Suncorp customer publishes children’s book about community connection during COVID-19
In a time where many couldn't find the light, one Suncorp customer created a beacon. Amber Khan's new children's book paints a hopeful picture of how despite the circumstances, COVID-19 highlighted humanity at its finest.
On the 25th of January 2020, Australia identified its first case of COVID-19. Within two months, Australian states had imposed social distancing rules and closed non-essential services.
Amidst this global crisis, long-time Suncorp customer Amber Khan sat in her Brisbane home and began writing a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 children’s book, When the world came together – capturing all that was good during a time of global grief and social disparity.
A lecturer, dentist and loyal Suncorp customer of nearly 30 years, Dr Khan says she’s “typically always optimistic” but felt saddened by the continuous cycle of bad news repeated during the height of the pandemic.
As the media cycle swirled, Amber relished in the occasional good news story that emerged amid the persistent negativity.
“I collected stories of kindness that inspired me, and thought I might do the same for others,” she says.
Using illustrations created by her former student, Li Yang Lim, the pair published imagery that showcases many countries around the world that were most heavily hit by the pandemic including Brazil, the United Kingdom, US, as well as Australia.
Khan says that the images and words in the book truly demonstrate how, despite the challenges faced in 2020, human kindness prevails above all.
“It’s important children feel hope,” she says. “These stories show that one person at a time can make a difference.”
I would love if children read this book in the future and realised that you don’t have to be a celebrity or a politician, or to have lots of money to bring hope to a community during times of darkness.
Alongside running her own dentistry practice, lecturing at the University of Queensland and writing children’s books, Amber also remains a loyal Suncorp customer, opening her first bank account nearly 30 years ago. Finding an organisation that aligned with the same values as her own was important, says Khan.
“My parents first signed up to Suncorp when they moved to Queensland. For them, English is a second language, so they were always appreciative of the effort Suncorp made to ensure they understood what they were signing at all times. Strong customer service and a sense of community is really important to me.”
Amber says that her circumstances during the pandemic were mostly favourable, but when her own private dentistry clinic needed to shut down for six weeks, Suncorp were the first to reach out.
“Suncorp dropped my teller fees for six months when my practice shut down,” Amber says. “It was great to see their financial support for people going through that challenging time.”
In the spirit of giving back, Amber has arranged for 20 per cent of the book’s profits to go towards COVID-19 research at the University of Queensland.
Dr Khan hopes that in a post-COVID world, When the world came together will remind parents and their children of the year that once was and the importance of community during a time of unprecedented crisis.
“I would love if children read this book in the future and realised that you don’t have to be a celebrity or a politician, or to have lots of money to bring hope to a community during times of darkness,” says Amber.
“You can do very small things, small acts of kindness to boost the morale in a community. And that’s what each of these stories are about.”