Amidst these uncertain dire times of Covid 19, we continue to draw upon our inner strength for ourselves and each other. Shaped over our lifetime of experiences, our inner strength has had many influences. Of these, what others have said or written, have at times, captured our minds and hearts, stirred in us thoughts and emotions to move forward.

Here we share our favourite famous quotes that have spoken to us and continue to mean something to us. We share how they might have catalysed within us clarity, hope, direction, strength, and inspired action and growth.

Hoping that our collective sharing will symbolise our Wave of Optimism in the Illawarra, I invite everyone in the Illawarra to join us.

All you need to do is complete the Form below.

Each week we will publish* on this page your submission with your name and will do this as long as we can keep this going.

And you can see below we have already started ‘Our Wave of Optimism.’ I wonder how big it will get!

Thank you for supporting this initiative. Your sharing candidly with us something that is so personal to you, is very much appreciated.

Diann Rodgers-Healey and the ICfE Team

Our Wave of Optimism in the Illawarra

The word ‘crisis’ when written in Chinese, is composed of two symbols. The first represents danger while the second represents opportunity.
John F Kennedy

There is no doubt we are living in a dangerous time, and we all need to follow advice from government and the learnings from around the world and self isolate and look after ourselves. But there is also an opportunity. Living in the first pace world we do, we are time poor and we rarely have time to take a step back and reflect on our business and personal lives. The one commodity we do have now is time. Let’s use it to reflect on what we are doing and plan effectively so that when the spring comes and the crisis is dying down we are in a position to make the most of the rest of our lives, both professionally and personally.

Mark Sleigh, General Manager, Destination Wollongong
Music gives a soul to the universe, Wings to the mind, Flight to the imagination, and Life to everything.

This quote reminds me of my father and was pivotal to his Eulogy. Music moves me energetically and emotionally and provides impetus for change. Music creates atmosphere, and is often a contextual anchor for our memories. The depth of this quote is profound and it captures succinctly how powerful music is to us all.
Let’s play uplifting music at this time.

Debra Murphy, CEO RDA Illawarra
It always seems impossible until it’s done

Nelson Mandela

Many things that are worth doing seem impossible to start with. I’ve lost count of the times that someone has told me that something was impossible, or worse, I’ve told myself it’s impossible. But we can and do succeed and thrive anyway. This is a gentle reminder that all you have to do is start, the road ahead only gets shorter one step at a time!
Keirin McCormack
A friend is someone who knows you, but loves you anyway!

Elbert Hubbard

I just love the acceptance this quote offers.. let’s just love anyway!. A friend often times is more capable of forgiving and still loving you!
You are good enough. Everything that is good and beautiful is already there within us and around us.

Thich Nhat Hanh

In this rapidly changing world where expectations are high, the way a person feels about him/herself can so easily come under threat. While the threat may arise from without, it more commonly arises from within. We can, if we are not careful, judge ourselves harshly and unfairly. This quote reminds us not to pass judgment on ourselves, but to seek the goodness and beauty that exists within.
Michael Barbato
If you build it he will come.

Dane Malanoski – Field of Dreams 1989

This quote comes from one of my favourite movies, Field of Dreams, and is spoken by Kevin Costner. It encapsulates all I believe about the Law of Attraction, and the need to have faith and self belief to follow your own dreams and make things happen. If you believe you can or believe you can’t you’re probably right, so believe in yourself and you’re more than half way there.
Susan Wallis
For every feared thing there is an opposing hope that encourages us.

Umberto Eco

With so much uncertainty, Australia and globally, citizens are facing unprecedented health and economic challenges and this quote gives us all hope and encouragement that our brightest days are still ahead on the other side of this crisis and that by standing together we will get to the other side.
Ben Blackburn, CEO of Ben Blackburn Racing
He loved books, those undemanding faithful friends.

Victor Hugo

This is a quote we found for my Mum’s memorial earlier this year. She was very self contained and of course was a ferocious reader. Books can educate, amuse, entertain, inspire, connect and so on.
May we use this time to enjoy lots of good books and maybe start to write our own. Stay safe.  
Valerie Evans, Owner – Spot the Dog Grooming
When we take control our of lives, the habits we adopt, and the choices we make on a daily basis, we can achieve what ever we dream and think possible.

Josh Perry (BMX Rider)

This quote really resonated with me. It helped me out when making some choices in my life. I really like the idea of your dreams being your end goal in life. To get to our goals, we need to take control, we need to maintain positive physical and mental habits and we also need to make our choices reflect these habits. It is possible to make our dreams come true, we have just need to work towards it.
Ben Johns, Support Officer The Flagstaff Group
Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here.
And when it does come, we no longer exist.

I like this quote because it is a panacea for fear of death.
Dr Philip Healey
Do the best you can until you know better… then do better.

Maya Angelou

If we allow ourselves to be a life long learner, we enable our mindsets to growth. By empowering a growth mindset, our communities are richer and thrive.
Sarah Lisle
It’s just a moment, this time will pass.

U2 (Last line in the Song, Stuck in a Moment, writers: Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen and Paul Hewson)

Whenever I face a tough time, this quote keeps me strong. It reminds me that better times are ahead, that challenges will become memories, and I will emerge stronger, wiser and with greater understanding.
Nicky Sloan, CEO Community Industry Group
We’re all in this together.

The phrase originated as the title of a song in the Sonic Underground Television episode, Harmony or Something in 1999. It is currently being used by many people to encapsulate our awareness of and response to Covid-19.

As a nation we must work together to protect the people that we love, to support those that have fallen on hard times, to defeat this enemy that wants to take from us our most precious possession.
Kerrie Exner Iwanski, Medibank Private
This too shall pass.

Edward Fitzgerald in his 19th Century retelling of a Persian fable

Whether good or bad times, celebration or commiseration, the situation is not permanent. Enjoy every moment of the good. Tolerate the bad knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Melanie W
Nothing has happened in the past; it happened in the Now. Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.

Eckhart Tolle

This quotes helps me approach every moment and be totally present. It helps me remember to enjoy this very moment, as it is all we have. To live in the now is powerful. I try to be present as much as possible.
Sam Findlay
Never give up on anybody.
Miracles happen everyday.

H Jackson Brown, Jr (2012) “Life’s Little Instruction Book: Simple Wisdom and a Little Humor for Living a Happy and Rewarding Life”

This quote opens our eyes to situations that may seem too hard. Maybe it is a challenging person at work, or home.
Maybe it is a life situation that we see no end to. Perhaps it is the realisation that people can change if we encourage, inspire and assist and give hope.
Leanne McKay, PA to Jason Stephenson Relax Me Online Australia
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Maya Angelou

It teaches us the virtue of perseverance.
Pat David, Secretary, Unions Shoalhaven
Do the best with what you’ve got.

This quote is perhaps an interpretation of American President, Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, ” Do what you can with what you have, where you are
which was in  Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography (1913).  Roosevelt attributed the quote to Squire Bill Widener.

This quote was used my dear Grandma who lived through both world wars and the Great Depression. It reminds me to appreciate little things by pacing myself and being grateful, taking each day as it comes. As the current world gets more uncertain, I’ve remembered my spirit. This is the spirit that gives rise to hope and colours everyday.

*Terms of publication

  • Only one submission per person.
  • No age restrictions for submissions.
  • Author of quotations must be acknowledged.
  • All reflections must be original and not infringe the copyright of other parties.
  • Only submissions from the Illawarra and South Coast region will be published (residents of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven and Kiama LGAs).
  • Submissions received are subject to approval.