Many individuals touched by the ideals and philosophy of IofC have gone on to influence change in their communities, countries and beyond. In Australia, leaders have emerged from Indigenous, migrant and diaspora communities, who found that forgiveness and personal release from bitterness has promoted a cycle of positive action rippling out to touch many others. These are a sample of stories of change from individuals associated with IofC Australia, who took on board the message that, ‘Change begins with me.’

Personal Stories
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019
Liz Weeks at Armagh

Liz Weeks traveled and performed in musical revues of Initiatives of Change (IofC) – Moral Re-Armament (MRA), as it then was - from the mid-1960s to early 1970s. Then there were travels in the Pacific, including three-and-a-half years in Papua New Guinea (PNG), hosting the IofC centre ‘Armagh’ in Melbourne, and caring for her young children and elderly father. She reflects on a lifetime of learning.

Friday, 29 March, 2019
L-R: Susan Moylan-Coombs (Australia), Victoria Vdovychenko (Ukraine), Lhagyari Namgyal Dolkar (Tibetan government-in-exile) and Peno Hiekha (Nagaland)

Australian broadcaster and community leader Susan Moylan-Coombs visited Asia Plateau at Panchgani, India, in January 2019. She shared her story and snippets of wisdom with participants at the Initiatives of Change “Breaking Barriers, Building Trust” conference. This piece is from a transcript of her speech.

Tuesday, 26 February, 2019
Jimmy Nguyen

Jimmy Nguyen arrived in Australia from the Phillipines with only the clothes on his back and his thongs. Today he owns two businesses – LCN Fashion which produces Australian-made, high-end female fashion garments and Essence Dry Cleaners with alterations in Yarraville. This is his story.

Friday, 26 October, 2018

Mick Vertigan toured the region in Moral Re-Armament’s Song of Asia musical in the 1970s. After many years, he reconnected with a Papua New Guinean friend from this time.

Saturday, 28 April, 2018
Francine and Barbara on a trip on the Brisbane River

Barbara Lawler defines what mentoring means to her - "an opportunity to be alongside someone on their journey of discovering themselves." For the past three years she has been on this journey with Francine Berabose.

Thursday, 12 April, 2018
Fiona Goggins

Fiona Goggins from Sydney reflects on her experience on the Caux Scholars Program in India.

Friday, 20 April, 2018

An inclusive place based on the principles of mercy and compassion, providing individuals with space for 'seeking the creator through conscious living.' That, in a nutshell, is ‘Benevolence’ – a social organisation that Saara Sabbagh set up in Melbourne in 2008. Parveen Muhammed meets the Islamic community leader who decided to 'be the change you want to see in the world.’

Thursday, 08 November, 2018
Trish McDonald Harrison

With her wonderful smile and boundless enthusiasm, Trish McDonald-Harrison had the gift of making each person feel extraordinary. The truth, her friends say, is it was Trish who was extraordinary. One year after she passed away in 2016, a group of friends met at the Auburn Centre of Community in Sydney to plant a camellia and install a plaque in memory of her.

Thursday, 08 November, 2018
Margaret hepworth

After 25 years of teaching at a number of schools in Melbourne, Margaret Hepworth began to question her contributions to society. While the school system was teaching sharing and kindness, across the world: war, violence and greed were still thriving. Three days after attending an indigenous studies conference, she quit her teaching job of 25 years to embark on a spiritual and educational journey.

Thursday, 08 November, 2018

After 100 years of separation, the Initiatives of Change network helped Brisbane-based Lesley Bryant and her mother to locate their lost family in Samoa and Fiji. She began wondering about the Australian descendants of the ‘Kanakas’ —now known as Australian South Sea Islanders (ASSI)—and why their story had virtually disappeared from mainstream society. Putting into practice the IofC concept of first looking at yourself, then engaging others, she decided, ‘I should look at the people who really are Kanaka.’ Under her leadership, the ASSI 150 project was born – an occasion for healing some old divisions on the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first South Sea Islanders in 1863.