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Tackling entrenched locational disadvantage

Red Cross works with the strengths of young people, families and local communities, meeting systemic problems with innovative and collaborative solutions.

Proud dad Gary Malcolm and his four-year-old son Gary Jr have fun learning about colours and shapes as part of Red Cross HIPPY – the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters. There are 50 HIPPY sites across Australia, where parents such as Gary are taking an increased interest in their child’s early education. (Read More) Australian Red Cross/Tertius Pickard

People experiencing ‘locational disadvantage’ live in neighbourhoods or geographic areas in which many factors create cycles of vulnerability and disadvantage. Red Cross works with children, young people and families in a wide variety of ways, assisting with planning and implementation of customised local solutions that support healthy and sustainable ways of living.

In 2011/2012, great results have been achieved in a number of related areas, notably youth health and wellbeing, food and nutrition, family programs and community development.

Red Cross utilises a range of approaches, including youth peer mentoring, community organised festivals, family support programs and more.

Red Cross firmly believes that ‘How we work is as important as what we do’. In the last 12 months Red Cross has worked to further embed its commitment to community development approaches across the organisation, including through recruitment, training and support of staff and volunteers.

Young people looking after each other

The save-a-mate program empowers young people to look after themselves and their mates, by providing information about alcohol and other drugs in a respectful, non-judgemental way. There were more than 500 save-a-mate training programs delivered in 2011/2012. In 2013 the program will be piloted in the Maldives by the Maldivian Red Crescent.

Year five student David Palm (left) and year three student Kokulaan Santhakumar (centre) enjoy a healthy start to the day at Penrith Primary School. In more than 200 breakfast clubs around the country, Red Cross volunteers prepare nutritious breakfasts for thousands of kids as a positive start to their school day. Australian Red Cross/Arunas Klupsas

Supporting families

Red Cross touches the lives of thousands of families and children each year across all its areas of work: from relief during times of emergency, assisting families of prisoners to its work supporting asylum seekers. This year, hundreds of parents and children have also been supported through family support programs during periods of transition or hardship.

Community Development

For nearly three years, Red Cross has been working with the Davenport Community near Port Augusta in South Australia. Davenport is owned by the Aboriginal Lands Trust for members of Davenport Community. An exciting new development for Davenport is the new basketball court with Red Cross helping to facilitate funding.

576 volunteers assisted young people and supported health promotion activities at 49 festivals and events nationwide.

Red Cross volunteers prepared more than 750,000 breakfasts in the last 12 months.

Eight NAIDOC week events were held in SAM Our Way sites across WA, NT, SA and QLD.