work. Instead of donating a token amount of money to a charity, we'd much rather work out what people need and then do our best to give it to them.

 

We told our friends at iconic jewellery and homewares label Dinosaur Designs what we were up to and they were uber keen to get in on the action. Dinosaur's founders Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy host a chef-catered 'Dinosaur family lunch' in the boardroom every Wednesday which is attended by everyone from tattooed silversmiths to senior designers. It's quite the foodie event.

 

“If we didn't work with resin, we'd all be chefs,” Dinosaur Designs' Meg Parker explains. I'm pretty sure she's serious.

 

And so we left Elizabeth with a veritable orchestra of kitchen equipment: cake tins, whisks, wooden spoons, peelers, measuring cups and some incredible Dinosaur Designs bowls and platters that will get the kitchen cranking.

 

"A strong sense of community is something which we value and the new community kitchen provides a perfect setting for the homewares we wished to donate," say Dinosaur Designs' Olsen and Ormandy.

 

We concur. And we'll be back soon with more things crossed off that list. And skipping ropes.