Aspiring young Red Cross members at University of NSW are paving the way for humanitarian careers to make a positive difference in the world
Wednesday February 25, 2015
Mickey Nguyen (centre) together with Sara (left) and Meherunnessa (right) organised the conference. Kara (far left) flew in from QLD to attend and Patrick (far right) joined from University of Western Sydney
Students at the University of NSW (UNSW) hosted the first ever Red Cross Graduate Skills Conference during Orientation Week this year, to give young people an insight into becoming part of the humanitarian sector.
Commerce or law are easy careers to visualise a career path for, but for people who are passionate about humanitarian relief, the path is not always as clear.
Mickey Nguyen is President of the University of NSW Red Cross University Club and he knows a lot of students who care about humanitarian issues, but are not necessarily sure of how to make a career of it.
"People at the Red Cross uni club are definitely interested in helping out, but humanitarian careers aren't displayed like a career in law or commerce, and are unfortunately perceived as unstable by comparison to high flying professions like investment banking for example," says Mickey.
"That's what inspired this two day conference - to give people the knowledge to pursue a humanitarian career and show them how to approach the humanitarian sector.
Being a part of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, whether as a career, a volunteer or as a member, is something young people should care about, according to Mickey.
"The world's never going to stop needing humanitarian services, whether its disaster relief internationally or domestic services at home. Young people should pay particular attention to Red Cross because it's one of the oldest and largest humanitarian organisations and has witnessed humanity's needs changing right from the First World War in Australia, from disease, to conflict to natural disasters."
For Mickey, the inspiration for joining the Red Cross was very personal, and reflects the international scope of the work of the Red Cross Red Crescent around the world.
"My interest in Red Cross actually began before I was born. My family were immigrants from Vietnam after the war, and were refugees from Indonesia. My grandmother says Red Cross was very helpful in terms of helping them settle into Australia. It did play a vital part during the war."
"I feel with an education that I've received, that I have an obligation to help others. If I can help one family, that could become ten families, and ripple into a thousand more.
"Since Red Cross had shown my family kindness, it's not so hard for me to do the same," he says.
If you are like Mickey and want to do something worthwhile, which could help change your life and the lives of others, you can join Red Cross and become a Young Humanitarian.
That way you can find out more about a career in aid or the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, and learn more about the amazing work of Red Cross.