I grew up in a household of six. I’m the middle child of four brothers – twins roughly two years older than me and another almost two years my junior.
My parents are high school sweethearts who grew up modestly on NSW’s Central Coast.
A family tragedy prompted my family’s move to Queensland when I was about four and we lived in a caravan for some months while my dad, a builder, and my late grandfather converted a small one-bedroom farmer’s cottage into our family home.
As children of hard-working, middle-class parents, my brothers and I had no choice but to share. In the earliest days, it was bedrooms and bathwater. As we got a bit older, we shared school uniforms and sporting equipment. Later, first cars and for my wily twin brothers, a driver’s license – but that’s a story for another time.
It’s only in retrospect that I realise how vital sharing is to cultivating connection, establishing empathy, and building lasting bonds.
The impact of COVID-19 on our young business has been monumental but the truly heartbreaking moments come from witnessing our friends’, clients’ and colleagues’ businesses fall out from beneath them.
Our restauranteurs, who were brought to their knees overnight.
Our artistic community, whose impassioned pleas for Government support fell on deaf ears.
Our major events partners, who remain plagued with uncertainty even as the world slowly wakes from its slumber.
Fellow small business owners, whose dreams many years in the making have become living nightmares.
Most of us at Aruga manage our stress by keeping ourselves uncomfortably busy and the one thing we have in abundance at this time is time.
So we’ve been sharing it. Over the past two months, we’ve proudly donated almost 400 hours to help our business friends in need.
Transitioning their bricks and mortar businesses online.
Drawing media attention to their fundraising efforts.
Enacting quick-response social campaigns to communicate their operational pivots with every rule change.
Contributing to grant and funding applications.
Rewriting their websites to ensure their best foot is forward when trading recommences.
Guiding their communication with clients, customers, stakeholders and the media to keep everyone informed, calm and hopeful.
The generosity, kindness and compassion I see across all sectors and industries, demonstrated by close friends and complete strangers alike is keeping me buoyant at this time of heaviness and grief.
It’s these things we should be sharing freely because the ripple effects will be further-reaching than the virus itself.