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The Centre for Optimism

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Voices of Bendigo Optimism

"At its simplest, optimism is an expectation that good things will happen and that things will work out in the end."

We are preparing for the Bendigo Invention and Innovation Festival: The Centre for Optimism will undertake a pop-up for the week and support the Optimism theme for the festival.  These are some of the Optimists in Bendigo and the voices of Bendigo optimism.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College Purpose and Values

"Our ROLE is to empower learners for individual, community and global leadership. We value: Respect, Optimism, Learning, Environment.

Optimism means:

  • Being enthusiastic in our living, learning and contributing. Embracing opportunities to make a difference.
  • Being resilient and persistent in adversity.

The Honourable Bob Cameron, Board Chair, Bendigo Health

“At times the world can seem a dark place, such as the current COVID deaths and global warming.    But it's the drive to change and improve things that matters and that takes real energy and vision that only believers in the future - the optimistic - can really engender”

Charlie Munday, Actor  -  Singer - Dancer - Choreographer

"For me, I believe that being optimistic is the fastest way to achieving your dreams. 

"If you’re dreaming of something, keep wishing for it… wake up every day with optimism in your mind and gratefulness in your heart and you’ll be surprised how easily you will overcome the obstacles on the way to your achieving your goals.

"When all the world seems to be against you, be optimistic and remember that the universe is on your side. What is meant to be, will be."

Paul Henshall, CEO, ActionCOACH Asia Pacific Region

"What makes me optimistic is the ability of human beings to 'find a way' to overcome obstacles to live better lives. Exploration excites and connects us, it always has."

Dale Pearce, Principal, Bendigo Senior Secondary College

"What makes me optimistic is our students. Their desire to ‘do good things’ and their empathy towards others shines out every single day. If we can nurture and sustain their good intentions we will make the world a better place."

Julie Green, Board Member, RACV

"The attitude you choose is in your control. You can choose pessimism but what is the point of that? Or you can choose to be optimistic and inspire others to be the best they can be. The choice is obvious."

"We are human and sometimes we have to rant a bit to get something off our chest. Then we can choose to be optimistic and inspire others again."

Mili Thurgood, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

"Life has shown me that things will always work out in the end..."

Ann Lansberry

"The power of community makes me optimistic. The way that individuals come together and achieve more as a collective than they could ever do on their own"

Darren Kerby, Coach SupportAction COACH Australia & New Zealand

"During challenging times whether it be floods, fires, drought or even a virus I'm always impressed by how a small group of optimistic people will pull together and work as one to achieve an optimal outcome.

"An outcome energised by the community. Thanks, Bendigo"

Myl Duffy, La Trobe University Bendigo Campus

"What makes me optimistic?  Knowing I can take action and make changes however small to make things better. Not in a grandiose world conquering way, but in everyday life and work for the people I encounter, even in circumstances where the most  I can contribute is a smile or a word of encouragement."

Read More on "Smile Like an Optimist"

Simon Egerton, Deputy Head – Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, La Trobe University

"Be optimistic! It frees the mind and nourishes the soul of innovation."

More "Optimism and Innovation"

Andrew CooneyDirector of Corporate Performance, City of Greater Bendigo.

For me, optimism is about creating a sense of excitement and at times hope. It’s allaying fears of the unknown, supporting others through uncertainty and affirming that the future is bright. It is essential to set a scene of positivity ahead and engage others to help design the path of how we reach where we are going."

Andrew Cooney: A Voice of Optimism in Bendigo

Associate Professor Melanie Bish, Director of Academic  Partnerships La Trobe Rural Health School

"The belief that no matter the challenge before you, a positive mindset, willingness to be innovative combined with a healthy dose of self-belief enables you to find success."

Anne Henshall, Bucket List Coach

"What makes me optimistic? That human creativity is around us every day. Whether it’s music, dance, singing, story-telling, the design of a building, a beautiful garden, the creativity of science, engineering, business, sport, technology - it’s always there to admire and be grateful for. I recently read that “creativity is life making. It’s anything we do that turns us on, invigorates us, or offers a simple moment of pure merriment. Life is a canvas, throw as much paint on it as you can.” This makes me optimistic."

Dr Brad Hodge, La Trobe Rural Health School 

So, what makes me optimistic?

"I am optimistic because whenever I look for the good, I find it. In the middle of even the toughest stuff there is beauty and wonder. I remember sitting in a crappy little apartment in Russia many years ago, all I could see that was natural (not drab grey concrete) was a small square of sky about the width of my arm,  in that patch of sky was a small branch without any leaves, it was beautiful. I sat their drinking my cup of coffee enjoying it for quite a while. This is optimism. The act of searching for the benefits of a situation. 

"What makes me optimistic is the ability of humans to intentionally and creatively find and create good things in the middle of the messiest situations. If it were not for this ability, perhaps there would be very little hope in difficult times."

Clare Fountain, Director, Sorted

Feeling in control makes me feel optimistic about being able to create change.  I get excited and motivated about the things I can influence and make happen.  When I feel that I have no control in a situation I feel less confident and lose hope of being able to make a difference.  Sometimes it takes stepping back from the situation, thinking outside the square, being creative and innovative in my approach to problem-solving.  A cup of tea, a chat and time often help to restore my optimism!

Verity Lougoon, The Thrivery

"I'm so optimistic about Bendigo because there are so many warm-hearted, kind and inspiring people doing amazing things here. No matter where you look in the community, in every nook and cranny you can always find inspiring initiatives and businesses popping up, and there is an endless supply of fun activities to do." 

David Sheehan, Coliban Water

"What makes me Optimistic? Because the reverse is soul-destroying, unproductive, and leads to poor outcomes."

Jenny Delaney, Life Coach

“Being optimistic makes me feel better. If I feel better, I do more, give more and be more so why wouldn’t I be optimistic?”

Jo Daly

“It makes more sense to be optimistic and it draws people to you.”

Jeff Rigby, then MD of Coliban Water now Western Water

"Leaders do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Optimistic leaders have the self-belief and conviction that they can do it"

More "Optimism in the Australian Water Industry"

Melissa Neal, SPA

"What makes me Optimistic?  I am always thinking about/planning for/creating a brighter future"

Terrie Dempster 

"You do the best you know how at the time and when you know better, you do better"

Una Pianta

“I choose to be optimistic. It makes me feel happy.”

Keith Sutherland, Sutherland Property Consulting

“ Those of us who have grown up or lived in Bendigo are extremely fortunate to understand what a caring and sharing community it is. I am very lucky to have been involved in many activities more particularly in philanthropic fundraising events and know full well how fantastic that level of support has been over many years.

"Bendigo offers an amazing history from the early gold rush days with the Chinese still playing an vital role as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Easter Festival being the oldest Festival in Australia.

"It now boasts the Ulumbarra theatre one of best performing theatres in Australia along with the Art Gallery which has had some unique exhibitions, first class Sporting & Education facilities.

"It also offers an amazing array of eateries and some of the best wineries in Australia.

"And what makes our community so sought after are the incredible hospitals and health services.

"Bendigo is lucky to have a progressive Council and local politicians and it’s the people and their attitudes that make Bendigo great.

"And what makes me optimistic? Living in a caring and sharing community of Bendigo surrounded by positive people underpins my optimism. “

The Hon Maree Edwards, MP for Bendigo West

It is with a real sense of optimism that we are conquering this virus that I acknowledge the work of Brett Sutton, our chief health officer, whose measured and sensible approach is leading Victoria out of danger. Clearly, we are not out of the woods yet, and vigilance must continue to prevent any outbreak of the virus that would see catastrophic numbers of deaths and infections similar to what we are seeing on our television screens every night in countries such as the USA, Italy and France.

April 2020

The Hon Maree Edwards, MP for Bendigo West

More towns in my electorate than ever before have seen investment in infrastructure and community projects, including sporting grounds and facilities; community events; upgrades and improvements to community facilities and buildings, including heritage-listed buildings such as town halls and mechanics institutes; new and improved showgrounds and horseracing facilities; upgrades and extensions to primary school buildings; new police stations; and renewable energy. What has this meant for the people who live in these communities? There is a sense of renewal, a sense of optimism for the future and a sense of security. Each time I visit and meet with people in these communities, whether it be in Newstead, Fryerstown or Baringhup, I am amazed at the level of resolve the residents of these communities have to ensure that their town, their facilities, their lifestyle, their environment and their ideas are maintained and improved upon.


Rae Turner

“There is always something good around the corner and the bad doesn’t last.”

Morva Rule (88 year old)

“Dying is OK.”

Peter Dowling

“If you put in you will get returns.”

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