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'Close my eyes'

Monday May 8, 2006

Red Cross this morning launched a song celebrating the unwavering commitment of Red Cross volunteers.

The song 'Close my Eyes' was written specifically for the Red Cross by Greg Arnold, front man of iconic Australian band Things of Stone and Wood. Greg is joined on the recording by former Midnight Oil drummer, Rob Hirst, and Paul Greene, member of the critically acclaimed act Hirst and Greene.

Said Greg: 'This song was inspired by the realisation that it is so easy to ignore all the terrible news in the world. The onslaught of images one sees and hears via various media outlets can make us emotionally immune.'

'I find the Red Cross a powerfully inspiring institution - most significantly because it is a "machine made of people" and the individuals who dedicate their lives to humanitarian work refuse to close their eyes and turn their backs,' he said.

According to Robert Tickner, CEO of Australian Red Cross, 'Close my Eyes' articulates the humanitarian spirit that drives the Red Cross movement.

'Red Cross volunteers in Australia and right around the world are part of a remarkable humanitarian tradition. Wherever they are, and whatever role they play, Red Cross volunteers share a commitment to work with the most vulnerable people in their communities,' he said.

'Put simply, they refuse to close their eyes.'

The song was launched at an event held this morning at the State Library of New South Wales, as part of nationwide celebrations for World Red Cross Day. The launch was co-hosted by Australian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Australian Red Cross, as a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, is a part of the world's largest voluntary network, with 97 million volunteers active in 183 countries. In Australia about 26,000 volunteers regularly give their time to support the more than 60 services run by the Red Cross right across the country.