The Gap in Sydney, Australia
As seen above, The Gap is a cliff at the top of Sydney Harbour. Aside from it being a breathtaking sight to see, it is also Australia's most famous suicide spot. That being said, Don Ritchie has made it his mission to decrease the number of jumpers. Don, a retired life insurance salesman, lives near the The Gap and for the past 45 years has officially talked 160 would-be jumpers out of attempting suicide (unofficially, the number is close to 400 people).
Believing in the power of a smile, kind words, and an invitation into his home for tea has not only saved the lives of many but earned him the following awards:
- Medal of the Order of Australia (2006)
- Citizens of the Year by Woollahra Council (2010) -- This included himself and his wife
- Local Hero Award by the National Australia day Council (2011)
Many of Don's experiences both successful and not are documented in a diary and/or his memory. Saving a remarkable amount of lives, he is truly a special man and living proof that a little can go a long way.