It's been an incredible Centenary year recognising the contributions of millions of people who helped to build the proud legacy of Australian Red Cross.
Wednesday December 24, 2014
Our Centenary is an exciting opportunity to reach out to a new generation of Red Cross supporters
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the centenary year of Red Cross in Australia.
It's a remarkable Australian story of generations of members, volunteers, staff, aid workers, blood donors and supporters whose generosity and dedication to our humanitarian principles has changed the lives of vulnerable people, here in Australia and further afield, for 100 years.
It's been an exciting opportunity to reach out to a new generation of Red Cross supporters to help us continue our mission to reduce vulnerability at home and around the world.
Red Cross people shared the spirit of our centenary at hundreds of local events in communities across Australia. More than 3,600 people volunteered on a Red Cross Fundraiser BBQ at Bunnings and our membership increased by 8 per cent this year. We collected 800 personal stories on our centenary website, and even our Facebook page reached over 100,000 supporters.
We launched our history book, The Power of Humanity: 100 years of Australian Red Cross, along with a commemorative coin, stamp and vintage merchandise range. Parliamentary resolutions were moved in state and federal parliaments to commemorate our centenary, and we donated 100 years of archives to the University of Melbourne Library so that our unique history can be preserved and shared with the public.
Adapting and innovating to meet changing community need has been a strength of Red Cross for generations. In 2014 we celebrated the launch of high quality, cutting edge services such as the new Cairns Wellbeing Centre, an accommodation service for Indigenous people travelling from remote communities to Cairns to access medical treatment. This is the first of six new Red Cross facilities that will adopt the holistic wellbeing centre model.
Further afield, as the world turned its attention to West Africa, Australian Red Cross aid workers were there, supporting people affected by the Ebola crisis. Spare a thought for those working far from home over the holidays to help communities control the spread of the virus, set up treatment centres and help people to safely bury loved ones who have died from the disease. I have the highest regard for our aid workers, with their unwavering commitment to reduce suffering wherever it is found.
This Christmas it will be forty years since Cyclone Tracy struck Darwin, and ten years since the Indian Ocean tsunami caused massive destruction and claimed 226,000 lives. It's a reminder that disaster can strike at any time. Here at home in Australia, with warmer temperatures and high levels of rain predicted, our Emergency Services team will be on standby, ready to respond. I am thankful for the commitment of all emergency services staff and volunteers who will stand ready over summer - it's a reminder of how important our volunteers are in making our community a better place.
My thanks go to everyone who has generously supported Australian Red Cross during 2014. With your help, we are making a lasting, positive difference to the lives of so many people.
As we head toward the summer holidays, I wish everyone a safe and peaceful break, and look forward to welcoming another year filled with hope for a brighter, healthier future for the thousands of individuals, families and children we help every day.
CEO Australian Red Cross