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Bob Handby

Australian Red Cross water and sanitation specialist aid worker
Australian Red Cross Ambassador

Bob Handby has worked in conflict and disaster zones all over the world. His first mission with Red Cross was to Uganda in 1984, helping provide clean water and sanitation to those displaced in the country's civil war. Since then he has worked, among other places, in Iraq after the Gulf War assisting Kurdish communities, as well in Serbia during the Kosovo conflict. Trekking on foot to remote regions and hitching tractor rides up mountains, Bob has helped thousands of people to rebuild and recover after floods, cyclones and tsunamis. With expertise in water, sanitation, shelter, health and hygiene issues, he also trains other aid workers headed to disaster and emergency zones.

Bob recently travelled back to Fiji with several major donors to Red Cross, who funded their own trip, to inspect a water and sanitation project completed 11 years ago after Cyclone Ami, which is still thriving today and has transformed the lives of an entire village. Bob is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of entire villages and helping women and children to escape the daily burden of collecting water so they can seek an income and education.

Bob is a tremendous Ambassador for the everyday work of Red Cross in impoverished remote communities in our region, work which is largely funded by our regular monthly donors.

He regularly speaks in the media and at events about our long term approach to community development, lifting people out of extreme poverty by providing a clean sustainable water supply and reliable sanitation.

Bob responded to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone where he lead a small team into an area of the country with a spike in Ebola cases, and was responsible for building an Red Cross Ebola Treatment Centre.

Answering the call to fight Ebola

Read how Bob came out of retirement to help stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

Read more