Open Day Masthead

Her Say: Issue of the Week

Beatrice Smith and Hayley O'Neill

In this weekly street series we pick a hot topic of the week and ask for your thoughts…

A Canberra woman made national news earlier this week when she discovered that a parking fine she received at Canberra Hospital had been paid by a stranger with a note that read “I saw that your car had a parking ticket on it, I’m sure whatever you’re going through in hospital is tough enough so I paid it for you…”. The note went on to give the receipt number for the payment.

The woman in question, who had been in the hospital for a few days with her nine week old son, shared the image on the Canberra Mums Facebook group, where it went viral. As of writing, the image had been shared over 15,000 times.

We wanted to know if this sort of heartwarming Canberra kindness was more than a random occurrence so we decided to ask Canberra women:

“Have you ever experienced or initiated a Random Act of Kindness in Canberra?”

Casey, Deakin.

“I have a homeless friend, he sleeps down near the Anglican Church near the soup kitchen so every now and then when I see him I stop and buy him a small [McDonalds] meal or a coffee and a muffin and we have a bit of a chat. It’s probably been two months and I’ve seen him a few times. He’s always in the same place. I feel bad that I’ve only found one person to give kindness to…”

Sarah, Garran.

“The other day when I was walking on Mt. Majura I found a dog collar that had fallen off so I called them and returned it. They’d actually already bought a new one but they needed the registration. They were really surprised that someone had gotten in contact.”

Danielle, Torrens.

“Once I was at the Dickson Woolworths – usually I wear these 1950s style dresses – and I was having a terrible day. On the way out this woman stopped me and let me know that the outfit I was wearing was what her mother used to wear and she [said] that she thought I looked lovely – I’m a plus sized woman and it was nice to hear that. She had some pieces that she was going to drop off at the charity bin [but instead] she gave them to me – a really beautiful necklace with a black pearl. We had a really good conversation and a hug and it was one of the nicest things that has ever happened [to me].”

Erin, Stirling. 


“I hasn’t happened to me but I think it’s awesome. Even the ‘pay it forward’ coffees, I know Coffee Guru in Coolomon Court do it. I think that’s something that should take off as a Random Act of Kindness. If I saw an [opportunity] to do a RAOK I would if I had the means.” 

Pela, Caldwell.

“I haven’t experienced one myself – I found a phone in a taxi in Sydney and I returned it, so I guess that’s a nice deed!”


Have you ever experienced or initiated a Random Act of Kindness in Canberra?


Photography by Hayley O’Neill. Interviews by Beatrice Smith. Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock


Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author


Hayley O'Neill

Hayley O’Neill is a Canberra based fashion stylist and fashion editor for HerCanberra. Hayley works as a freelance stylist at Westfield Belconnen and Woden and began her career styling for The Work Diaries blog. Hayley has lots of experience dressing real people with every size, age, budget and body shape. More about the Author