During the bushfires Australians faced a catastrophe. Our homeland was on fire, our fellow citizens were losing their livelihoods, their homes and even their lives. Our native animals were being horribly burnt in their millions. Our response? As a nation, though sadly absent of our leaders, we rallied as one people and gave our love, our support, our time and our money to help our fellow citizens in their hour of need. This nation has always risen to challenges like that and everyone, I believe, felt deeply what it was to be “Australian”, whether that be Chinese Australian or any other version of citizen. The bushfires were just two months ago.

I know that spirit is alive and well in Australians everywhere and we must not be distracted by the minority who will play on our fears in this new challenge. We are facing a crisis of a virus most certainly, but also a far bigger one – and that is to our humanity and giving into media-driven fears of uncountable deaths of our fellow citizens, even our own, is wrong. We are bigger, as individuals and as a nation, than this. Already the community spirit is rising to the occasion through the leadership of many groups, including that of one of my amazing friends, Ms Australia International, Sindu Varathan. Instead of focusing on fears, focus on what you, and we all, can do to improve the lives of those in need.

While some are jostling for the toilet rolls others are rolling up their sleeves and embodying the Aussie spirit of compassion and generosity. Love your neighbour by doing something kind and reaching out in simple practical ways. Transform your fear in the process.