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Aussie kids learn about disaster preparedness with Pillowcase workshops

28 August 2023

Australia Post will lend a helping hand to high-risk communities across Australia by supporting Australian Red Cross deliver Pillowcase workshops, an initiative aiming to help kids in schools across the nation understand the importance of being prepared for a disaster.

Since 2019, Australia Post has raised more than $1.8 million for Australian Red Cross and contributed towards supporting 470,000 people across 133 emergency events.

Over the next three years, Australia Post is expanding its support to include the Pillowcase workshops, a disaster preparedness education program for 8- to 10-year-old students living in areas at high risk of disaster, like bushfires and flooding. The workshops teach kids practical skills like what to pack for an emergency and how to prepare their minds for the thoughts and feelings that may arise before, during and after an emergency.

Australia Post will support Australian Red Cross to provide Pillowcase workshops and resources – including supplying the emergency kit pillowcases – aimed to reach around 6,000 children a year.

Australia Post Executive General Manager of Community, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, Tanny Mangos, said that Australia Post’s unique presence in regional and remote Australian communities meant it was important to contribute to, and support, disaster resilience.

“Working in every community across Australia, our team members are often at the frontline of disaster. We see firsthand how a disaster can affect a community and we want to do what we can to provide support.

“Ahead of what is already being predicted as a hot, dry summer, our work with Australian Red Cross on Pillowcase is especially critical. The workshops and resources will arm children in high-risk areas with practical skills in the event of extreme weather like bushfires.

“Australia Post has supported communities via Australian Red Cross since 2019, including during recent intense flooding in Queensland and northern NSW. We also work hard to ensure mail redirection services and pop-up post offices are available to Australians when they need them.

“Pillowcase workshops help young Australians in high-risk areas to prepare for a major disaster before they are in the thick of one.”

Australian Red Cross Chief of Staff Penny Harrison said the partnership would strengthen community resilience and that empowering children to feel safe and prepared for emergencies is a vital piece of the puzzle for building a more disaster ready Australia.

“As disasters increase across Australia so does the impact on our communities and wellbeing. The impacts of these events on people can be significant and long lasting, especially in children, they extend beyond the physical to their psychological and social wellbeing.

“Australian Red Cross work to reduce the impacts of disasters on people. Evidence and research continue to show that preparing both psychologically and practically for an emergency improves people’s ability to cope with their impacts.

“I am thrilled that Australia Post is supporting this vital work. Thanks to their support we can provide more children with age- appropriate emergency preparedness information, empowering our younger generation with the skills and knowledge to effectively respond during emergencies.”

Australian Red Cross media enquiries, please contact: Lilly Ward, Senior Media Adviser 0420 501 079

About Australia Post: As Australia’s postal service for more than 200 years, we’re at the heart of every community. Last financial year we delivered more than 2.7 billion items around the country and carried out more than 220 million transactions across one of Australia's largest retail networks of more than 4,300 Post Offices. We employ people of all ages, genders, and abilities in our extended workforce of more than 64,000 to reflect the diverse communities we operate in. We are proud to be included in the inaugural Indigenous Employment Index with 3 percent of our workforce identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and we are the largest Australian employer to be certified as a Disability Confident Recruiter.

About Australian Red Cross: Australian Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian organisation. As an organisation independent of government and with no political, religious or cultural affiliations, we bring people and communities together in times of need and build on community strengths. We do this by mobilising the power of humanity and through our core areas of expertise including Emergency Services, Migration Support, International Humanitarian Law, Community Programs and working with other Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to build their capacity and respond to humanitarian emergencies overseas.

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