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Cross cutting themes

There are four significant global issues which underpin our work in the seven priority areas.

Chantelle is taking steps towards reconnecting with her community with support from Red Cross. Australian Red Cross/Matt Walker

Climate change

The impact of climate change is anticipated to lead to increased vulnerabilities in communities in Australia and further afield. Within Australia, major floods and cyclones in Queensland, NSW and Victoria in 2011 and 2012 provide an indicator of the seriousness of these events. The focus for Australian Red Cross is meeting the needs of those most vulnerable to these disasters through our work in emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

Internationally, Australian Red Cross continues to support awareness and climate change adaptation initiatives linked to health and disaster management in the Pacific. In September 2011, staff attended a workshop to explore the integration of climate change into programs, which was facilitated by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Centre’s regional representative. In Vietnam, Australian Red Cross was successful in attaining funding from AusAID for a three-year disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation program in partnership with Vietnam Red Cross and German Red Cross.


The Gender Working Group in the International Department has been providing a range of resources, tools, advice, policy input and guidance on gendered program planning since 2008/2009, and the development of resources and tools stands out as a major contribution to our work in Australia and further afield. In the past financial year, the Working Group has developed a gender audit tool which has been well received internationally by Red Cross partners. All International Program staff participated in a training program in November 2011 designed to help them better integrate gender into the program cycle – from planning through to monitoring and evaluation. Gender is also now a core unit in the pre-departure training program for Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aid workers.

Cultural diversity

Red Cross conducted its first ever census of staff and volunteers that measured country of birth, ancestry, and language spoken at home, and built a cultural diversity component into the new membership kits. A training module was introduced aimed at building inter- cultural communication skills for all new staff, and master class workshops were held for members, volunteers and staff on cultural understanding and creating an inclusive workplace as part of the Australian Red Cross National Conference. Red Cross continues its collaboration and partnership with refugee and migrant communities in Australia and with National Societies across the world.

Youth engagement

The Red Cross Youth Engagement Strategy aims to strengthen the role of young people in the humanitarian work of Red Cross, which will contribute to a dynamic and sustainable future for the organisation. This new generation of young humanitarians will add to the important work of all other volunteers and members in making a difference to the lives of vulnerable people.

Approximately 10,000 young people participated in a range of innovative and engaging events, campaigns and competitions such as the Red Cross Humanity Festivals, the Our World Your Move online recruitment campaign, and the Target 1,000 Cranes online photo competition. Across the country, there are more than 80 young humanitarians in Youth Leadership positions, approximately 3,106 young humanitarian volunteers and 557 young humanitarian members. Additionally, there are 4,745 young humanitarians following Australian Red Cross through social media channels.