The word “Kintsugi” literally means “golden joinery” and refers to the ancient Japanese artform of repairing broken and cracked ceramics with a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver or platinum. Thus, a beautiful and unique work of art emerges with the cracks and breaks now part of its beauty. The philosophy of Kintsugi honours life experiences whether good or bad. By highlighting the repair of cracks or breaks in a ceramic piece, the events of the past become part of its beauty. There is no attempt to conceal the damage, the repair literally illuminates each scar.
The stories of the Kintsugi Heroes celebrate the scars we gather over time; the breaks, knocks and wrinkles which should not be hidden as they create our own unique beauty. When we heal and overcome these wounds, we provide inspiration and encouragement to others and show them that they can also overcome their challenges and become whole. Kintsugi Heroes introduces well-established and proven techniques and methodologies in our storytelling to prevent, ease, cure or manage mental health conditions.
Our stories cover a wide range of adversity topics with a particular focus on those related to depression, anxiety disorder and PTSD. Our stories also include mental illness, physical illness, addiction, abuse, crime, dysfunctional family, career or business failure, grief and loss, financial hardship, relationship breakdown and more.
Our Kintsugi Heroes have a wide variety of backgrounds across genders, cultures, languages and ages.
The hero stories are available through audio and video podcasts and also available in E-books and printed books.
In August 1993 Ian Westmoreland had an idea for a book where people who had experienced adversity would share part of their life story to provide hope and inspiration to others. At the time Ian lacked the confidence, time and money to progress the project so he wrote to community leaders suggesting they progress the idea. One of the leaders, the highly regarded entrepreneur Dick Smith, took the time to send a handwritten note back to Ian saying he thought this was an excellent idea and that he (Ian) should do it!
Finally in 2022, 29 years later, Ian felt in a position to progress the project and so Kintsugi Heroes was launched.
Ian spent 42 years working in the Australian and New Zealand telecommunications and energy industries mainly as an IT project manager. On 10 September 2013 he experienced a life changing moment so profound, it would lead him to give up paid work in May 2014 and commence a full-time volunteer career.
It was during his work as a volunteer for not-for-profit youth programs such as the Raise Foundation, Kidshope and COACH, Ian noticed a gap for comparable services for mature adults.
However, it wasn’t until his own moment of challenge that he realised just how urgently these services were needed, especially for men, a demographic that has historically struggled with vulnerability and asking for support.
In response he developed the Mentoring Men program in June 2018 and it was officially launched as a registered charity by Julian Leeser, Federal Member for Berowra in November 2018. In just 3 years, Mentoring Men grew to become an Australia-wide, free mentoring service to support men.
With the Mentoring Men organisation now independently up and running, in December 2022 Ian launched another “passion project” called Kintsugi Heroes. Complementing his previous volunteer work, Kintsugi Heroes aims to show how those major moments of challenge we face can change the course of our life, making it even more beautiful and fulfilling than ever before.
Kintsugi Heroes is a weekly podcast of inspirational interviews with people who have discovered beauty, despite the incredible adversities they have faced. It’s a no-holds-barred approach that does not sugar-coat the difficult road to a life of fulfilment and hope.
Ian’s story has been covered on national TV, referred to in both Federal and NSW Parliaments, and included in the best selling Moments in Time book as well as numerous podcasts, newspapers and radio shows.
Ian and the charity organisations he established have won numerous awards including:
– NSW Volunteer of the Year award 2016 – Raise Foundation
– NSW Volunteer of the Year award 2020 – Individual and Mentoring Men state finalist
– AMHF Men’s Health award 2020 – NSW Men’s Health award
Ian has been married to Helen for 40 years and they have 4 children and 12 grandchildren
Aveline is the Founder and CEO of Journey Point, where she assists businesses to attract the right customers whilst helping them to connect with their purpose in business. She isn’t a typical marketer however, and loves helping business owners figure out who THEY really are first, before putting themselves out into the world to meet their future customers. This enables her to fulfil her purpose of creating meaning for people in business.
She is also the Founder and Host of the 6 Star Business Podcast and Community, a movement of purpose driven business owners who want to create more purpose, love and impact in the world (podcast.6star.business). The 6 Star Business community is a global one and is helping create more meaning for businesses whilst improving the lives of everyone.
When she’s not focussed on business and podcasts Aveline is passionate about keeping fit and healthy – inside and out – and loves adventures in nature, music and sport… including Formula 1! She’s currently a ‘beginner’ surfer and doesn’t mind looking uncoordinated and providing humour to those who watch her, as she spends time with her sons in the waves. She also enjoys learning to speak German and cultivating her backyard veggie plot that provides ingredients for the new plant based meals and desserts she creates every week.
She can be contacted via LinkedIn here – https://www.linkedin.com/in/avelineclarke/
Aveline joined Ian Westmoreland to bring Kintsugi Heroes to life as it aligned with her personal purpose of bringing meaning to people in business and the world around us.
Patty has a lifelong passion for language and writing. She has a Masters in English and US Language and Literature, Diploma in Counselling and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. The most recent of several careers was in Small Business Development and Support and Event Management as the CEO of a small but vibrant Chamber of Commerce in Western Australia.
She now enjoys working on business writing and editing for ethical businesses, focusing on creating IP from audio such as webinars and podcasts.
She is delighted and honoured to be a member of the Kintsugi Team.
Matthew has a career spanning IT Support in schools, Secondary Teaching, technology training and learning design. The focus of any role he undertakes is the support of others and achieving outcomes for each person he teaches, whether that be content creation, uplifting tech capability or delivering for projects. His current role as Professional Learning Facilitator in Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action involves all of the above and Matt has become a valued confidant to his colleagues.
With as many strings to his bow, he is also a podcasting entrepreneur offering his video- and audio-editing services (Blissery.FM) to businesses and individuals who have a message they want to be heard. Matt is the editor & producer of the Kintsugi Heroes podcast, in addition to occasionally hosting the show. Matthew is helping us to amplify the Kintsugi message and share the stories of our Heroes across the world through our podcast.
With what little spare time he has Matthew is also a tech hobbyist, casual philosopher and creates several personal podcasts including “From My Home To Yours” with his wife, giving tips to travellers looking to make their new home in Ireland (launching soon!).
Christopher Ireland is an internationally recognised photographer and artist. Led heavily by social conscience, Christopher uses photography and film making to shine a light on issues he feels need more social awareness.
A decade of working with multinational clients, advertising agencies and design studios has given Christopher a strong creative business acumen and a keen awareness for driving impact through creative campaigns and story sharing.
Christopher Founded Platina Editions, an online art store that spreads the gift of art. He is also founder of All Things Considered, a 10 year collection of stories and photographs of social hosing residents at Greenway, Kirribilli.
Vinay is an experienced learning and development professional with a genuine passion for co-designing and facilitating outcome focused initiatives that meet contemporary practice. He provides succinct and clear expert advice to stakeholders on a range of wellbeing, change management or health and safety matters. He is also a strategic thinker who believes in fostering strong collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders whilst managing procurement and overseeing maintenance of service standards in the delivery of learning and development programs.
Vinay proactively draws upon a range of information sources to translate creative ideas into workplace improvements whilst reflecting on ways to improve services. His goal is to always create a psychologically safe climate that encourages and supports openness and provides sound explanation for implementing organisational change management strategies. Vinay’s mission is ensuring learning experiences across platforms bring clarity and foster growth.
As a recent graduate and current tertiary student of a Diploma of Screen and Media Cinematography/Production, my aim is to gain experience from like-minded people and develop a level of professionalism that will assist my future endeavors. I want my career to begin in a place where my values align with the curated business models and strategies. My hope is to discover my full potential, whilst networking and operating functionally as a team member.
I am so fortunate to have just begun my journey as a Social Media Coordinator with Kintsugi Heroes. This position will allow me to progress within an industry that thrives from effective communication. To give people the ability to find the right words, and share stories that deserve to be heard.
There are several people who have contributed to getting Kintsugi Heroes launched, who aren’t part of the team. These are people who have volunteered their time, energy, and resources because they believe in our mission and love what we are doing.
We often get asked if we need help, and we always say ‘yes please’ so that we keep the flow of giving and receiving energy going in a forward momentum. Whilst we are a small team, the number of supporters and volunteers is growing, and we are always grateful for whatever people are able to give.