Humans of Excellence

Real Community Hero's Below

Robyn Kimbaly - Construction Trafic Controler

Todays beautiful soul is Robyn Kimbaly. A positive and bubbly person who brings a whole lot of happiness when she comes along to the dips. Robyn always makes you feel appreciated and loved just by being you. Robyn has faced some health challenges head on with a huge smile, a bucket load of positivity and a warm heart.
We love you Robyn, the day is brighter when we get to give you a big hug.
Here are Robyn’s words.
Why did you start coming to the dips?
I met Paul at work and he was one of my fave people to talk to, he was always so kind, super inspiring, real and supportive.
His wise words helped me through some tough times so when I saw he had set himself the early morning dip challenge for 365 days I was keen to get on board and show him my support. Once I showed up and jumped off that jetty for the first time, I was hooked, that seems to happen to everyone 🥶
Why have you continued to come to the dips?
Where to start!
T.H.E. Project is my home in my home away from home!
The friends I’ve made their are my family.
The smiles, the laughter, the chats, the HUGS….the singing and dancing! The silliness!
The real, raw love and positive energy you receive from such like minded but at the same time such diverse souls.
A morning with this community is the best buzz ever, it lifts every part of me. I don’t go as often as I’d like to but when I do it’s the best recharge I could wish for.
I reset, its the perfect start to the day, just showing up is pushing out your comfort zone although mornings are my fave time of the day!
I love anything a bit alternative but this is my fave thing, the ice baths being a new challenge I’ve started enjoying.
Everyone is always so welcoming, I feel my company is so appreciated and wanted even if I haven’t been for a while.
Absolutely amazing humans! 😍
How have you benefited since you started?
Well I’m a pretty happy positive person but when I dip my super powers excel, I feel able to take on the world.
I’ve smashed hospital appointments, nailed assignments, took on real life challenges and stresses so much easier as I know there’s support, smiles and hugs on tap if I need them. The good energy we share fully charges me so I’m able to spread that vibe with everyone else after.
I’ve been taught my worth and actually feel it.
I’ve learnt how to love myself more and be me which is amazing! It’s fully helped me to shine and sparkle way more than I could of ever imagined. Thankyou guys, I’m so grateful to have you in my life!
I don’t think you could ever not take away something positive from a morning with this lovely lot, I encourage everyone I know to try it even just the once 😇

Daniel Flannigan - Paving & Landscaping Business Owner

Take a good look at this champ Daniel Flanagan 👀 👀 because the hunt is on for him every day in the group photo. The sneaky devil 😈😈 hides most days so we have to find him in the pic .
Dan is one of those guys who makes his mind up, sets an intention and follows through with consistent action. As he committed to positively changing the course of his own experience of life, the benefits of his actions will filter through his immediate family, especially his little boy who will be lead beautifully by his fathers example.
Have a read, Dan’s words are truly from the heart ❤
Hi everyone, I’m Dan. I’m a 33 year old Paver & Landscaper running my own company, providing for my family and trying to live my life in the best way possible for myself and those around me. I have a 9 month old little boy who is the light of my life and who has shifted my focus to being the best version of myself I can be, for him to see growing up and be inspired to be the best he can be as well.
As of the 1st of January this year I made the commitment to myself to start coming to dips and to go as often as I could. So far, I’ve managed Every.Single.Day. Whether it was with the awesome community of the Human Excellence Project or with my family of three at the weekends – those are some of the best starts to the weekends I’ve ever had – we are working towards getting my partner and bubs down here to the group soon so they can experience it with everyone too as she says has noticed the changes in me since I have started coming (she’s building up the courage so small steps to start with).
I love going to the dips because I get to interact with so many interesting people. Everyday you’re talking to a different person with a different back story to their lives. Each one has a story to tell and a reason for going. It’s a safe place for everyone and anyone that has been struggling with something big or just day to day life. There is no judgement. I get to catch up with some awesome people, jump into the cold water, wash what ever happened yesterday off and start the new day feeling fresh. With the added bonus of a coffee before heading out to work. It makes me question what I’ve been doing all these years as I truly believe the decision to join HEP and dips were the best foot forward for me to make a positive change in my life and it can be for you too.
Want to say a big thanks to everyone, especially Paul, Mel, Joe, Lisa and the rest of the crew who do a lot of work behind the scenes to keep the momentum going for the HEP. They do an excellent job and I can safely say everyone is proud to be a part of such a inspirational group.

Jodie Griffiths - Works in justice

Today’s Human of Excellence Jodie Griffiths is very very new to The Project and her story is inspiring to say the least. When we hear a story like Jodie’s and the obstacles she overcomes to commit to her positive mental health, the enormity and purpose of this community becomes crystal clear.
We chose Jodie to share her story because we were all new to the dips at one stage and it’s wonderful to hear the impact all of us have on one person by giving a smile, a warm hug and an ear to listen. This is why we do what we do!
Jodie, thank you for sharing so openly so early in your dipping journey and we all look forward to getting to know you.
Here is Jodie’s story:
As a single mother and fulltime carer for the past 26 years, my sole purpose and focus has been on creating every opportunity for my severely disabled and quadriplegic daughter to live her very best life. It may be a lesson learned rather late, but I am now realising that I am not failing her by finding my own independent happiness and purpose.
I have to organise support services when I come to the dips, so I know how precious the time is. I don’t have to think about the constant demands of being a mother, carer, worker or uni student. The freedom is indescribable. I never ever imagined I would have the courage to do this, but being part of something so simple yet so beautiful and powerful is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
There are many days when I join the group that I find it extremely emotional and difficult. But I try and remind myself that we all have our stories, challenges and reasons for being there. I find comfort in the simple beauty of the ocean and knowing that I’m surrounding myself with non judgmental and caring people that have a focus on supporting and improving mental health.
When I started coming to the dips I found a lot of safety in the anonymity of just being “Jodie”. But if by sharing a little of myself will inspire another person to give it a go, then it’s worth the difficulty of opening up.
It’s never too late to be what you might have become!

Gráinne Whelan - Project Officer

Today’s little beauty is Gráinne Whelan.
Grainne is reasonably new to The Human Excellence Project. She has a warm and gentle nature and all conversations with Grainne are open and honest. We wanted to highlight how important all our new community members are and we acknowledge that it can be quite difficult to come along that first time. But what we do know for sure, you will be made to feel welcome and valued.
Thank you beautiful Grainne for taking the time to put pen to paper for this weekly edition of Humans of Excellence.
1.How I heard about the HEP:
2020 was a particularly challenging and difficult time in my life but I believe if you stay focused on the good and positive things in your life, you will attract more positivity in to your life and that’s how I came across the HEP. It popped up on my Facebook feed one day in Jan 21 and after a quick scroll through some posts, listening to Paul’s podcasts I felt a connection and knew this was a very special group of humans and as the saying goes ‘what’s for you won’t pass you by’.
2. What I love about coming to the dips.
Early mornings, the beach and the sea hold a special place in my heart and from the first morning at Mullaloo Beach it was like a wave of emotion washed over me and I was hooked! The exhilaration and clarity it gives me is just immense. I always feel happy and energised after every dip. To be with a tribe of men and women of all ages, all walks of life, who are just there to feel the benefits. There is no agenda, no competition, just the sheer joy of the sea, laughs, coffee, real conversations and of course the hugs 🤗 everyone is treated with kindness!
3. How I have benefited since I started.
It is the best self care, I have moved outside of my comfort zone but found comfort and healing with like minded people which has contributed greatly to my own personal growth and authenticity. The breathwork class has given me some very special spiritual experiences. I always come away from the dips with a different perspective on life. At a time when so many are struggling in life if you are thinking of doing a dip Just DO IT! you won’t regret it. Regardless of where life or work takes me I’ll be forever grateful for the HEP for their positive influence in my life and I look forward to many more dips! ❤️ Gráinne☘️

Jo Hardcastle - Education assistant ( Special Needs )

Today’s ball of energy is Jo Hardcastle.
From day 1 Jo has been a positive and uplifting presence at the daily dips. It would seem she has been around for years from her ability to get to know everyone she meets so quickly and easily. She treats everyone warmly and with the biggest smile and laugh. You have been a breath of fresh air Jo and we all think the world of you.
Here’s Jo’s thoughts about The Human Excellence Project.
I first noticed The Human Excellence Project on Ali Hays face book page. I noticed the early morning dips, the ice baths, and thought mmm that looks awesome. I was intrigued so I messaged Ali and asked her what it’s all about. She sent me the time table and said you should come on down which I did.
I’m an early bird myself and love to see the sun rise on a new day, I feel it’s so important and powerful to start your day right, and what better way than with people who seek more of the same. There’s Hugs and there free!!everyone that know
Me knows I’m a hugger a real touchy feely person, there’s also laughter and most importantly people looking for connection at 6 am in the morning no less. I’m a spiritual kinda girl who loves all things wonderful, like Energy, vibes, gut feelings, the job lot I get my fill of that every morning with you guys so yep it’s a massive thumbs up for me. That’s why I just love being a part of this loving and caring community.

Lachy Norman - Environment & Conservation worker

Todays magical ✨human is Lachy ❤️
A beautiful young man who has been around the project right from the start. Lachy is genuine, kind and wise beyond his years. Whoever comes into his orbit is better for it. Having young people such as Lachy sharing THE Project principles is vital to this community continuing to make an impact to individuals lives and for that we are very grateful to him.
Keep being your wonderful self Lachy and continue to make a difference in this world.
And in Lachy’s words:
1. What do I love about coming to the dips?
Its hard to pinpoint one thing that I adore so much, but simply put its the feeling of home, of being apart of a process of unfolding, of growing, of finding myself part of a community of such open, nurturing and intelligent people trying to be the best they can be.
2. What benefits do I feel?
Knowing I can handle anything that comes my way, be it external or internal. After I’ve crawled out of bed before the sun is up and I dive into that water, no matter how cold, nothing brings me down. And the conversations with the other crazy souls, it truly is so uplifting and never fails to plaster a smile across my face every morning.
3. What keeps me coming back?
I love being asked this but its hard to put into words. It needs to be experienced. Seeing new people come down always reinstates why I keep coming back. This community truly thrives, every one has each others back. They’ll do anything for each other, no matter how big or small the favour. There is so much love, the morning dips are just the tip of the iceberg for what this community does and how much I adore every single face that shows up and leaves happier each time.
My mornings are always so much brighter when I come down to the dips; its my foundation, I cant imagine a life without it, and as it’s so hard in this fast paced, individualistic society with all it’s smoke and mirrors to find a genuine community who want nothing but the best from each person. No money, no buy in, no catch 22, just show up for yourself and for others.
A community of true humans.

Lyndsey Foy - High School Teacher

Today’s bright spark is Lyndsey 🤩💥⭐️
A long standing member of THE Project, Lyndsey is always one to champion others. She always works hard to make everyone feel special, to see their own beauty and uniqueness as well as having the ability to look for the positive aspect in all situations.
If THE Project had a cheerleading squad (🤔🤔 who’s in? 🤣) Lyndsey would be the one at the front, cheering the loudest, shining the brightest and welcoming everyone in.
Over to Lyndsey for her perspective of THE Project.
“I love the feeling I get walking on to the beach, getting hugs and seeing all my friends. Every day is different. 3 years ago I never would have done anything like jumping off the jetty and just getting out of my comfort zone. I just love the way my confidence has grown, because I am supported.
The dips have benefited me enormously. Not only do I feel energised after a dip, but we have so much fun in the ocean. In winter I sing loudly going in to take my mind off the cold. We have such a laugh together and it’s good to feel good (money can’t buy this). It’s pretty special to be surrounded by people with a growth mindset too .I feel sooo lucky to be part of all this.
The community keep me coming back of course! My family are in the U.K and this is my 2nd family. I am so grateful for the good friends I have made and the support we have had in our life. We help each other and genuinely care. I have been lucky to experien”ce ice baths, bush walks, boat trips, women’s nights and floatie days…wow! Huge thanks to Paul and Mel and the community for giving up so much of their life to enrich all of ours. Thanks everyone.”

Paul Foskett - Draftsman

This week’s legend is Paul Foskett
Paul is another one who quietly makes his presence felt at the daily dips, and always gives so much to THE Project when we need a hand.
Paul, his wife Pat and daughter Pip know heartbreak after the sudden loss of their beautiful son and brother Ted. Paul has the courage to be open and share his journey through grief and sadness and with this vulnerability he has shown a strength that has truly helped so many people. Being able to acknowledge Paul coincides with Ted’s birthday tomorrow, which we understand is a very difficult time but one where we as a community can show him how much he and his family means to us all.
But we also cant forget that Paul is also an absolute hoot. You can’t miss him on special event days because he brings out his special beanie (as pictured 😂), He is quick witted, has some pretty funny one liners and a genuine enthusiasm, especially at the floatie days, someone buy him a floatie, he keeps bringing his raft?
You really are one of the nicest chaps around. We love you Paul ❤
So what does he think about us?
1. How did you hear about The Human Excellence Project?
A friend of mine shared a THEP post on Facebook saying how much he loved the work Paul Holliday was doing down at Hillary’s with the early morning dips and it looked like something that I could get involved with. As is common with a lot of our dippers, it takes a while to pluck up the courage to ‘just do it’. I think I took about a month. So long in fact I couldn’t remember the groups name so I had to ask my friend for the details he’d posted. He put me in contact with Paul directly and I turned up the very next morning.
2.What you love about coming to the dips?
There are so many things I love about the project but if I had to pick just one, it would be the simplicity of THE Project. It’s basically meeting up, getting wet and having a laugh. It’s not a running club, gym or other sporting activity where the idea is to lift more weight, run faster or set a personal best. It doesn’t matter how old, wealthy, educated or healthy you are. Everyone gets wet to the same degree. It’s the ultimate leveler. So with that you get to meet people from all walks of life and every one of them excellent in their own way.
3. How you have benefited since you started?
Everyone who gets down to the dips has their own reasons for turning up. I have personally struggled to come to terms with the loss of my son Ted in a tragic accident and tried several forms of counselling and therapy.
Aside from my family who have also struggled, being part of the project, the connection and sense of belonging has without a doubt been the best form of therapy I have ever received. Truly thankful to each and every one of ya!!!

Louise Pellerade - Nurse

Todays legend is the effervescent ⭐️. Effervescent means giving off bubbles, vivacious and enthusiastic and that is exactly what our Lou is.
Lou welcomes everyone and has a special superpower of sniffing out any new comers and hones in on them, giving them a warm welcome hug to put them at ease.
At coffee time, no matter where you are in the group, the background sounds will always include Louise’s infectious laugh. We love you 😍
As usual, here is what Lou thinks about the dips.
What do I love about coming to the dips?
The people, it’s that simple. I feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing group of people, there is no judgement, real connection and acceptance. I feel safe and like I’ve come home. The people there get me, I can be completely me, no mask needed.
The benefits I have felt are incredible, I get up every day with a sense of purpose and belonging. My down days are far less and when I do feel sad, I know there are people who will get it and support me without judgement.
What keeps me coming back is that real connection and the biggest belly laughs, they keep me smiling all day, sometimes my cheeks hurt from laughing so much and that’s all before 7 am !

Steve Whiteside - Lift Engineer

Today’s bright spark is Stevie Brightside
Stevie always comes to the morning dips with the biggest smile and an energy that absolutely becomes his name “Brightside”. With his shark antics in the water and ability to make everyone laugh, Stevie brings fun and happiness to everyone who meets him and I’m sure you’ll agree we love having him around.
And….watching his blossoming bromance with Ned is both hilarious and heart warming 🤣.
As usual we asked Stevie what he loves about THE Project. Here is what he said:
What do I love about coming to the dips?
Coming to the dips to start with gave me time that I didn’t think I had, an early morning start gives me an extra 1-2 hours a day of being in nature of being part of a community that genuinely cares for your well-being.
What benefits do I feel?
I get connection & new friendships all the time, I get hugs and feel appreciated & I get to give hugs an reciprocate the appreciation towards others. I get to be genuine & be myself & where I can try to make people smile or laugh which in turn makes me feel really happy. It’s the perfect start to your day.
What keeps me coming back?
Well many things, its the community, the connection,
the conversation & the coffee!
It’s the VIBE that permeates through The Human Excellence project that brings out the support for one another & to ultimately spread happiness. I love being part of this community

Ellen Drpich - ECU student services

Today’s gem is Ellen! 💎💎💎💎
Ellen gives the biggest, warmest and most heartfelt hugs you could ever receive. Just being wrapped up in Ellen’s arms is the best way to start your morning at the dip.
Ellen has thrown herself into THE Projects philosophy of community, so much so that she has introduced her whole family to dipping.
Here is what Ellen says about The Project. 😉 You’ll see why she is such a precious part of our community .
What do you love about coming to the dips?
I’ve always loved early mornings; the sun rearing it’s head, birds chirping, the crisp air and to add jumping into the (sometimes extremely cold) ocean with a group of some of the most welcoming, open, positive and genuine souls is such a beautiful addition to the start of my day.
I also LOVE hugs, so to find a group of people who are just as willing to embrace one another with literal open arms is just amazing! It’s literally heaven to me!
The most powerful part of each morning though is definitely the conversations shared over a warm cuppa after the dip. There’s something amazing that happens when you share the nerves, sense of achievement and joy of jumping in the ocean together; it seems to foster conversations that are much more honest and connected than your average chat.
What benefits do you feel?
Increased happiness: The cold water immersion will do that to you! Not to mention the sense of connection and lots of laughs shared with everyone.
Reduced stress: Elevating your mood by starting your morning like this seems to make things that would normally cause stress, far less significant each day.
Sense of belonging: Each hug feels like we’re sending the unsaid message “You matter” to one another.
Increased self-esteem: I suspect this mainly comes from the sense of belonging, but you also realise all of the things you might normally worry about (eg. What you look like in a bathing suit) have absolutely no correlation to your sense of worth as a human being.
What keeps you coming back?
All of the above!
Connection, joy, laughter, positivity, open conversations, happiness!

Colin Atkinson - Architect

This weeks LEGEND is Colin.
Colin shows up Every…Single….Day…. looking back on all the group photos since he started, I couldn’t find one he wasn’t in 😀 Not one to draw attention to himself, he helps out quietly & without fuss whenever we need it, which never goes unnoticed and is so appreciated. He’s a cornerstone at the dips and just get’s what we are about at THE Project.
We asked him to answer three questions so we could shine a light on what he loves, the benefits he feels and what keeps him coming back to the dips every morning.
Over to you Colin…..
“What do I love: I love the sense of being.. Finding out who I am, by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, showing self love and connection with like minded people who are there for themselves and each other.
What benefits do I feel: The benefits are so profound it’s hard to put into words. Mentally, Physically, Spiritually. Where everybody wants to give and share, so everyone gains without having to take.
What keeps me coming back: The Vibe of the Tribe.. It’s where nobody gives a shit, but everyone cares about everyone. I love it”

Nedley Russell - FIFO Telecommunications Rigger

And the first cab off the rank is NED!
A man that needs no introduction. A man that makes us smile, welcomes everyone and has the high vibe energy that makes The Human Excellence Project what it is. We asked Ned why he loves coming to the dips every day. Here is what he said:
“For me personally I get to be Ned every morning, joking, laughing, being loud and saying whatever I want without any judgement. I love making people laugh and smile and I can do that on a daily basis! What I really love is there are real honest conversations. If someone isn’t doing great they will tell you, if life is fantastic they will tell you so that’s what makes me come again and again and again. I wanna know desperately how my friends are, happy, sad….whatever! I want to talk to them regardless! It’s highly addictive….dipping and coffee…so easy and so amazing.”
Thanks Ned for bringing joy and happiness to us all who have the pleasure of your company.
Oh, and it’s Ned’s Birthday today. Happy Birthday Legend!

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