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Red Cross caseworker Kathrine Hicks provides family support services in a converted chapel in Ipswich, Queensland. “We do hard issues with a soft approach. That's our goal," Kathrine says. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Renae Droop

We are committed to supporting, engaging and retaining staff and volunteers through all stages of their association with Red Cross. The launch of the strategy document Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and volunteers – a targeted approach 2013-2015 continues to ensure that Red Cross is an employer of choice for Indigenous peoples, and we employed an additional 84 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff members this year. We are delighted to have been selected as a finalist for the Indigenous Employment Award in the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) Inclusion and Diversity Awards.

New initiatives to build capacity and engagement of our staff this year included the introduction of training programs and an online learning platform to develop cultural competency skills. We continue to successfully build the level of staff involvement in activities across the organisation; our 2014 staff engagement survey achieved a response rate of 87%, compared to 63% in the previous survey in 2012. Our staff engagement score of 84% is 3% higher than the national benchmark for other organisations, suggesting that our people are invested in their work.