The Seeds of Compassion (S.O.C.) postcard, was created and designed by Rhonda Abotomey, as a bushfire recovery initiative founded on the premise of making a difference one person at a time using simplicity and the enormous value of compassion as a valuable resource. This initiative was inspired by the desire to help fill a resource deficiency by stimulating additional support and encouraging active use of Australia's 'human' resources to assist with the recovery of bushfire impacted people of the February 2009 bushfires.

The cards call for the 1st of each month to be identified as SOC day - Seeds of Compassion Day - and offer suggestions on how to reach out to a person impacted by or involved in Black Saturday matters and extend an Act of Random Kindness, 'SOC'ing it to your neighbour' and 'ARK'ing up in a positive way' in response to this national catastrophe.

The design was created using a 'Vistaprint' postcard software, the tree represents the image of regrowth, of men and women, girls and boys, working together, looking at and to each other, helping each other, 'doing, surviving and regrowing'. The colours were chosen to give a sense of hope and magnify the brightness to be found even in the darkest of times.

Rhonda printed 3350 postcards and distributed them to friends, associates and bushfire involved entities including the Victorian and Federal Governments, Association of Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres, the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA), Local Councils, Department of Human Services Bushfire Case Management Service, Rural Women's Network - Victoria, Firefoxes Australia. She also distributed them at events such as the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, and at the Victorian Government Community Cabinet meeting held in Emerald in October 2009.

The S.O.C. cards were featured in a speech by Peter Hall MP, in the Victorian Parliament on 10 June 2010, who encouraged members to "look at the website, take up the suggestion and not forget that people are still affected by those fires". The postcards are supported by a website at:

The card forms part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection, which also includes a collection of writings and poems written by Rhonda Abotomey.

Physical Description

Two sided postcard. Front cover has an image of a large red tree with a man with a shovel on one side and a woman with a watering can on the other.


This postcard is a colourful example of the many creative responses to the bushfires by those directly affected. It also identifies the vast numbers of people who have been impacted beyond those who live in the bushfire affected areas: families and friends of those who perished or survived and all those working with bushfire related matters or providing charitable support. In the face of Australia's largest natural disaster, this postcard is a small, colourful and very practical invitation for all people to assist in the recovery process in an enduring and practical way.

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