9 August 2017

Faces of Canberra: Clyde Rathbone

| Rachel Moore
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Clyde Rathbone

Faces of Canberra – Clyde Rathbone.

Each week Rachel Moore is on the hunt to find out what makes Canberra special to all the wonderful folks who live here.

If you closed your eyes while hearing Clyde Rathbone talk about Karma you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a sage philosopher speak. That is because when the former Brumbies legend talks about his tech start up, Karma, his impassioned messages of preserving good faith and humanity seems like a core value we should already know about.

Karma started as a conversation with Clyde’s brother Dayne. The two were pondering their family history and marvelling about all the amazing things their ancestors had accomplished, including their parents. Almost fifteen years ago the Rathbones’ large family packed up their lives in Warner Beach, 40kms south of Durban in South Africa and made a home here in the Nation’s Capital. The two brothers reflected and observed that all the respect, admiration, good will and memories the family had built in South Africa seemed erased somehow when they moved to Australia.

Clyde and Dayne Rathbone

Clyde and Dayne Rathbone.

What if you could capture good will and the essence of who someone really is?

As you can imagine Clyde had a range of options upon his retirement from Rugby Union but it was the connection between people that really interested him. Let’s face it, social media is amazing, but, there could be nothing less social about it! The alienating nature of social media prompted Clyde and Dayne to question the world around them. What they saw lacking was acknowledgement of good will and where the achievements of unique people are easily forgotten.

Together with business partner Monish Parajuli, Clyde and Dayne are building a social media platform that is, well, good for you. The site is still evolving, but this exciting digital space allows people to write letters to folks that have had an impact on their lives. Large or small, the site allows people to write a letter and say “Thank you!” No anonymous content is allowed and the future goals for Karma is a digital space that can also be physically printed if desired where future generations and all of us can get together and hear human stories about lovely folks.

One core value and idea Clyde, Dayne and Monish all hold is getting Karma right, no matter how long it takes. As you can imagine, the trio have already faced many obstacles and anticipate doing so for some time due to the nature of this fascinating sentimental beast. They want future generations to see where they came from and it’s going to take many conversations, one they invite everyone to join.

It was through a letter that Clyde discovered his Grandfather had been a champion weightlifter in the 1940’s. Moments like this inspire a thirst in Clyde to gather and collate as many tales of good will, kindness and beautiful human stories as possible. Clyde has described the whole experience of Karma as the perfect mix of work, challenges, problems and meaningful rewards that have all intent of lasting lifetimes. So Canberra, who will be the address on your first Karma letter?

Clyde Rathbone playing for the Brumbies in 2013 - Photograph by Stefan Postles

Clyde Rathbone playing for the Brumbies in 2013. Photo: Stefan Postles.

Name – Clyde Rathbone.

Age – 36.

Occupation – Co-Founder and Storyteller at Karma.

How long have you lived in Canberra – 14.5 years.

North, South or Q-town – I’ve always lived on the South Side but I could easily live just about anywhere in Canberra.

Most memorable event attended in the ACT – It’s a toss-up between my Super Rugby debut for the Brumbies and my Australian citizenship ceremony.

Things you love about Da Berra – I love that I’m never a short stroll from nature. I really value being outdoors and Canberra blends the convenience of a city with the feel of the country in a way that’s rare.

What you loathe about the city – I do wish Lake Burley Griffin was cleaner.

Most cherished memory in the capital – The day my brother and I decided to drop everything and devote ourselves to building Karma will always be a treasured memory.

Which Canberra local do you most admire and why – I really admire my Family. My parents for making huge sacrifices that allowed our family to follow me to Canberra, and my three younger brothers for building lives on meaningful values.

Most precious item you own – I can’t think of anything and I’d like to keep it that way.

First Canberra kiss and where – Because I didn’t grow up in Canberra I honestly have no idea.

Most delicious Berra place you adore eating atEightysix in Braddon is great but I’m far more likely to be found at Mee’s Sushi.

What do you want to be when you grow up – I really love what I’m doing with my life at the moment so I hope the older version of me is continuing the journey and solving interesting problems along the way.

Your social media handles – I’m most active on Karma and you can view my content via karma.wiki

What is a question you would like to ask everyone in Canberra – How can my team and I improve Karma? We’re building a home of human stories and a social media platform that’s good for you – to do this we need all the input we can get from the local community.

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