Around 20,700 volunteers brought their diverse skills and energy to our services and supported Red Cross Shops and administrative functions. Many volunteers showed their extraordinary dedication by choosing to spend Christmas 2015 in evacuation centres, supporting communities in the NT and Victoria who were facing floods and fires. We want our volunteers to reflect the full diversity of Australian society, and in the coming year we’ll continue reaching out to welcome Indigenous volunteers, people living with disability, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 16% of our volunteers this year were under the age of 30*; next year we’d like to welcome a larger cohort of young people to support their communities through Red Cross.
Age was unknown for 15% of volunteers, so actual proportion may be higher.
Volunteers spent more than 100,000 hours on the phone with elderly, isolated or otherwise vulnerable people
Members and young humanitarians
Members are powerful and trusted advocates who act as a strong local voice for Red Cross in their communities. Members advocate for us in their networks, volunteer with our programs and in stores, raise money to support our work, and drive local events and activities. Our membership base remains stable year-to-year, at around 20,000 people on average. While the majority of members (approximately 65%) belong to community branches, units and clubs, our independent and youth members are emerging groups that we wish to grow and diversify. As young people represent the future of our organisation, we were pleased that over 40% of our new members this year were people under 30.
More than 19,600 members are local champions of humanity
More than 460,000 blood donors helped Australian patients receive the life-saving blood products they need. Joining this band of loyal volunteers were 94,220 people who donated blood for the first time. We are proud that 92.6 per cent of donors rated their experience visiting our blood donor centres as satisfactory or better.
Almost 1.3 million blood donations were made across Australia this year
More than 2,300 staff served as the backbone of our services and operations. At the close of the financial year, our staff were 72% female and 28% male; this remains unchanged from last year. We are proud that 21% of our staff are young people under 30 and 7.7% are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander†.
† This information solely reflects our Humanitarian Services division and excludes the Blood Service. For more information about the Blood Service and its people, view its annual report available at donateblood.com.au
Our staff stay with us for over 4 years on average
Our aid workers were on the frontlines of major crises around the world. They helped restore water supplies for families in Syria, organised emergency shelter for those who lost homes to Cyclone Winston in Fiji, coordinated volunteer teams to help migrants arriving in Greece, and cared for the last patients of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone. They are expert specialists in various areas, carefully selected for their challenging jobs and supported in the field.
Several aid workers also gave their time to our How Aid Works podcast, providing listeners with rare and honest insights into the world of humanitarian aid.
Our aid workers completed 143 missions in 51 countries this year
Our ambassadors built positive engagement with our work through their personal networks and appearances on behalf of Red Cross. Dr Munjed Al Muderis donated his time to multiple events including World Red Cross Day celebrations and our community event to launch SBS' Go Back To Where You Came From series, while his profile increased over the year due to several positive media stories on his refugee journey and ground-breaking work as a surgeon. Chris Bath and Bob Handby travelled to Timor-Leste to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of clean water and sanitation, with Chris' story on the trip leading directly to a $30,000 donation towards clean water in Timor-Leste.
We thank the following people for their support as Red Cross ambassadors this year:
Patron: His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)
Dr Munjed Al Muderis
Prof Melanie Oppenheimer
Alex Van Os
Poh Ling Yeow