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COVID-19

How the UNSW community is contributing to #CovidKindness

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Read some uplifting examples of how the innovative and resilient UNSW alumni community pull together when times get tough.

In just a few weeks, day-to-day operations as we know them have undergone radical changes. Communities, businesses and public services have had to take proactive steps to adapt to the challenges imposed by COVID-19, finding new ways to tackle its effects. We are so proud to share how some of our graduates have responded to recent COVID-19 challenges to not just adapt to our new circumstances, but to drive kindness and support where it is needed most.

Shilu

Alumna sources essential medical supplies for Wuhan hospitals

When Shilu Wang (MJournComm '18) discovered her grandmother had tested positive to COVID-19, she did everything in her power to fight the war on Coronavirus from her home in Sydney, ultimately providing massive support for healthcare workers and community members in Wuhan, China.

To tackle mass shortages, Shilu acquired bulk medical supplies for frontline medical teams including disinfectant, personal protective equipment, vitamins and heaters for air circulation in hospital wards. If obtaining the medical supplies wasn’t challenging enough, she then had to organise transportation of goods to their destinations.

When liquids were prohibited from entering Wuhan, Shilu enlisted the assistance of JD Financial Services CEO, Mr Shengqiang Chen, and successfully brought 2,000kg of medical disinfectant to hospitals in Wuhan. She later organised the shipment of 10 tonnes of organic rice to Wuhan COVID-19 Taskforce Headquarters. In the space of two months, Shilu became an expert in medical and protective products and underwent countless negotiations and cross-border transportation trips.

David Whittaker

Manly Spirits create Gin Aroma hand sanitiser

After an unsuccessful hand sanitiser hunt of their own, Sydney-based distillery Manly Spirits Co., began producing hand sanitiser to respond to growing demand. Co-founder and Head Distiller, David Whittaker (MBT '11), knew Manly Spirits had a part to play in helping the community, so began making Gin Aroma Hand Sanitiser by redistilling their Gin alcohol. 

While it isn’t Manly Spirits’ core business, they are among the few businesses who have permits for high-grade alcohol. They are currently servicing a number of organisations and charities who are in need of hand sanitiser as normal supplies have dried up. 

Lauren Kress

Grow your Brand podcast helps businesses survive 

Lauren Kress (BSc '11, MCDArtDes '16) is in the business of science; specifically, neuroscience and behavioural psychology. Known as ‘The Business Scientist’, Lauren offers insights on how to respond to the rapid changes in market needs through her podcast series, Grow Your Brand

In light of current economic conditions, the second season of Grow Your Brand focuses on helping business leaders and entrepreneurs stay primed, proactive and progressive during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more on how to respond to the changing needs of markets during the health crisis, listen to season two of Grow your Brand online.

Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquhar

Free Atlassian software and tech summit for remote workers

Atlassian Co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes (BSc '02) and Scott Farquhar (BSc '03) understand the challenges of working remotely, which is why at this time of mass remote working, they are offering their flagship Atlassian products for free. 

The offerings include cloud-based software assisting those working from home with project tracking, project management and collaboration. The company is also offering free registration to the annual Atlassian Summit, where employees and business can learn how to unify work across remote and global teams. 

Turia Pitt

Spend With Them campaign supports business hit hard

The Instagram campaign to help local businesses after the catastrophic bushfires in earlier months, is now spotlighting local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Turia Pitt (BE/BSc '11) started the Spend With Them account to highlight businesses that need a boost after their communities had been fire-ravaged. She has since repurposed her extremely popular initiative to also focus on businesses that have endured the devastating impacts of COVID-19. The campaign will expand its reach to include those that have to physically close their doors, operate with fewer staff or move to exclusively operating online. 

Share with Oscar

Share with Oscar help healthcare workers access free parking

Since its inception in 2016, community sharing service, Share with Oscar has successfully turned thousands of vacant driveways and garages into public parking options across Sydney. Having recently received news that medical staff were struggling to find car spaces at hospitals, co-founders Lisa Qi (BCom/BSc '11, MPsychol (Org) '12) and Louise Chen decided to take action. 

Lisa and Louise started an appeal through Share with Oscar, urging members to share parking spaces around hospitals and healthcare centres for free. “With increased demands on the medical community, parking should be the very least of their problems,” the duo says. If you live nearby a hospital and have a space that can comfortably fit a vehicle, you can register here and let our healthcare community park for free. 

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