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With strict lockdowns and increasing periods of social isolation, some fear the long-term impacts of COVID-19 could be more deadly than the virus itself. Although the pandemic’s impact around the world is devastating, 2019 Australasian mediator of the year, Tom Stodulka, says, ‘Life has al-ways had its challenges and heartache. It is, how we face these challenges which can make a huge difference.’

With more than 40 years’ experience in the legal and mediation professions, from both military and civilian backgrounds, Tom has had a long life working with people who are often at low points in their lives. And, after growing up in a refugee family in the 50s, Tom is no stranger to some of life’s hardships.

‘Sometimes it is easy to forget that as a nation we have survived wars, conflicts, depressions, and economic uncertainty before COVID-19,’ Tom said. ‘Through determination, compassion, under-standing of and support for each other, we do survive whatever adversity and stress is thrown at us.’

Tom went on to say that whilst we are living in unprecedented times, 'We should remember that life is about enjoying what we can in every single moment. Enjoy the world around you, because hap-piness is found in every single one of those moments, especially when you’re being active and cre-ative.’

After selling all copies of his debut poetry compilation, Storm Clouds and Silver Linings-My Jour-ney, Tom aims to spread the message of hope amidst COVID-19 with his second book, Life is a Dance. Reminding all Australians, that how we face life’s challenges is all about staying positive and being considerate, fair and generous to our fellow humans.

Of Tom’s new book, a Brisbane school principal wrote: ‘In this challenging year, your poetry is a gentle reminder to pause, reflect and appreciate the special moments in life’.

Tom has chosen two charities engaged in supporting homeless and disadvantaged people national-ly and internationally, from the sales of his new book. This is in addition to his previous support for fire and flood relief during 2018 and 2019.

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