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Australian Red Cross poster competition celebrates our differences

Thursday February 9, 2006

Young people across Australia will have a chance to express their artistic talents while also thinking about anti-discriminatory messages with the launch of the Australian Red Cross poster competition in February.

This year, the theme is One Red Cross, Many Faces, drawing attention to the many people and communities Red Cross works with and the importance of embracing the differences.

Young people between the ages of 6 to 16 are invited to take part in the competition which finishes 18 April. The winner will be announced during world Red Cross day on 8 May and entries can be viewed at exhibitions across Australia.

'Having the theme based around anti-discrimination is a positive way of getting youth to think about some of the benefits of unifying and connecting communities,' said Robert Tickner, CEO of Australian Red Cross.

'Discrimination comes in all forms and it's important that we accept people for their differences, whether they be cultural, geographic, economic or social. Australian Red Cross strongly encourages and supports dialogue between different groupings in the community which we believe will contribute to a more tolerant and harmonious Australia.'

'The idea of getting young people to come up with their artistic interpretation of the theme, "One Red Cross, Many Faces" is to encourage them to think about cultural understanding and to celebrate diversity within communities.'

'Red Cross bases itself around the seven fundamental principles - humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. Those very words are not always immediately accessible, and it is sometimes easier to grasp some of the principles through images rather than words,' said Mr Tickner.

Home and Away star Rhys Wakefield is helping Australian Red Cross promote the competition and its underlying message of embracing diversity.

'Like lots of people my age, I am concerned about discrimination and want to be a positive force in changing attitudes. Let's try and reinvent cultural history rather than relive it.'

'My message to young people is to get active, get involved and get creative - you can enter on line and see your work alongside other entries on the website, and who knows, you might just end up a winner,' said Rhys.