An Open Letter to All Australian Leaders

Melanie Perkins
Mar 16 · 9 min read

Lead Boldly and #StoptheSpread

A coalition of Australian CEOs and leaders is asking our fellow business and civic leaders around Australia to #LeadBoldly and #StoptheSpread of COVID-19.

#StopTheSpread

The impact of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, is being felt around the world. While the confirmed number of those infected in Australia may seem comparatively low, how we respond to the curve in the coming days will have the potential to dramatically alter the health and economic impact of the virus here in Australia for years to come.

Following the example from our neighbours in Singapore and Hong Kong, Australia’s urgent response to COVID-19 is critical in slowing down infection rates. We’ve since made important decisions as a country, with the newly imposed:

  • strict self isolation requirements for 14 days imposed on newly arrived travellers;
  • cruise ship arrivals banned for at least 30 days; and
  • the ban of non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people, such as sporting games, music concerts, and ANZAC day services

While COVID-19 is an extremely fluid situation, there are a number of things that we can do to alleviate the pressure on essential services, ensuring that as a nation, we’re equipped to support everyone.

A Pledge to #StopTheSpread

To do this, we’re encouraging all of Australia’s business leaders, employees, our friends, and our families to pledge to:

  • Commit to social distancing. Make working from home mandatory for all employees wherever possible and discourage unnecessary international and domestic travel. Abide by self-isolation regulations. Postpone events and ask employees to stop attending voluntary/social public events of ANY size.
  • Support your team. Wherever possible — continue to support contractors and casual staff. A lot of people will be facing significant hardship; if your business has the financial capacity to continue to support your team, this is the time to do so. Every little bit counts.
  • Support local businesses. Choose local wherever possible, online and only offline as needed.
  • Respect and support frontline workers and first responders. ‘Flattening the curve’ is about reducing the pressure on essential services, especially healthcare. This helps to ensure that we avoid congestion and that we’re adequately equipped to provide support for everyone. Free up our healthcare from non-emergency situations as we move through this crisis.
  • Stop panic buying — only purchase what you need. If you have more than you need, think about donating to someone who may have been forgotten or in need of the essentials.
  • Stop sharing misinformation. False advice and fear-mongering can be just as harmful. Only refer to credible sources like the World Health Organisation.
  • Be kind. Treat one another kindly in this stressful time, and stand up against any discriminatory behaviour.

There’s no doubt that these are testing times. However, COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries. That’s why right now — our unified action needs to spread faster. In doing so, we may be able to contain this situation and know our actions from today will help ensure a better tomorrow.

As business leaders, we have a social responsibility and moral obligation to work in cohesion with our government. We’ve been impressed to see the stance US business leaders have already taken (see their letter) and would like to affirm Australia’s commitment to boldly do the same.

To this end, please:

  1. Join this unified action pledge. Add your name alongside the other bold business leaders listed below by clicking here.
  2. Share this message with at least 3 of your friends, family and colleagues using #StopTheSpread on social media.

Like many other countries, as Australians we’ve certainly had our fair share of tough times this year. That said, we’re incredibly fortunate to be a nation of resilience and courage — we’ve proven time and time again that our greatest strength stems from rallying together.

The true test of society comes from our response in the face of a crisis.

Together, we can #StopTheSpread.

Thank you,

Melanie Perkins, Canva

Scott Farquhar, Atlassian

Patrick Llewellyn, 99 Designs

Darrin Grafton, Serko

Craig Scroggie, NEXTDC

Didier Elzinga, Culture Amp

Sam Chandler, Nitro

Cliff Obrecht, Canva

Cameron Adams, Canva

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian

Karl Redenbach, LiveTiles

Peter Nguyen-Brown, LiveTiles

Ashik Ahmed, Deputy

Michael Frizell, Pet Circle

Bruce Buchanan, Rokt

Bridget Loudon, Expert360

Niki Scevak, Blackbird

Rick Baker, Blackbird

Luke Anear, Safety Culture

Michael Batko, Startmate

Alexey Mitko, Eucalyptus

Tim Noakesmith, VOW

Kate Dinon, Of Character

Athan Didaskalou, July

Phoebe Gardner, Beyond Ag

Eamonn Colley, vexev

Doug English, Culture Amp

Rory San Miguel, Propeller Aero

Nicholas Crocker, Blackbird

Samantha Wong, Blackbird

Mason Yates, Blackbird

Brad Parsons, Movus

Alex Birch, XY Sense

Chris Duell, Elevio

Hon Weng Chong, Cortical Labs

Diana Abeleven, SLAM Solutions

Milad Mohammadzadeh, See-Mode

Alistair Venn, SafetyCulture

Alex Apoifis, Blackbird Ventures

Benny Kleist, Pilot Health

Stan Markiewicz, Markiewicz & Co

Jason Hosking, Hivery

Tom Richardson, InVision

Nikhil Parekh, New Edition

Shannon Poulton, Good Thnx

Samantha Payne, The Pink Elephants Support

Yes, Inspiring Rare Birds

Jo-Ellen Burston, Job Capital Pty Ltd

Jay Spence, Uprise

Marty Andrews, Chargefox

Prashan Paramanathan, Chuffed.org

Brian Mobbs, Thenward

Anna Guenther, PledgeMe

Petra Greifenstein, Vision Social Agency

Sam Rahmanian, Monsido

Nathan Whaley, National Fire Group

Luis Romero, Pinnacle Media

Matt Browne, Donesafe

Nick Gower , mentally Friendly

Jon Christensen, mentally Friendly

James Gildon, Latitude IT

Bronwyn Karaoglu, Genbook

Sergio Gutierrez, Kong inc

Keeva Stratton, Quip Brands

Philipp Liver, Genbook

Adam Hyman, Sportility

Tim Fung, Airtasker

Greg Moshal, Prospa

Ian Gardiner, Innovation Bay

Dean McEvoy, TechSydney

Andrea Gardiner, Jelix Ventures

Matthew Crozier, Bang the Table

Yaniv Bernstein, Airtasker

Sadaf Monajemi, See-Mode Technologies

Joanne Phua, Cult Worthy Socials

Elise Peate, Airtasker

Sylvain Mansotte, Whispli

Temre Green, Facilitators Heaven

Matt Trimarchi, Elevio PL

Bec Brideson, SUPERTAP

Mariette Snyman, Tricentis

Rachel Worsley, Neurodiversity Media

Sian Priest, Innovation Bay

Warwick Kirby, CAMMS

Leo Borovilas , Vasco Pay

Daniel Lohrmann, ikaros

David Ballantyne, HomeFront Australia

Sharnii Fisher, SleevesUp

Dimitry Tran, Harrison.ai

Scott Herrick, HRG

Jessie Summons, For The Makers

Megan Elizabeth, For The Makers

George Hartley, SmartrMail

Trena Blair, FD Global Connections

Manuri Gunawardena, HealthMatch

Anthony Woodward, Accelera Group

Andrew Moore, Spaceship

Josh Snow, Next Mile

Chris Hexton, Vero

Brian Neo, LJ Hooker Commercial Perth

Julie Alexander, CCI / Culture Incorporated

Jeeva Suresh, Helix Collective

Stephen Roux, Dragon Tree Capital

Gill Findlay, Vamp

Scott Smith, Over the Wire

Jack Zhang, Airwallex

Lucy Liu, Airwallex

Richard Swanton, Workconex

Dale Reardon, TravelForAll.Guide

Daniel Petre, AirTree Ventures

Luke Stow, Alchemy

Goli Tajadod, FlexRule

Frank Chamaki, HIVERY

George Peppou, VOW

Piers Tyler, Over The Wire

Nathan Chadwick, Airtasker

Sam Yeats, Orchestrated

Matt Fairhurst , Skedulo

Vicki White, VLWphotography

John Kearney, Deputy

Kirsten Kore, Designerex

Amy Sutton, Anthologie

Corinne Bot, Polyglot Group

Melissa Ran, AirTree

Michael Chanter, Thomas Duryea Logicalis

Djordje Dikic, Tint

Michael Wong, Raw.Studio

Yes, Telstra Ventures

Philippe Hong, Raw Studio Co Pty Ltd

Anna Kyriacou, AKA Group Accountants Advisors Mentors

Emma Jones, Project F

Elan, Cloud CFO

Nick Hough, GradeProof

Ross McKale, Ploy

Naby Mariyam, Coverhero.com and hustlecover.com

Anthony Willmott, Digital Agriculture Services (DAS)

Janice Chia, Ageing Asia

Andrew Kuik, Hatchstone Capital

Michelle Duval, F4S

Gerard McLennan, LBM Fleet

Jonny Wilkinson, Equitise

Vincent English, MEGAPORT

Gerald Fisher, Rumblr

Jean-Baptiste Gehin, Vistaprint

Heath Caban, coIB

Dr Ben Coorey, Archistar

Angela Chan, Hackathons Australia

Maria Padisetti, Digital Armour

Ahmed Latif, Linktech Australia

Fatima Said, eWave

Robbie Ferguson, Immutable

Sarah Mak, Folktale

Amber Rushton, Kickstart your marketing

Kuba Tymula, Mikara

Paul Breen, Calendar Club

Josh Goulburn, Foodbomb

Andrew Deveson, Kapitol Group

Damien Langley , Student Edge

Sarah Nelson, Sarah Nelson Advisory

Elzaan, EdApp

Peter Knock, Peter Knock

Jimmy Zhong, Syncio

Connor James, Law Quarter

Charles Watson , Workforce Guardian

Toby Wilcock, Cloudwerx

Quirin Schwaighofer, MadeComfy

Nik Jain, Digital Minds

John McAuley, Tanjiro PL

Ronnie Altit, Insentra

Thor Essman, Versent

Jon Ossip, Advent One

Preethi Mohan, Kuriet

Marcel Herz, Tiliter

Tony Walls, Objective

Yes, The Hacker Exchange

Steven Boi, Insentra

Michael Fox, Fable Food Co

Flavia Tata Nardini, Fleet Space Technologies

Tony Rothacker, Youngster.co

Nick Jenkin , Jenkin Beattie

Barry Brott, Square Peg Capital

Ryan Jenkins , Digital Eagles

Matt Williams, Adventure Bay / Australian.com

Mathew Benjamin, AsiaRecon

Nick Rameka, LiveTiles

Riley Batchelor , 2U

Ben Shi, GROW Super

Eitan Bienstock , Techbench Capital

Rachael Powell , Xero

Will Carman, Savills

Dan Bartlett, The Cloud Mode

David Dzienciol, NEXTDC

Andrew Thorn, DigitalMaas

Jaryd Wallis , Spring Professional

Frank Restuccia , Finder

Lenny Moses, FatSecret

Matthew Callender, Hunter Mason

Simon Robins, B.B.E

Judy Anderson, Startup Victoria

David Hyman, Lendi

Adam Jacobs, Hatch

Arsène Lavaux, REveo

Maria MacNamara, Advance.org

Stephen Pelosi, Hamlen

Filipa Preston, Software Optimisation Services

Fayann Dsouza, Chutzpah Creative

Sharon Latour, Marketing Bee

Trevor Folsom, Investible

Jindou Lee, HappyCo

Geoff Gourley, One10 Group & Impact Investment Fund

Trent Innes, Xero Australia

Dane Matheson, Alpha

Leila Naja Hibri, Australian Fashion Council

Sarah Pearson, DITID

Nik Sproal, Social Garden

Jarrod McGrath, Smart WFM

Philipp Thurner, NEXL

Dr Marcus Tan, HealthEngine

Ian Olson, Pointerra

Matthew Madden , DXN Limited

George Tzoumanekas, Beezy

Karl Flores, Unikrn Inc

Jason Hincks, SAP Australia User Group

Julia Nguyen , Lendi

Robert Wijaya, Exo Digital

Tristan Sternson, Arq Group

Ross McDowall, BlueMount Capital

Tracey James, Technoledge

Cam Potter, Brooklyn Dynamics

Anastasia Volkova, FluroSat

Rod Bishop, Jayride.com

Bede Moore, Antler

Jonathan Day, Aligent Consulting

sarah adam-gedge, Publicis Sapient

Leon Cosgrove, MineRP

Christopher Telley, Ripe Co.

Adam Callen, Made in Katana

Maud Lindley, Serendis

Andre Eikmeier, Good Empire

Paula White, MiClub

Ana Ouriques, Land Insight & Resources

Peter Maddison, MiClub

Myles Glashier, Phocas Software

Jodi Geddes, Circle In

Kate Pollard, Circle In

Brian O’Farrell, Talentpool Recruitment Group

Mike Rosenbaum, Spacer & Parkhound

Matthew Magain, Sketch Group

Stephen Coulter, Zipidi

Alex Teoh, Mint Payments

Kirsty Garrett, Doctors on Demand

Mikhara Ramsing, Ethnic LGBT+; Miks Chai

Jenny Thorman, Coastline Credit Union

Vincent Maquinad, Pet Circle

Alexis Soulopoulos, Mad Paws

Karim Mouahbi, Mad Paws

Theresa Lim, Play2Lead

Rob Broadhead, 2020 Fire Protection Pty Ltd

Angus Stewart , Rugby 1st

Chris Clark, Archistar.ai

Samantha McKenzie, Acustico Lighting

Wolfgang Roffmann, e-Motion Concepts Pty Ltd

Dominic OHanlon, Rhipe

Josh Foreman, InDebted

Will Davies, Car Next Door

Paul Marshall, RateCity.com.au

Ryan Hanly, Travello App

Phil Catley, Telstra

Paul Warren-Tape, Biometric Vision

Albert Chu, Hampr

Ainhoa Martinez, Sample Coffee

Adrienne Tan, Brainmates

Graeme Armstrong, Transfit

Karl Treacher, The Brand Institute of Australia

Carrie Mott, PagerDuty

Bia Affonso, The Agile Eleven

Vuki Vujasinovic, Sling & Stone

Daniel Pritchard, Simple Machines

Megan Dwyer, Victorian Amateur Football Association

Nigel Mendonca, Smartsheet

Matt Macfarlane, iCetana Ltd

Andrew Akib, Maslow

Theo Belekas, Vertel

Alana Bennett, Connected Experience

Beata Koropatwa, Auslaser Business Solutions

Sam Brown, Pelikin

Jack Karikas , RUBIX.

Nick Whiteside, Checked Australia

David Brand, Clevr Pty Ltd

Jag Khangura, InDebted

Pat Mulroney, Venatus Media

Albert Jing, OneFriends

Patricia Kaziro, Radiate Coaching

Ullash Tiwari, Vuelo Eyewear

Craig O’Kane, Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur

Nicholas Lennon, Mimecast Australia

Natalie Chapman, gemaker

Adam Reid, Equifax

Vicki Weston , Vicki Weston

Kay Koplovitz, Springboard Enterprises

Lara Vandenberg, Publicist

Alex Wesr, Swoop

Valeria Ignatieva & Gemma Lloyd, WORK180

Bastien Vetault, Sherpa Pty Ltd

Mehran Granfar, Mothership Ventures

Vanessa Gavan, Maximus International

Grazia Pecoraro, Perspective Hive Communications, Flexibility & Inclusion Consulting

Christopher Shermer, Chargebee

Brent Duffy, Maximus

Drewe Apps, Olly’s Box

Tom Mackintosh, Talent

Oliver Lewis, Spot Parking

Brent Duffy, Maximus International

Brendan Maree, 8x8

Matt Rockman, ROCKCorp

John Hoffman, Altis Consulting

Damion Brown, Data Runs Deep

John Hanna, SXiQ

Cameron Smith, SXiQ

Alana Sudale, Sudale Communications

Samantha Hurley, Marketing Entourage

Sophie Hampel, Inkling

Tim Slattery, APN Property Group

Susannah George, Urban List

Prue Bauer, Airgarden

Usman Iftikhar, Catalysr

Kurt Hansen, Pure Security

Luke Smorgon, Transpire

Lucas Ng, Appliances Online

Emma Raidis, Raidis Estate Wines

Simon Sheikh, Adam Verwey, Kirstin Hunter , Future Super

Martin Hosking, Redbubble

Adam Friedman, Shareable Apps

Abhishek Tiwari , D3 Metalab

Chris Zapris, PMI

Richard Edmondson, Edmondson James Recruitment Group

Jey Srikantha, jeylabs

James Cooke, Hello Human

Susanna Zaleski, Hannover Consulting

Jamie Bourbon, Rack World Systems

Athula Bogoda, Silicon Beach

Justin Bohlmann, uno Home Loans

Susan Park, Zen Imports / Fjallraven

Sharon Evans, Evans Greens

Natasha Fiess, Tash’s Remedial Massage

Paul Migliorini, Amazon Web Services

Michael Huggett, CHD Partners

Fadi Ali, FBA International Pty Ltd / Ezy Storage

Jim Kelly, SafeWork NSW

Nathan Reese, Secure Code Warrior

Ashley Davie, Elite Logistics Australia

Pieter Danhieux, Secure Code Warrior

Dave Mason, Mantis Technologies

Yes, MiCare Global

Matt Baxby, Revolut

Li-Ann Scott, One Fine Collective

Alison Atkins, acQuire Technology Solutions

Woj Kwasi, Kwasi

Fiona MacDonald, ScienceAlert

Michael Dunne, Epic Sales Group

Paul Velich, Headspin Inc

Chris Haylock, Azupay

Taskin Karlar, ADA Studio

Monica Savanovic, ADA Studio

Victoria Smith, UBS

Karl Mohan, Wirecard

Peter Forbes, HROnboard

Tim Brown, Bamser

Jackson Dickfos, SportsCube

Adrian Waters, Exec Fitness Club

Ben Graetz, Grassrootz

Heather Macindoe, David The Company

Jean-Marc Barthe, Azuron

Martijn Wilder , Pollination

(and more — please add your name here!)

Melanie Perkins

Written by

Founder and CEO @Canva - Perth native, learning to kite board, changing the world of design.

More From Medium

Related reads

Related reads

Front Series C Deck

Feb 4 · 5 min read

2.6K

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade