Michael Kinchington is the Founder of the homeless social enterprise initative : Soul to Sole.
He has initiated a business, generating profit for the dual purpose of wellness for your own feet and the welfare of Australia's homeless people.
Dr Michael Kinchington is an internationally recognised Podiatrist with significant professional, academic and positions of honor, which have been bestowed over the course of his career.
As Dr Kinchington commenced his daily commute through the streets of the city of Sydney, on the way to his well appointed Podiatry practice in Martin Place, the contrast of those on the street - homeless and requiring care, was profound.
With the evident number of increasing homeless Australians it struck him with conviction that his Podiatric professional experience must be harnessed with a sense of purpose and immediancy for those living on the street.
The obvious realisation that the main mode of transport for homeless Australians, is their feet. The concept of creating an orthopaedic flip flop which encompassed a very Australian spirit, would be the vehicle he chose to commence his all encompassing programme.
Michael was aware that there are organisations which provide shoes to the homeless but it was the back up and medical attention essential to make the provision of new shoes beneficial for the homeless.
This social enterprise is based on generating profit to entice corporations and the public to purchase initally for the wellness of their own feet.
However the breath of this programme means that profits would generate the capcity for Michael's team to initally provide clinical support additional to that being provided by local communities.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been invested in the prototype, sampling, fashion component, licencing, production, storage and stock creation in readiness for the roll out of this programme.
"Now is the time for us to gain the support of our local community, our corporations, our family, our friends, our children to pursue this valiant programme in really making a difference. We have invested our own money, because we know this must take place.
We are honored that those purchasing the soultosole flip flops understand that one flip flop at a time they are taking the baton and running with us, so that we can all provide fundamental and real assistance to those without a roof over their heads and the most precious of all infrastructre - their feet."
The beginnings of Ozify Australia and the Soul to Sole program happened unintentionally. Working in the field of Podiatric Medicine for 25 years and over the course of an extremely enjoyable career, Michael has consulted to more than 20,000 private patients in some of the country's leading medical facilities.
He is heavily invested in the world of academia having studied in the areas of footwear biomechanics and sports medicine publishing numerous peer reviewed publications. He has consulted to elite sports teams over many years including current roles with The Sydney Swans AFL and Western Sydney Wanderers; A-League.
One of many highlights of his Sports Medicine career was as Director of the Medical Program for the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics. It was during his tenure within the Olympic Village that he first witnessed the dichotomy of “those with” and those without” even at the most prestigious sporting event in the world where history is often made. Some athletes arrived to the Games with very poor footwear and in some cases no shoes at all!
Since then he has written discussion papers for the International Olympic Committee on lower limb intervention for all, consulted to host Olympic countries and the Special Olympic Games.
In 2012 Michael teamed up with his friend and mentor Mark Ninio, a distinguished Sydney Podiatrist and they began a journey of designing a flip-flop (thong) that not only looked good but was also beneficial to the mechanics of human walking.
As Michael walked through the streets of Sydney in the course of city life, it struck him as to the increasing numbers of fellow Australians who were homeless and shoeless!
The images of homeless Australia became louder as he would walk daily through Martin Place, through the heart of the financial district of Sydney, the irony of a homeless community on the doorsteps of his podiatry practice and the Reserve Bank of Australia seemed impossible to ignore;
“…I had this great flip flop ready to launch in Australia, so I thought why not make Ozify Australia a cause related organisation. This could be a great opportunity to help the homeless of which there are more than 110,000 Australians; a ridiculous concept given we are a first world economy”.
Michael garners inspiration for the cause related business model from Blake McCoskie, the philanthropist and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS; the person behind One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased.
Blake’s vision has grown into a global movement providing over 60 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006.
To date Ozify Australia Soul to Sole has procured 200+ shoes for the homeless community
...And so the journey began...