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Remembering Jim Carlton AO, former Red Cross leader

This week a state memorial service will be held in honour of Mr Jim Carlton AO, former Secretary General of Australian Red Cross (1994-2001). Mr Carlton passed away on Christmas Day, aged 80.

Monday January 11, 2016

Secretary General Jim Carlton with young landmine victims from Sudan, taking their final steps with their new artificial limbs at Lokichogio Hospital, Sudan/Kenya, 1995.

Mr Carlton's commitment to humanitarian issues was recognised in 2007 when he received the Red Cross Movement's highest honour, the Henry Dunant medal for his contribution in Australia.

After a career in politics, Mr Carlton lead the Red Cross as Secretary General, and is credited as steering the formation of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service from eight separate state and territory run blood banks to one cohesive national organisation.

Mr Carlton was also a strong advocate for International Humanitarian Law and supported the development of two important Red Cross programs - Aboriginal health and mental health - which both grew under his leadership.

When news came of the passing of Jim Carlton, former CEO of Australian Red Cross Robert Tickner described him as a "noble humanitarian" who will be sadly missed. The two formed a friendship, working alongside each other in Canberra on different sides of politics but were later united by a shared commitment to humanitarian issues.

"He actively engaged internationally as Red Cross does, and was justly recognised for his wonderful contribution to building a better world," said Mr Tickner.

Australian Red Cross President Michael Legge said Jim was an honourable man who left an enduring legacy for Red Cross. "Jim was a passionate humanitarian and showed outstanding leadership and conviction for humanitarian ideals," said Mr Legge.

"He shaped the Red Cross we know today and will be remembered for his contribution. He will also be remembered fondly by many in the Red Cross family who worked beside him and knew him personally," he said.

A state memorial service will be held on Thursday 14 January at Melbourne University. Australian Red Cross representatives will attend.