BUSHFIRES, drought, a freak storm and now a global health crisis. It seems for the last six months at least, the resilience of our community has been tested and tested again.
But, as our smaller communities have shown, extending a supportive hand, being kind and thinking of others is all it takes to make a difference to those who continue to struggle when the times get tough.
We have a lot to learn from our village communities - Pappinbarra, Rollands Plains, Johns River, Beechwood, Telegraph Point and those dotted in between - about what matters when faced with a challenge and what matters afterwards.
The horrifying impacts of the bushfire season still linger.
We lost a life.
We lost homes.
For some, an uneasiness remains. But they are not alone.
A strong network of support has emerged in our small communities that has further strengthened what is genuine and real about the Australian country spirit.
Who could forget Pappinbarra's sign lady Mary Reynolds. Small acts of goodness like her signs to keep people informed as fire ripped across the range show real strength in adversity.
People who cooked, donated clothes, opened their doors, checked in on a mate - they put kindness into action.
And we can do it again now.
Leonie Stevens says she is horrified by the level of panic buying and stockpiling of basic food staples due to COVID-19.
The coordinator of the Comboyne Community Centre says that kind of response doesn't - and wouldn't - happen on the plateau.
Over on North Shore, Northside Progress Association secretary Narelle Milligan has implemented a phone tree to ensure ageing members of that community are contacted on a regular basis.
So what makes these smaller communities more resilient and helpful in times of community crisis?
Ms Milligan says these random acts of kindness are what makes smaller communities stronger.
She points to survey questions where people are asked how many connections they have in their community.
"It's a basic mental health question to determine the level of support you have in your community," Ms Milligan said.
"People on the North Shore can point to 10 or 20 people they can call on to help in an emergency.
"We go out of our way to talk with people, particularly new residents, about what they should do if a flood is coming, or how to connect with people that can help them.
"There are many factors behind how this "works" but there are geographical and environmental factors at play.
"We also aim to build resilience within our community."
The North Shore has been impacted by a number of serious events in recent times - bushfires, drought, floods and the February 4 storm cell.
Ms Milligan said in each case, people from the North Shore community immediately set about helping each other.
"The response was instantaneous and spontaneous," she said.
"They self-organised rosters to feed the fire brigade volunteers and helped complete temporary building repairs to roofs.
"This goes to the sense of connectedness within these communities."
North Shore residents also have to contend with the occasional ferry breakdown, road closures or poor road quality - particularly Maria River Road.
She suggested that through community connectedness and communication, these issues were easily discussed and overcome.
"Every community has different ways of building up their social networks.
"On the North Shore those networks can be built up over a love of surfing, the beach walks or water activities including fishing.
"We also hold a number of social events that generally attracts wonderful support," she said.
Pappinbarra resident and activist Lisa McLeod says people living in smaller communities tend to be more organised and self-aware.
"When we get home we have nature all around us and we can switch off because we each have our own space and little piece of paradise," she said.
"So when we meet up as community, it is in a common meeting place; it's a great place to be and that's why you go there.
"It is part of the nature of the people living in these communities and environments."
Mrs McLeod said residents in smaller communities tend to be more resilient and supportive.
The recent bushfires were the perfect example of how the community came together but continues to support each other.
Mrs Stevens said residents in her community would be "horrified" by the empty shelves in their local convenience store.
"Because we do look after each other, we know the impacts of what panic buying in our local store would have on our neighbours," she said.
"Comboyne has a great sense of community. We look after each other and look after our neighbours.
"We actually shop for those that can't and help those that need assistance.
Comboyne has a great sense of community. We look after each other and look after our neighbours.Leonie Stevens
"And even though we may appear isolated, Comboyne has a number of community events - including the show - that everyone supports."
Mrs Stevens said the Community Centre operates a doctor's clinic each Tuesday, which was packed out this week.
"But there was no panic or signs of anxiety. Everything was conducted in a very composed manner with masks distributed to those that wanted them.
"I think that's because we have been through so much just recently that it just seems like 'oh well, here's another problem to overcome'," she said.
"We just tend to pull together and get tighter when these things happen; we come together in a much closer way when we are hit with these kinds of disasters."
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, SIGN UP HERE.