By Lee Hunter, General Manager, TikTok Australia

We have been truly humbled by the outpouring of support and goodwill on TikTok during this unprecedented time. As we all adjust to the new norm and more Australian households are spending time on TikTok, it’s been inspiring to see our community unite, uplifting one another with compassion, solidarity and good old Aussie banter. TikTok has been a safe place to show that we’re all in this together, and a platform to ignite creative ways to connect and share stories that boost morale. 

To honour the creative ways Australians are spreading positivity, last month we launched #HeapsGood, a dedicated hashtag challenge focussed on encouraging acts of kindness across the country. The challenge saw Aussies harness their community spirit to brighten someone’s day, whether that be offering somebody less fortunate a care package, surprising care workers with a little caffeine pick me up, packing food boxes for those in need or helping ducklings cross a busy road. We are also seeing incredible creativity in many other areas such as #homescience, which encourages Aussies to celebrate science in their own unique way at home.  

As part of our commitment to do #HeapsGood and play our part in supporting communities deeply affected by the coronavirus crisis, last month we announced a global pledge of $250m USD to support relief from the pandemic.

Today, we’re proud to announce that as part of this, we will be donating $3 million AUD to The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, to support their crucial research and development into vaccinations for COVID-19.

Based in Melbourne, the team of experts at the Doherty Institute are working tirelessly to minimise the impact of novel coronavirus. With clinicians treating patients in hospitals, scientists performing tests on suspected cases, epidemiologists working closely with the state and Commonwealth Governments on policy, and researchers working on antibody tests, treatments and a vaccine, we are very proud to support the vital work the institute is doing.

Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Doherty Institute, said: “Our work on COVID-19 ranges from diagnostics, to clinical trials to test potential treatments, the creation of a vaccine and mathematical modelling to guide the public health response. We’re so grateful to TikTok for throwing their weight behind science with this generous donation and campaign support. This generous donation will significantly enhance our efforts to perform innovative clinical trials for COVID-19 and similar viruses."

“What’s more, we’ve been extremely impressed by the ingenuity of TikTok users to create content that promotes hand washing, social distancing and the role of healthcare workers during the pandemic, and we’re excited to see the community’s creativity in celebrating science through our #homescience challenge.”

Looking ahead, TikTok will be actively seeking more ways to contribute towards COVID-19 relief here in Australia and across the world by identifying the most effective ways to allocate the remaining funds part of our global pledge.

We understand that these are challenging times for everyone. Alongside health care workers, governments, businesses, NGOs, and ordinary people across the world stepping up in this critical moment, we are committed to doing the very best that we can to support humanity. 

Together, through mutual respect, strength and collaboration, we will persevere through this crisis and emerge as a global community stronger than it has ever been before. 

To learn more about TikTok's effort to support our community, please visit our  COVID-19 resources on our Safety Center.