Red Cross proudly announces Dr Munjed Al Muderis as our newest Ambassador.
Tuesday July 7, 2015
"I have always wanted to be part of an organisation that is purely devoted to humanitarian purposes" - Dr Munjed Al Muderis
Australian Red Cross is proud to announce the appointment of Dr Munjed Al Muderis as our newest Ambassador.
Dr Al Muderis' personal story of fleeing Iraq and coming to Australia as a refugee makes him a powerful advocate for our humanitarian work supporting vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees.
Today Dr Al Muderis is a pioneering surgeon giving amputees the ability to walk, but his journey was filled with the same hardships shared by those who are forced to flee their home and seek asylum in a new country.
Dr Al Muderis is inspired to support Red Cross by his own experiences of living through wars, fleeing persecution in his home of Iraq, and seeking asylum in Australia. See video of interview
"I have always wanted to be part of an organisation that is purely devoted to humanitarian purposes, with no financial benefits," said Dr Munjed Al Muderis.
"Red Cross is one of a handful of organisations that is completely neutral and not for profit, with no political agenda - there's nothing better than Red Cross for that.
"I first became aware of Red Cross, unfortunately, in a time of crisis with my family. When the Iraq war started in 1980 my father decided to go back to Iraq, as we were in America. The first time I saw the Red Cross emblem was in Amman airport, because they were helping move people into buses, organising people to go back to Iraq by road. That was my first memory.
"As the war continued I became more aware of Red Cross' involvement especially with prisoners of war. It happened that several members of my direct family were prisoners of war, including my cousin, and letters were sent through Red Cross.
"When the war finished and prisoners of war were exchanged, Red Cross played a big role from my memory to bring those prisoners of war back home.
Dr Al Muderis hopes to be involved with the Red Cross Movement in two ways.
"I am keen to serve Red Cross in the capacity of a surgeon in times of disaster. Red Cross is well known as the first in the field in any kind of disaster, regardless of how dangerous the situation is, anywhere in the world.
"I am also very passionate about enlightening people about the facts of people seeking asylum in Australia and around the world as I was a refugee myself, I am a refugee.
"I strongly feel that as an Australian living in a first world country, we have a duty of care toward our fellow humans. If we think we are remote and far away from disasters we need to think again, because disasters can happen in Australia. We should not be complacent," said Dr Munjed Al Muderis.
After 100 years of supporting vulnerable people who've come to Australia in search of safety, Red Cross is well placed to discuss the realities faced by asylum seekers, refugees and other migrants.
"As a Red Cross Ambassador, Dr Al Muderis will be a tremendous advocate for fostering understanding about asylum seekers and building a stronger, more connected community," said Australian Red Cross CEO Robert Tickner.
"Dr Al Muderis has expressed interest in working overseas as a Red Cross aid worker should his surgical skills be needed in times of disaster, which is an extremely valuable opportunity," said Mr Tickner.
- See full interview with Dr Munjed Al Muderis
- Learn more about Red Cross' work and get the facts about asylum seekers and refugees.