From Beirut to Haiti, from earthquakes to hurricanes, to civil war and Ebola epidemics, Australian Red Cross International Aid Workers are there in times of disaster and crises, and on Wednesday April 19th they are being recognised for their service at the Red Cross International Service Medal ceremony in Melbourne, Victoria.
Tuesday April 18, 2017
The award is in recognition of outstanding service by International Aid Workers who represent Australian Red Cross overseas - the first and only Red Cross award of its kind.
The seven International Aid Workers that have been selected had to show 'exemplary service of a commendable nature over a lengthy period of time', as stated in the official selection criteria.
"Of course every aid worker we send into the field is highly skilled, highly experienced and at the top of their respective careers, so it was a very tough choice to decide on who should receive the award. These particular aid workers are being recognised for their long and outstanding service across many disasters and crises the world over. We're very lucky to have such incredible people working with us" said Peter Walton, Director, International at Australian Red Cross.
Incredible indeed, award recipient Barbara McMasters has worked as a surgical ward nurse in some of the most dangerous places in the world: from Afghanistan to Yemen and Pakistan among others. Joanna Klinge, Australian Red Cross HR Partner of International Deployments describes her as "being tough as nails with a heart of gold.
"Where there's blood shed, mass casualties, villages destroyed or epidemic outbreaks there's Barb. There seems to be no country too dangerous" says Joanna.
Australian Red Cross has been sending aid workers overseas to prepare and respond to disasters and crises since the 1960s. They are recognised internationally as some of the best in the field.
Other recipients of the 2017 Red Cross International Service Medal are aid workers Catherine Gearing, Christopher Howe, Kathryn Clarkson, Peter McArdle, Michael Denison and Ruth Jebb.
Want to discover more about the world of aid work? Have a listen to our How Aid Works podcast
Australian Red Cross International Aid Worker Barbara McMasters