The Promise, a historical drama about the Armenian Genocide has opened in the US this week and has triggered a wave of support from Hollywood stars about the importance of acknowledging senseless killings, wherever they may be happening in the world.
The movie, starring Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac and Charlotte Le Bon, is about a love triangle set in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, and tells the story of Armenia's tortured history - over one million people savagely wiped out between 1915 and 1923.
It has started a social media movement, #KeepThePromise, which is all about promising to acknowledge and remember genocides of the past in order to prevent the same happening again. Some of the celebrities who are making that promise include Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Heidi Klum and Andre Agassi:
Video: @ThePromiseToAct (Twitter)
George Clooney explains "each and everyone of us must #keepthepromise to fight genocide wherever it occurs in the world" while superstar Cher, who's late father John Paul Sarkisian was Armenian, has shown her support in a video on Twitter. She says, "Hitler said, if they don't remember the Armenians, they won't remember the Jews. We cannot let this happen to another group of people.'
Video: @Cher (Twitter)
Ryan Gosling is more specific with his promise. The actor, who has been vocal about human rights issues in the Congo since he travelled there in 2010, says he's vowing to keep supporting those affected by war:
Video: Ryan Gosling, @EnoughProject (Twitter)
The proceeds of the film are going to a number of non-profit organisations as well as Elton John's AIDS Foundation.
The Promise is due to open in cinemas across Australia in May.
Cody Walker (right) with his wife Felicia and friend Roy Mustaca in Sydney, Australia, April 2017.
Most of us know Paul Walker, the actor. Not so many know Paul Walker, the philanthropist. But his amazing younger brother is making sure we remember just how kind and giving he was.
Cody Walker, the youngest of the five Walker siblings, is in Australia, raising awareness about his late brother's charity, Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW).
It's an organisation which was started and fully funded by Paul in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. They send skilled workers to help with first aid and relief efforts in areas hit by natural disasters. From earthquakes in Nepal and Chile to typhoons in the Philippines, tsunamis in Indonesia and floods in Colorado, ROWW is there with project managers, heavy machine operators, doctors, nurses, paramedics and others.
This long weekend, there are #drive4paul events and charity movie screenings of the newly released Fast and Furious 8:The Fate of the Furious, being held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with proceeds going to ROWW.
It follows a string of similar events in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Before his death, Paul was going on many of ROWW's missions himself, distributing food and other supplies as well as helping medical teams.
When he passed away suddenly in 2013, Cody, who's a trained paramedic, not only stepped in for his brother in parts of the Fast and Furious 7 movie, but also became the driving force behind the charity.
You can learn more about Reach Out Worldwide and the #drive4paul events HERE.
In the weeks after Walter Mikac lost his wife Nanette, and two daughters, Alannah and Madeline, in the Port Arthur Massacre, he found some comfort in little notes written by 6-year-old Alannah.
More than two decades later, those notes would be the catalyst for a book - Letters of Love: Words from the heart published by Affirm Press.
The book is penned by more than 50 well-known Aussies including Jimmy Barnes, Leigh Sales, Layne Beachley and Rex Hunt. Their letters are to their children, partners, parents and in Cameron Daddo's case, to his future self.
It is all about sending some love and positivity back into the community, something Walter says he was bombarded with back in 1996, after the shooting. And as you flip through the pages, the overriding message is clear - no matter our background, experience, age or views, we are all capable of love.
The book's release marks the 20th year of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, an organisation started by Walter to keep children safe from violence. Since 1997, the foundation has helped close to 2 million children across Australia. They pride themselves on their "buddy bags", a backpack of essential items like toothbrushes, pyjamas, socks and teddies, given to kids who find themselves in emergency accommodation.
All profits from the book go to the Foundation, so they can keep doing their brilliant work.
Below is an extract* from broadcaster Leigh Sales' letter to her two sons:
Daniel, I love that when we approach a tunnel, you say, “3-2-1” and then shout, “ARRRRGHHHHHHHH” for the whole time we are inside it and then dissolve into fits of hysterical laughter.
James, I love that you always shout “NUDEY RUN” after your shower and then sprint around the house so I cannot catch you. Daniel, I love that you think ‘Make ‘em Laugh’ is the best number in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ because I do too.
Most of all, I love that you are MY boys. You are sweet and funny and I hope that you grow up to be kind-hearted men.
*This letter is extracted from Letters of Love: Words from the heart penned by prominent Australians, published by Affirm Press in partnership with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. All profits from book sales go directly to the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. Available now.
So I'm pretty sure most of us would have a HEART ATTACK if George Clooney walked through our front door with a bunch of flowers...but not Pat Adams!
The 87-year-old kept her cool when the Hollywood star paid her a visit at the Sunrise of Sonning Retirement and Assisted Living Facility in the UK, on what happened to be her birthday week.
"Well, I just thought, 'Ooo, is it really George Clooney?' And anyway it was. And he is a charming man, just a very nice man," Pat told Entertainment Tonight.
The actor turned up with a bouquet of flowers and stayed for 15 minutes. He not only posed for a photo but also gave his lifelong fan a special handwritten card which reads, "Pat, I thought you might like some flowers. Love, George."
This whole thing came about through the nursing home's Wish Upon A Star program. Pat's wish - to meet George Clooney - was printed in the facility's newsletter which was then sent to George.
Pat says it's an experience she'll never forget ...and she doesn't think she'll ever wash her hands again after George held them!
Neither would we, Pat. Neither would we.
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