National Others Week, to be held from October 29 to November 4 this year, has been organised to encourage Australians to focus on other people instead of themselves for seven days.
Mr Andrews said NOW would develop a greater awareness of, and appreciation for, the people around us in our community.
"Global Care is the social justice and disaster relief arm of Christian Outreach Centre, and NOW will be networked out through the many thousands of Global Care volunteers, COC's 30 000 members, and national partners such as Westpac, Rotary, Lions and Red Cross.
"NOW will also aim to honour the countless thousands of good people who volunteer throughout our nation, whether it be fire, flood, cyclone or earthquake, holding out a helping hand to those in distress.
"Global Care's motto is 'mates helping mates', and during this very special week, I want to encourage people everywhere to look beyond their own four walls, and just be there for someone else – to be a mate to them.
"Psychologists tell us that helping others actually builds our own self-esteem and sense of well-being – in other words, when we choose to bless others, we also benefit ourselves.
"Global Care has been honoured by the Governor-General, state premiers and police and emergency services for its work during the Kinglake bushfires and the Queensland floods.
"NOW's theme is 'Because Life Is a Team Sport' – this is a great way Australians can be part of a bigger and greater team," he said.
Global Care National Director Pastor Peter Pilt told guests at the launch ceremony that NOW was a chance to remind people that love and kindness were never wasted.
He said, "We get so caught up in the busyness of life, we forget about the incredible power of focusing on others. There is no such thing as a small act of kindness – every act, no matter how seemingly insignificant, has a ripple effect that spreads out forever in all directions.
"In our hyper-competitive, make-it-to-the-top society, we do not give the same value to kindness as to money, power, fame and glamour.
"Just as sunlight is the source of energy that sustains organic life, kindness is the source of energy that gives true meaning to our humanity. We are more than just animals – we are people, who find our meaning in community.
"Only by demonstrating interpersonal kindness can we prevent our 'milk of human kindness' from turning sour – we are kind to others not to be thanked and appreciated, but because it is a nurturing act and is just the right thing to do.
"The essence of NOW is for all of us to carry out acts of kindness, spread good cheer, value people and show by example the goodness of mankind."
Global Care General Manager Pastor Ken Wootton emphased that NOW was not a fund-raising venture, but was all about serving others.
"We live in a very individualistic and self-centred society – we see violence, greed and selfishness portrayed only too vividly every day in the media.
"This is a chance, for one week at least, to exchange violence, greed and selfishness for kindness, generosity and compassion … because we are mates helping mates, and at the end of the day, life really is a team sport," Pastor Wootton said.
Photo : Global Care General Manager Pastor Ken Wootton, Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services, Hon Kevin Andrews MP, and Global Care National Director Pastor Peter Pilt at the launch of National Others Week, Parliament House, Canberra