Main Navigation

Red Cross' work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples promoted at Swiss Embassy

An annual event to mark World Red Cross Day also highlighted Red Cross' reconciliation achievements.

Friday June 3, 2016

Kassmena Birch member of the ACT Divisonal Advisory Board, Diane Collins, Ambassador Stutz, Karla Grant, Aunty Joy Sheridan and Elaine Lomas at the Swiss Embassy in Canberra

The Swiss Embassy in Canberra hosted Red Cross staff, including new community ambassador Diane Collins and guest speaker Karla Grant.

Renowned journalist, Ms Grant spoke of seeing first hand the work of Red Cross with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

"When I covered Cyclone Marcia which hit Central Queensland early last year, I remember seeing the vital work Red Cross was doing to help many Indigenous families who had been left homeless and with out food, clothing and power. Many had lost everything. But Red Cross was there to help those in need," Ms Grant said.

"I know that Red Cross is doing vital work with Indigenous communities to create sustainable solutions, training people and motivating the next generation to make their communities better place to live."

Guests heard how reconciliation is firmly in the hearts, minds and actions at Red Cross, one year since launching our second Reconciliation Action Plan "Bright Futures" 2015-2018.

Wenda Donaldson, Red Cross Executive Director ACT/SE NSW says the event was a chance to celebrate achieving targets and creating real outcomes in employment, program and business areas.

"Across Australia we have increased staff numbers with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples now making up 6.7% of our workforce. We are building on our relationship with Career Trackers providing University students work experience across various departments. Our relationship with Supply Nation is expanding through the procurement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses."

In the ACT, we are also proud to have recently welcomed prominent community worker Diane Collins as a Red Cross Ambassador for ACT and SE /NSW. Diane addressed the audience and said she was excited to help Red Cross to strengthen our relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by empowering people to have a voice and better control of their own lives and environments.

Diane's appointment is a also a crucial step in reconciliation to develop real respect and understanding between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, their colleagues and clients.