A conversation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

21st century leaders who will inspire you - Steve and Debbie Killelea

Dalai Lama concerned about global warming in cloudburst-hit Leh - 12 August 2010


Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said on Wednesday that the world needs to pay attention to the impact of Global Warming seriously and look at it as the biggest environmental issue.


Talking to ANI at Amritsar, Dalai Lama expressed his deep condolences to the people who died due to cloudburst in Leh, as he said: "All what happened in Leh is very very sad. These are all natural disasters. What we can do is pray for the victims and also offer condolences to the surviving family members and give donations for their rehabilitation."


Dalai Lama also said that the natural disaster in Pakistan, fire in Russia calls for attention. He said as per ecologists these are the symptoms of global warming and it is very sad.


The Tibetal Spiritual Leader said that preservation of ecology should be part of our daily life. Ahimsa, which is the tradition and culture of Bharat, was relevant in the present time.


Dalai Lama was in the holy city of Amritsar for a night halt on his way to Dharmshala from New Delhi. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)


Green Cross Australia formed a partnership with Dalai Lama in Australia to support our first Values Leadership event in what will become an annual series. On Friday June 17 2011, a special gathering of 1000 business and community leaders had a unique chance to build a personal heart connection about our precious environment.


During this special luncheon His Holiness the Dalai Lama had a dialogue about values in leadership and the importance of environmental thinking, moderated by Sandra Sully, in the Brisbane Convention Centre.

Green Cross organised a special panel of business and community leaders to join Sandra Sully after the Dalai Lama spoke, to help our audience connect with inspiring leadership at a personal level.


Here we profile luncheon panelist and Australian IT entrepreneur Steve Killilea and his wife Debbie Killelea - both Green Cross Australia Foundation Members. The video presented is an interview between of Steve addressing how sustainability features in his overseas aid programs. Below are snippets of an interview with Steve from the ABC's 7:30 Report:


KERRY O'BRIEN, PRESENTER: In this cynical age, world peace is sometimes dismissed as a hippie concept, a utopian notion of the flower children of the '60s.

But increasingly global businessmen and leaders are accepting that peace has an economic value. The more peaceful a nation the more attractive it is for investment and the higher its economic wealth. Ranking nations according to their capacity for peace is the brainchild of one Australian multimillionaire who also gives away millions to help the poorest people on earth.

Rebecca Baillie reports on one man's personal crusade to change the world.

REBECCA BAILLIE, REPORTER: Entrepreneur Steve Killelea enjoys all the trappings of wealth. A waterfront house on Sydney's northern beaches, a booming business empire and a European sports car.


STEVE KILLELEA, BUSINESSMAN: If I do something I can really stick at it. And I think perseverance is the key in success in almost any aspect of life.


REBECCA BAILLIE:  Steve is a self-made man. In his 20s he moved from spending his time surfing into investing in the computer industry. When his IT companies were publicly-listed on the US and Australian stock exchanges, Steve Killelea made a fortune. But not one to keep his millions to himself, he is now one of Australia largest individual foreign aid donors.

STEVE KILLELEA: We just felt we wanted to give something back. The goal is to have about 50 per cent of my wealth at any one time working towards a charitable means.


DEBBIE KILLELEA: The business had to be successful but the ultimate goal wasn't money.


REBECCA BAILLIE: 10 years ago Steve Killelea and his wife Debbie set up the Charitable Foundation. Donating to more than 60 development projects around the world. Their charity bank rolls programs in Africa and South East Asia to provide clean water, build medical clinics and school, rehabilitate child soldiers and perform eye perations.


STEVE KILLELEA: In many parts of the world when you put the clean water in you actually drop the death-rate for children under five by 25 per cent. As well as getting rid of about one third of the disease because it's water borne.


REBECCA BAILLIE: Steve Killelea's philanthropy not only takes him to the developing world. He also rubs shoulders at the highest levels with political and business leaders.

Last month, he was in London to launch another of his initiatives: the Global Peace Index.

STEVE KILLELEA: Number one this year is New Zealand then followed by equal rankings with Denmark and Norway.


REBECCA BAILLIE: Australia is at number 19. The index is the first to rank nations by their peacefulness. Based on a number of criteria colluding the imprisonment rate, level of violent crime and military expenditure.


STEVE KILLELEA: Peace is a prerequisite for the survival of society. In the past, peace may have been the domain of the altruistic but in the 21st century it's in everyone's self-interest


REBECCA BAILLIE: The index is being embraced by global business as a tool which basically gives peace an economic value.


SIR MARK MOODY-STUART, UN GLOBAL COMPACT: So if you can demonstrate that there is a link between business and peace and the growth of business, the conditions for doing business, then I think you get people's attention.


REBECCA BAILLIE: Steve Killelea isn't sure what motivates him to give so much. But he does know that practising Buddhism and meditating gives him a focus.


STEVE KILLELEA: You stop thinking about yourself, start thinking about others. You're actually happier.


REBECCA BAILLIE: Despite the accolades, Steve Killelea prefers to keep a low profile. Going about his daily business and remaining humble about his contribution to the world.


STEVE KILLELEA: Any individual thinks he is going to sit down and change the world is probably mistaken. However, do I want to try and have a positive impact on some aspects of the world? The answer to that is yes.


As Queensland confronts the major recovery challenge ahead, Green Cross is mindful that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has consistently commented on the risks of climate change on communities impacted by severe weather.

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