The Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret’d), is the Patron of the Australian Red Cross Society. This year he supported Red Cross in a number of ways, including brightening the days of some of our clients in Canberra for National Meals on Wheels Day.
The Governor-General also kindly assists us in celebrating World Red Cross Day each year, which marks the birthday of the founder of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, Henri Dunant, and is celebrated by national societies around the world.
Council of the Society of Australian Red Cross
Meeting once a year at the Annual General Meeting, the Council’s responsibilities include receiving reports and financial statements and electing and appointing Office Bearers and Additional Board Members. The Council is made up of the President and 53 voting members, including all members of the Australian Red Cross Board, up to six Special Councillors and 32 members elected or appointed by the Divisional Advisory Boards (DABs) of each state and territory, one of whom must be a youth member from each state and territory.
Membership of the Council
Special Councillors: Greg Vickery AO, Winifred Smith AM, John Hood, Michael Howarth, John MacLennan and Aisling Blackmore
Council members appointed or elected by each Divisional Advisory Board:
- ACT Division: Prudence Buckland, Catherine Walsh, Ritu Clementi and Natasha Chabbra
- NSW Division: Margaret Kiehne, Anne Knox, John Davis and Andrew Horne
- NT Division: Foster Stavridis, Heather Prendergast, Deven Patel and Lana Sobieralski
- QLD Division: Maureen Farrington, Greg Goebel, Kay McDuff and Tasman Bain
- SA Division: Rebecca Hyde, Jillian Morphett, Chris Kwong and Georgia Hagias
- TAS Division: Odile Glen, Nigel Morrison and Matthew Etherington (one position vacant)
- VIC Division: Garry Nolan, Helene Hayes, Lynne Jones and Alison Crowe
- WA Division: Jag Atrie, Kevin Poynton and John Regan (one position vacant)
Australian Red Cross Board
The role of the Board is to govern the activities of the Society. In doing so, the Board works to ensure that Red Cross acts in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) regulations, the International Movement’s protocols and the fundamental principles of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. It also develops and maintains ethical standards based on a Code of Conduct and Conflict of Interest Policy.
Comprising up to 16 members, the Board includes the President, Deputy President, Audit and Risk Committee Chair, Youth Member, Chair or nominee of each of the eight Divisional Advisory Boards (DABs) from every state and territory, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) Chair and up to three Additional Board Members. While they are not members of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary attend Board meetings throughout the year.
The Board is made up entirely of volunteers. We do not provide payment for serving as a Board Member but we sometimes provide reimbursement for reasonable travel and other expenses incurred in connection with Red Cross activities.
Ensuring good governance is a key Board responsibility. This includes overseeing mechanisms to provide for compliance with legal requirements and regulations, while safekeeping the ongoing financial viability of Red Cross. The Board monitors and periodically evaluates its own performance and strives to have a skilled and diverse membership in place. It also establishes and implements a recognition process that acknowledges the efforts of volunteers, members and staff.
The Board met seven times during the financial year.
A = Meetings held during the period of office of the Board Member
B = Meetings attended by the Board Member
C = Meetings attended by an alternate of the Board Member (Divisional Advisory Board Chairs only)
Australian Red Cross Board Members
Committees of the Board
Six Red Cross Board Committees met during the year, all of which include Board Members. The Board also appoints various other committees, including advisory committees and specialist committees which are established for short-term, specific or ad hoc purposes. The Committees of the Board include:
Audit and Risk Committee: Assists the Board in ensuring that Red Cross meets its essential audit and risk compliance requirements.
Finance Committee: Assists the Board in ensuring that Red Cross meets its essential financial requirements.
National Awards Committee: Approves nominations for awards and makes recommendations for ways to acknowledge the efforts of Red Cross people.
National Youth Advisory Committee: Advises the Board and consults on youth policies and programs, including youth engagement and leadership opportunities.
Nominations and Remuneration Committee: Supports and advises the Board regarding appointments of Board Members, succession planning, remuneration and employment, induction, training and education programs.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) Advisory Committee: Provides independent advice to the Board on all technical and safety issues. Ensures the highest standards of medical and scientific practice and product safety are met.