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Ways of working

How we work is as important as what we do.

These Ways of Working guidelines apply to all our programs and services and inform our work at all times.

Applying the Fundamental Principles

All Red Cross work is guided by the seven Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement - Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.

Working as auxiliary to government and public authorities

As auxiliary to the public authorities in the humanitarian field, Red Cross is afforded a unique position in the humanitarian sector which includes a specific mandate in times of war but extends to many other humanitarian activities such as disasters and emergencies.

Building on strengths

Recognising and focusing on the inherent strengths of all people, we actively work to ensure that individuals and communities are empowered to have a voice and to be more able to take control of their own lives and environments. This includes providing support to develop their own goals and to access necessary resources, skills development, social connections and services to achieve those goals.

Focusing on prevention through early intervention

While we will continue to support and respond to crises that emerge, we will focus on the early identification and response to issues that can prevent further vulnerability and help to break the cycle of disadvantage, wherever possible.

Working with partners and avoiding duplication

We work in partnership with community groups, business, governments and other not-for profit organisations to identify and respond to needs in communities and seek to complement rather than duplicate their efforts.

Embracing community development approaches

We use community development approaches and principles in our work. Through these, we work to empower and support communities to create their own solutions which improve overall social cohesion and achieve sustainable long term change.

Acting on evidence

Our work is informed by, and contributes to, empirical evidence of what works. We draw on international and local research and experience to deliver well planned, measured, and evaluated programs and services.

Advocating for vulnerable people

Red Cross advocacy (or humanitarian diplomacy), is aimed at persuading and influencing decision makers and opinion leaders to act at all times in the interests of vulnerable people, and with full respect for fundamental humanitarian principles.

Valuing voluntary service

We invest in communities and volunteers by increasing voluntary service in communities as a vital enabler of personal growth, community strengthening and social cohesion.

Focusing on areas of locational disadvantage to help build stronger communities

We are committed to a place-based, collaborative and joined-up approach - working in disadvantaged areas with people in greatest need. This is done through adopting a community development approach, working closely with other agencies and applying rigorous analysis of available research.

Engaging young people

We are committed to engaging young people to support our vision, contribute to our work, and become our future leaders. We also work to ensure that our services and activities are accessible to young people from all backgrounds.

Embracing diversity

We promote diversity in all its forms and, in particular, we actively seek to combat racism and intolerance. We foster a diverse and culturally aware workforce and strive to understand and respond to the needs of the diverse individuals and communities with whom we work.

Ensuring gender is a key consideration in everything we do

We acknowledge that there is a gender dimension in everything we do and in every program we operate and we therefore seek to identify and respond to the differing needs of men and women. We are committed to achieving gender equality and to addressing gender discrimination through our programs and at all levels of our organisation.

Acknowledging the impact of climate change

We recognise that climate change has an impact on the vulnerability of people and communities in Australia and in the Asia Pacific region and we seek to respond to this wherever possible, with a particular focus on adaptation.

As a signatory to the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct, we are committed to high standards in financial reporting, management and ethical practice. Further information on the code and its complaints handling procedure is available at

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