Throughout February and March, University of Tasmania ran an Instagram competition, ‘Random Snaps of Kindness’ in preparation for National Youth Week.
Tasmanians between the ages of 13-25 submitted photos on Instagram using the #kindsnaps hashtag, and @volunteeringtas to win prizes, and promote a positive image of youth contribution to local communities.
Among the 60 entries were photos of the emergency services, families and animal welfare.
“The judges were incredibly moved by some of the photos and captions. Seeing the range of emotions, including pride, compassion and joy, on the faces of our local young people was a humbling and poignant experience,” said Adrienne Picone, CEO of Volunteering Tasmania.
“Young volunteers give an average of 12.5 hours a month to benefit our community. Our goal for this project was to give those hard workers the recognition they deserve, and break down the myth that young people don’t demonstrate care for others or give their time,” said Ms Picone.
“Through working with University of Tasmania researcher, Dr Nicholas Hookway, we know that young people show kindness every day in many different ways, including volunteering” she said.
Dr Hookway, Lecturer in Sociology at the University, is currently completely a kindness study with University colleagues colleagues Associate Professor Daphne Habibis and Dr Anthea Vreugdenhil. The study is the first in the world to examine the social composition of kindness and how it is changing.
“Showcasing the kindness of young people helps push back at negative discourses which routinely depict young people as narcissistic and selfish. These sorts of characterisations are damaging to young people’s well-being and to wider intergenerational relationships,” Dr Hookway said.
“Random Snaps of Kindness promotes community focus on young people and will help inform strategies for how we can promote more caring and connected communities that enhance young people’s wellbeing and maximise social participation.”
(Source: University of Tasmania)