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Who we are

in Australia and overseas

Our water and sanitation programs include hygiene promotion campaigns, training of community based educators and the distribution of hygiene material to minimise potential health risks in communities. IFRC/Asri Zaidir.

At all times our Fundamental Principles guide us in our actions:

  • Humanity
  • Impartiality
  • Neutrality
  • Independence
  • Voluntary service
  • Unity
  • Universality

We support vulnerable people in our communities

For almost 100 years we have been focused on improving lives and reducing vulnerability in Australia and overseas. We reconnect families separated by war and conflict, provide breakfasts to school children, help people and families in crisis, check on the wellbeing of elderly Australians each day, support newly arrived asylum seekers and help people prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters.

Australian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, comprising the National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

We are one of more than 180 National Societies around the world

As a National Society, we work as auxiliary to government and public authorities in the humanitarian field and provide a range of services including disaster relief, health and social programs.

We are there to help when disaster strikes

We are guided and supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to provide international assistance following natural and man-made disasters in non-conflict situations. The Federation combines its relief operations with development work and the promotion of humanitarian values.

We protect people in times of violence and conflict

Together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which celebrates 150 years in 2013, we aim to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, with offices in 80 countries, the ICRC visits prisons, organises relief operations, reunites separated families and undertakes other humanitarian activities during armed conflicts.


Formation of the Australian Branch of the British Red Cross Society.


Junior Red Cross is formally established in Australia.


Australia is recognised as a National Society by the International Committee of the Red Cross.


The Blood Transfusion Service in Victoria commences.