Our Story

Grow Club, which initially started as The Kindness Effect, was founded in April of 2014, with the aim of creating social change in the way people treat one another. Kate, our Founder, had just spent some time overseas in South Africa and was about to finish her University studies when she got a ‘wake-up call’ to action. She asked herself the question: How do we get people to treat each other with compassion and kindness if they can’t treat themselves with that same respect? This is how the idea of our mental health prevention workshops was forged.

We started running workshops in the community that anyone could attend and focused on self-love, connecting to others and understanding our world. Once we started working in schools we were reminded just how much young people needed a safe space to challenge their inner-critic, allow them to express themselves and connect with their peers on a positive level, in order to create change in their lives and their school community.

Over the last four years we have been lucky enough to work with thousands of students, as well as businesses, non-for-profit organisations and community members alike.

We have worked with National Australia Bank, The Ronald McDonald House for Very Special Children, Monash University, RMIT University and many more, been published in various magazines including Peppermint and The Australian Times, as well as stirred up some fun in the community by performing flash dance mobs and social experiments in the city streets of Melbourne. We have worked overseas in Asia and helped raise money for animal welfare organisations.

The last six years have been a blessing, but what we are most proud of is that we have met and worked with everyday people who consistently remind us of the capacity people have for growth, forgiveness and change. These people have shown us that when we trust ourselves and own who we are with confidence, kindness and compassion, individuals are capable of creating powerful change in their lives and the world around them.

We do, what we do, because we believe in the human spirit and that, deep down there is good in all of us.

Meet our Founder

Kate Rizzo
Founder + Workshop Facilitator

Kate has a passion for people, animals, our planet and a commitment to social justice. She holds degrees in Psychology and Social Work, and is currently working in a variety of roles including:

  • Social Worker
  • University Lecturer + Teacher
  • Speaker + Event Facilitator
  • Writer

Kate grew up with three younger sisters and a mother that taught her to forge her own path, wherever it may lead and a father who taught her the importance of laughter. Her journey has been one of constant change and a sense of being alone, which sparked the idea of Grow Club. This, along with her work in developing countries and her life experiences have led her to believe that we all have a part to play in creating a better world. Kate has a soft spot for the underdog and wants nothing more than for people to be kind to themselves and those around them. Kate describes herself as a dreamer, but understands that we must take action if we want to create change in our lives and the world around us.