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The Unifying Power of Humanity

Monday November 26, 2007

The Hon. Jim Carlton (AO), Secretary General of Australian Red Cross from 1994-2000, has been awarded Red Cross's highest honour, the Henry Dunant medal, at a ceremony in Geneva.

'The award recognises Mr Carlton's personal commitment, important contributions to the development of humanitarian activities, and his work in promoting the Red Cross Movement's Fundamental Principles and ideals,' said Australian Red Cross chairman Greg Vickery.

'Mr Carlton is highly respected as a visionary leader. He used his knowledge and experience to make Australian Red Cross a strong and unified organisation focused on serving the most vulnerable members of society' Mr Vickery said.

A former Federal Minister for Health in the Fraser Government, Mr Carlton also served as general secretary of the New South Wales division of the Liberal Party and led two Parliamentary delegations overseas.

'We stood on different sides of politics during our respective careers in Federal Parliament, and what brings us together at Red Cross is our unified commitment to the power of humanity,' said the current CEO of Australian Red Cross, Robert Tickner, a former Labor Minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments.

'Since retiring as Secretary-General in 2000, Mr Carlton has remained an active supporter of Australian Red Cross, regularly assisting in projects and offering advice and experience, which has been greatly valued' Mr Tickner said.

Jim Carlton guided the establishment of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service through the successful integration of largely state-based and loosely coordinated blood banks into a cohesive organisation.

On a national level, he promoted International Humanitarian Law and the role of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in international humanitarian action. He also sought and received increased funding support from the Australian Government for the work of the International Red Cross in disaster relief and conflict zones.

The Henry Dunant Medal was established by the International Red Cross Conference in Vienna in 1965 and is the highest honour the Movement can bestow on a member. The award acknowledges and rewards outstanding service and acts of devotion by a member of the Movement to the Red Cross and Red Crescent cause. The Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent chooses recipients, and no more than five awards are made every two years.