IN 2014, Australian Red Cross is proudly celebrating 100 years of people helping people. Red Cross has been woven into the fabric of Australian life for 100 years saving countless lives.
The humanitarian organisation has also responded to natural disasters, through their world class blood service and increasingly through their everyday work helping the most vulnerable people in need.
“Red Cross is proud to celebrate this important milestone in Australia’s social history,” Australian Red Cross CEO, Robert Tickner said.
“It’s a great Australian story of the extraordinary generosity and compassion of everyday people helping people. It’s our chance to recognise gene rations of Australians who have contributed to Red Cross as members, volunteers and donors, helping their communities in times of disaster or personal crisis and through the blood service. Indeed most Australians’ lives have been touch by Red Cross in some way.
“100 years ago we joined the growing international Red Cross movement to serve the humanitarian needs of a nation at war. We have flourished in peacetime to become the nation’s largest, most trusted humanitarian organisation which operates at all times with the principles of impartiality and neutrality, and an absolute focus on improving the lives of vulnerable people.
“Though the nature of our everyday work has moved with the times, our goal to address disadvantage and vulnerability has not changed. We began in 1914 by preparing food parcels for soldiers and prisoners of war and caring for the wounded. Today we runa huge, diverse range ofprogramsin seven priority areas, with a network of 90 regional offices, 180 shops and the Red Cross College.
“Our everyday work is diverse, from daily phone calls to helping older Australians stay in their homes,working with Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander communities, providing breakfast clubs so kids in disadvantaged communities don’t go to school hungry, to programs for asylum seekers and refugees.
“We campaign for respect for the laws of war and a convention to render the use of nuclear weapons illegal, respond to natural disasters, carry out international development work in our region, and continue to deliver first aid training and a world class blood service.
“This year we will host a series of national and local Centenary events, such as a tribute to the role of women in war on International Women’s Day, local Anzac Day events, and our 100th birthday celebration on 13 August, when we will launch a Centenary history written by recognised historian Dr Melanie Oppenheimer.
“Most importantly, we will be reaching out to the Australian community to ensure our Centenary Year is a time of renewal and invigoration of our work. Perhaps one of our highest priorities is to continue to attract more young people to our humanitarian cause.
“We are speaking to the next generation who are looking for new ways to support our humanitarian work. Increasingly our youth engagement is online, but we also want young people to meet some of our volunteers and experience how we work in the community to help people most in need,” Robert Tickner said.
Australian Red Cross President and long-serving Red Cross volunteer, Michael Legge said: “This year around one million Australians, including over 500,000 blood donors, committed their time,expertise, funds and support to Red Cross to help vulnerable people, families and communities.“We want to thank all Australians for their contributions to the first one hundred years of Red Cross, and to build on our strengths, our people, to ensure we continue serving the Australian community for the next 100 years,” Michael Legge added.For Red Cross Centenary stories and events throughout 2014 visit: www.redcross.org.au.
Source: Red Cross Australia