Barber has raised tens of millions of dollars via her Instagram feed for bushfire victims.
The Instagram celebrity – who has gone from suburban obscurity to global celebrity in the space of a year thanks to her quirky posts mocking the artifice of the medium – was attracting $10,000 a minute at one point last Sunday afternoon.
She harnessed the power of her 6.4 million Instagram followers when the fires forced her family to evacuate their property in Eden on the far south coast.
Whatever you think of her comedic ability, Barber has provided us with a definitive lesson on the extraordinary power of social media, especially when she singled out billionaire Gina Rinehart to donate money.
Indeed, Barber led the way for many of the “old guard”, from Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban to Chris Hemsworth, the Minogues, Pink, Elton John, James Packer, Russell Crowe, Justin Hemmes and a host of others digging deep to make donations.
They were even talking about our bushfires at the most insular and self-absorbed event so far this year: the Golden Globes, with a host of Hollywood stars pledging their support.
Even tennis “bad boy” Nick Kyrgios, one of the most divisive figures in Australian sport, has managed pull off the inconceivable and generate some serious goodwill when he teared-up after discussing the impact of the ongoing bushfire crisis in his home town and across the country.
He pledged to donate $200 for every ace he hits this month – across the ATP Cup and Australian Open – to help victims of the bushfires.
Game, set, match Mr Kyrgios.
But of course with the highs come the lows, and it would appear there are those who will attempt to raise goodwill capital off the back of even the most heinous situations.
However, critics can be harsh, even the seemingly untouchable Kardashian clan.
When several followers on Instagram called out the world’s most influential social media family on their supposed lack of action, Kim Kardashian responded with: “Nothing gets me more heated than to see people think they know what we donated to and to think we have to publicise everything.”
This from a woman who has built an empire out of publicising ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in her life, from her kids and her husbands to her various body parts.
The furore came as her younger half-sister, Kylie Jenner, was criticised for being “so disconnected” and “tone deaf” after she shared a photo of her new $2000-plus Louis Vuitton fluffy Mink slippers straight after sharing a photo of a singed koala being rescued from the fires.
But of course the award for greatest goose this week undoubtedly belongs to British media identity Jeremy Clarkson, he of the smug, rich, white, middle-aged men famous for driving expensive and ridiculous cars on TV.
In his column for The Sun newspaper – which is ironically owned by one of Australia’s most famous families, the Murdochs – Clarkson wrote that our country was on fire because “God didn’t want people to live there”.
“He created it as a continent far, far away where he could house all his experiments that had gone wrong,” wrote Clarkson, seemingly oblivious or deliberately ignorant to the mounting death toll and devastation being wrought across Australia.
“Plainly, God is embarrassed. Because he’s decided to set fire to it. So if you’re reading this down there, please come home. You’ll like it. It never stops raining. And we are better at sport.”
Tone deaf and puerile. Not to mention Clarkson seems unaware Australia has been inhabited by people for many millennia before his beloved Brits thought it would make a great penal colony.
Andrew Hornery is a senior journalist and Private Sydney columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald.