Read some uplifting examples of how the innovative and resilient UNSW alumni community pulls together when times get tough.
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. UNSW is proud to share how some of our graduates have responded to recent COVID-19 challenges to not just adapt to new circumstances, but also to drive kindness and support where it is needed most.
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, Ms Wang was able to provide massive support for healthcare workers and community members in Wuhan, China.
To tackle mass shortages, Ms Wang 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, Ms Wang 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, she became an expert in medical and protective products and underwent countless negotiations and cross-border transportation trips.
Manly Spirits creates Gin Aroma hand sanitiser
After an unsuccessful hand sanitiser hunt of its 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 the company’s gin alcohol.
While it isn’t Manly Spirits’ core business, it is among the few businesses that has permits for high-grade alcohol. It is currently servicing several organisations and charities that are in need of hand sanitiser as normal supplies have dried up.
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 about how to respond to the changing needs of markets during the health crisis, listen to season two of Grow your Brand online.
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.
Spend With Them campaign supports businesses 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 helps 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.
Ms Qi and Ms Chen 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 said. If you live near a hospital and have a space that can comfortably fit a vehicle, you can register here and help our healthcare community park for free.