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International Humanitarian Action Training


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Explore the world of international aid work. Be inspired.

Become inspired by this unique, practical and informative three-day course that will introduce you to the complexities of humanitarian assistance.

In times of crisis, humanitarian assistance can be the difference between life and death for many. The Australian Red Cross' International Humanitarian Action Training (IHAT) will give you a unique insight into how aid works in practice. Learn from some of the best and most experienced aid workers about how the humanitarian sector provides life-saving healthcare, water, shelter, protection, psychosocial and other assistance to those affected by conflict and disasters.

Discover how legal frameworks, minimum standards and coordinated programing all contribute toward alleviating suffering in times of crisis and learn about what it really takes to work in the field.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what constitutes a humanitarian crisis and how we respond
  • Appreciate the legal frameworks, minimum standards and core principles of humanitarian action
  • Discover the coordination mechanisms that activate in times of crisis
  • Understand what protection means in times conflict and disaster response
  • Understand the technical requirements of humanitarian programming
  • Learn about how aid workers look after their own health, safety and security
  • Apply your learnings to real world scenarios
  • Discover career pathways for aid workers.

Is this course for you?


This course is for anyone looking to understand the core principles of humanitarian action. It's for those looking to gain or build on their knowledge of the aid sector and is particularly useful for those wanting to explore whether working in the field is right for them.

Whether you are new to the sector or have some experience in the field. The course is designed for everyone - there are no pre-requisites.

Your Facilitators

The course is facilitated by experienced aid workers from Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations. You will learn directly from those 'in the know' - facilitators who go beyond theory to share their experiences from the field, explain the realities and complexities of the aid sector, and provide information about further study and career options available to you.

Course Details

IHAT is offered several times a year in capital cities around Australia. Each course runs from 9am to 5pm for three full days and is non-residential. Participants organise their own accommodation and transport arrangements. All course rates include training materials, tea & coffee and a light lunch.

Upcoming course dates

Canberra: 11 - 13 October 2017 (Red Cross House, 3 Dann Cl, Garran, ACT)

Melbourne: 1 - 3 November 2017 (Red Cross Offices, Dhumba Rooms, 155 Pelham St, Carlton, VIC)

IHAT course fees

Participant group Cost per participant
Government, corporate and other organisations $930
Individual members of the public $820
Full-time students $690
Australian Red Cross staff members and volunteers $720

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How Aid Works

We've produced two great podcasts about how aid workers are protecting and helping kids and navigating the complex family relations they found in Nepal. Listen now »

IHAT Testimonials

"I loved it! I learnt so much about the humanitarian aid sector and it would have taken me months to find the information on my own!" Ida, IHAT participant

"It was an amazing course and I ended up in Pakistan. I can't thank you and your team enough, I learned a great deal." Abraham, IHAT participant

"I was overwhelmed by the knowledge I gained. It was humbling to share a classroom with so many different people with such diverse stories of life, studies and work experiences. The calibre of speakers, and their experiences in field work, were… encouraging and fascinating." Lisa, IHAT participant

"A comfortable and encouraging environment. I have ultimately come away achieving exactly what I had hoped to: obtaining some background knowledge and deciding whether I can see myself heading in such a direction." Sophie, IHAT participant