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How we recruit

Our aid workers are part of the global workforce that supports the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in its operations.

Here you can read about the types of missions available, our recruitment process and what you can expect from Red Cross.

Types of missions

Emergency response

These missions are typically for 1-3 months in duration, to support disaster and crisis operations coordinated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Emergency responders need to be prepared to deploy anywhere within 48 hours.

Aid workers on our register have recently deployed to Haiti after Hurricane Matthew; Greece during the European migration operation; Iraq to support people fleeing Mosul; Angola during a Yellow Fever outbreak; and Fiji after Cyclone Winston.

Conflict and post-conflict

These missions are typically 6-18 months in duration, in areas experiencing or recovering from armed conflicts. They support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in crisis response and rehabilitation.

Recent missions have included water and habitat rehabilitation in Ukraine; psychosocial support in Syria; medical coordination in South Sudan; and detention monitoring in Burundi.


Working across the Asia-Pacific region, these missions are typically 6 - 24 months in duration. They support Australian Red Cross programs in partnership with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from the region.

Recent missions include water and sanitation in Kiribati; Cyclone Pam recovery in Vanuatu; and fresh water systems for remote communities in Timor-Leste.

Our recruitment process

Our aid workers must be able to operate in highly challenging environments, includng disaster and conflict zones.

Our recruitment process is rigorous and competitive. Only candidates with appropriate professional expertise, experience and personal competencies will be considered.

What qualifications do I need?

  • These can vary widely: from emergency management and disaster law to nursing and medicine, shelter, engineering, program management, communications, gender and disability inclusion.
  • We may also require proficiency in languages, from Arabic and French to Pashto and Dinka.
  • Experience working in humanitarian aid in a developing country, with remote Australian communities or with displaced or vulnerable people
  • Experience operating in resource-poor environments
  • Contemporary knowledge and working understanding of the humanitarian sector
  • Well-developed ability to analyse situations and make appropriate decisions
  • Extremely flexible and adaptable, at ease in ambiguous, high-intensity environments.
  • Culturally competent, able to work effectively in multicultural teams and engage in a respectful, considerate manner with local staff and communities.
  • Excellent health and emotional resilience
  • A long-term commitment to deploying, and maintaining readiness for deployment (health clearance, compliance etc).
  • Occasional voluntary remote support. This may include reviewing programs and training materials, media and communications activitis, or mentoring other aid workers.

Preference will be given to Australian residents or passport holders. This is to assist with health clearance and visa processes.

You need to be willing to accept an assignment without your family (partner, children or other dependants), and also accept that it may not be possible for your family or friends to visit you while you are on assignment. This can depend on the specific nature and location of the assignment.

What does the recruitment process involve?

Applications must demonstrate a match with the requirements of the profile.

For emergency response and ICRC deployments 

The selection process includes interviews, behavioural skill assessment and, psychometric testing, checks of professional performance, registrations and criminal history.

The final step is a six-day residential training program called IMPACT. After completing IMPACT and relevant health clearances, candidates may join the aid worker register and be considered for missions.

For development programs

Roles are advertised throughout the year as they become available. The recruitment process involves a written application and interview with relevant program managers followed by a reference and criminal history check.

What Red Cross provides


Salaries are determined by the grade of role (responsibility, seniority, technical difficulty) as well as the applicants experience .


Red Cross benefits include:

  • Round-trip travel and transportation to the field
  • Required visas and work permits
  • Accommodation on mission
  • Daily living allowance while on deployment
  • Travel and accommodation for briefing and debriefing
  • Health support (including vaccinations and medical repatriation)
  • Psychosocial support and access to specialist psychologists
  • Travel, medical and life insurance coverage
  • Superannuation for Australian residents
  • Professional development opportunities, networking, training and secondments.

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