Together with the Australian Government and leading humanitarian agencies, we launched an appeal that raised $2.5 million to help families fleeing violence in Myanmar. And with our community partners, we successfully advocated for more government support for people who had been forced into marriage.
Meanwhile, all over Australia, our volunteers and members made the connections that keep our humanitarian mission alive. We can count their contribution in terms of calls made, trips driven, goods distributed, boxes packed, doors knocked on, shoulders cried on, events held and funds raised – but we know its value is far greater than that.
They helped people connect to their community, to long-lost loved ones, to resources, to opportunity, and to their own strength and potential.
This report explains not only how Red Cross helped this year, or our financial position at its end, but also the lessons we learned from success and failure along the way.
I’m proud to have been involved with Red Cross since 2005: first on the Victorian Divisional Board, then Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee plus a member of the International Federation’s Finance Commission, then Deputy President of Australian Red Cross from 2011-2017. This year, I’m prouder still to be a leader of an organisation that is working steadily through enormous change, while contributing meaningfully to Australia’s future.
Thank you for your support and passion for Red Cross and I look forward to the year to come.
I can’t imagine my life without the great connections I have. Connection is the thread that runs through all our work at Red Cross, and through all healthy and sustainable communities.
I met a volunteer from our Community Visitors Scheme who told me this story: she regularly visited a client, a talented artist who was losing her sight. And this was heartbreaking for her. And so the volunteer, who had never painted a picture in her life, asked the client to teach her how to paint. Because of this connection, which Red Cross made possible, one person could pass on her gift of art, and another could learn a completely new skill.
Imagine if we could replicate those connections, millions of times across Australia. What a society we’d be.
That’s what we’re working towards. Connecting those who can help to those who need help; individuals to their communities; innovative thinkers to great causes; and people to their own strength and capacity.
Many things made me proud this year. Both directly and together with others, we supported 11,000 people seeking asylum to complete their applications for protection. Five hundred teams signed on to our Beat Loneliness campaign, taking a team approach to tackle an issue that more than half of all Australians experience. We ran two major international appeals and we were there for Australians in more than 300 emergencies.