Villagers in the town of Betio in Kiribati work with Red Cross aid worker Sam Cleary to build community toilet blocks. People are healthier and happier with clean water supplies.
Australian Red Cross/Darren James

Government funding

Legislative changes and the introduction of national programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have prompted government agencies to rethink their funding priorities and reshape their tenders, resulting in a delay in contracting new programs.

Despite the delays, we secured a two-year, $980,000 contract with the Department of Social Services to provide transport services and housing assistance for those needing care in South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. At state, territory and municipal level, we have proactively engaged with authorities to discuss collaboration opportunities in the welfare sector of the future. This has led to a significant number of contracts and partnerships with local government departments, allowing us to expand our geographical reach.

In the transition to the NDIS and with the introduction of aged care reforms, we are working closely with the Department of Social Services and Department of Health to ensure that all Australians benefit. Our focus is to work with government to make sure people who are vulnerable are not left behind. We have also shared our co-design concepts developed by people with mental illness, showcasing innovative ways to live better lives.

In tandem with the departments of Social Services, Health and Prime Minister and Cabinet, we are developing place-based approaches for communities facing significant inter-generational challenges. And all state and territory governments are involved with our justice reform agenda which aims to affect sentencing changes and increase investment in prevention, diversionary and reintegration programs.

In the emergency services area we continue to work closely with all levels of government at times of disaster, in preparedness and recovery. Red Cross has formal roles in disaster plans across the country and is activated by government authorities for key roles such as Register.Find.Reunite., psychological first aid and evacuation centre management. We have recently strengthened these arrangements in a number of jurisdictions, such as the Northern Territory where we have agreed to manage evacuation centres in the event of significant emergencies such as the Daly River floods in 2016.

To respond to the needs of migrants in transition, we have strong and effective relationships with a number of federal government departments and at State/Territory government level. This includes our ongoing work to monitor the conditions in detention facilities, with reports to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and significant support to asylum seekers through contracted programs.

Our close collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) continues under the Partnership Agreement which includes the Humanitarian Agreement, a $28.8 million, multi-year partnership aimed at strengthening disaster preparation and resilience in Asia-Pacific communities. The agreement is complemented by the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, a separate agreement with the two adding up to $38.5 million over four years. A further $3 million in funding from DFAT helped us deliver a range of projects, including the Pacific Humanitarian Challenge, the Civil Society Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund and local programs. Our partnership with DFAT is a two-way dialogue focussed on localising humanitarian action, improving collective impact and concentrating on disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

Our work is prioritised around four interconnected themes:

  1. disaster risk management
  2. health (including water, sanitation and hygiene)
  3. protection, gender and inclusion
  4. the institutional strengthening of local Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies.

Our International Humanitarian Law (IHL) work is undertaken in partnership with key government departments, including DFAT, Attorney General’s Department and the Australian Defence Force. Each is part of our National IHL Committee which oversees our commitments, including pledges made by government and Red Cross at international meetings of the Movement, held every four years. Australian Red Cross directly supports government to meet its obligations to the dissemination of IHL, and the Laws of War.

At state, territory and municipal level, we have proactively engaged with authorities to discuss collaboration opportunities in the welfare sector of the future. This has led to a significant number of contracts and partnerships with local government departments, allowing us to expand our geographical reach.


Several generous major donors contributed significantly towards our programs, donating more than $2.3 million last year. The ongoing Syrian crisis, the East Africa Food Crisis Appeal and other programs in the Asia-Pacific region benefited from this funding, as did our disaster relief and recovery programs. Of note is the generous supporter who donated the profits from selling their house.

Our dynamic giving circle, the Australian Red Cross Society of Women Leaders, grew to 45 members and continued to excel in their philanthropic endeavours, raising $414,000 towards humanitarian initiatives chosen by members.

The Society of Women Leaders gave $150,000 to our Young Parents Program and $112,000 to a health project in Indonesia assisting mothers and children in remote communities. Their generosity also provided funding towards other programs, including two female aid workers in East Africa; asylum seekers facing destitution; daily phone calls to the elderly and isolated, as well as tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind support.

Corporate partners

We work alongside the corporate community to build meaningful partnerships and we would like to thank the many businesses which have supported us to assist the most vulnerable communities. Our partnerships include in-kind support, corporate volunteering, fundraising and raising awareness across social media channels.

Our global partnership with Land Rover supports our Strategy 2020 goal of preparing three million people for disasters by providing access to resources. A changing climate makes this goal critically important and our ongoing work with Insurance Australia Group Limited will continue to build resilience among communities facing crisis.

Thank you to the following corporate partners which provided more than $50,000 in support this year:

  • Global Partners
  • Land Rover

  • Community Partners
  • ALDI
  • Aurizon
  • Australia Post
  • Charter Hall
  • Country Road
  • Disney - Australia
  • First National Foundation
  • Inpex
  • Insurance Australia Group (IAG)
  • Kathmandu
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • Medibank Private Limited
  • Sanitarium
  • Super Retail Group
  • The Cheesecake Shop
  • Uber
  • Worley Parsons

  • Emergency & Disaster Response Supporters
  • Australia and New Zealand Bank
  • Coles
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • Connell Brothers
  • Conoco Phillips
  • Crane
  • Diageo
  • Deloitte
  • First National
  • Insurance Australia Group (IAG)
  • Industrie
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Land Rover (Jaguar Land Rover) Pty Ltd
  • Medibank Pty Ltd
  • National Australia Bank Limited
  • Novartis Pharmaceuticals
  • QBE
  • Rio Tinto
  • Ritchies IGA
  • SC Johnson
  • Shell
  • Smith & Nephew
  • Stockland
  • Suncorp
  • Tabcorp

We thank Allens law firm for its significant pro-bono contributions to our International programs.

Workplace giving

Small change can lead to big changes and our workplace giving program operates with this philosophy in mind. We are thankful to our 248 workplace giving partners who this year contributed more than $1 million to support our work. Individual employees contribute regular donations through their pre-tax pay and many employers match their employees’ contributions.

We would like to acknowledge our top 10 workplace giving partners, who contributed 44% of our total income in this area:

  • Telstra Corporation
  • Lion
  • Orora Business Services
    (new in top 10 for 2016-17)
  • National Australia Bank Limited
  • Australia and New Zealand Bank
  • BHP Billiton
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia
  • Stockland Development
    (new in top 10 for 2016-17)
  • King & Wood Mallesons
  • AMP

An outpouring of grief followed the tragic accident at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast and our volunteers were there to offer support.
Australian Red Cross/Susan Cullinan

Trusts, foundations and private ancillary funds

Support from trusts, foundations and private ancillary funds totalled more than $3.3 million, a 38% increase on last year.

Through generous gifts and grants, trusts and foundations fund pilot projects and contribute to key services. This year Collier Charitable Fund, Law Society Public Purposes Trust and The Law Foundation of South Australia Incorporated supported justice reinvestment initiatives in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Perpetual continued its support for community-based health and first aid, Motorola Solutions Foundation supported disaster preparedness for people with additional needs while the Ernest Heine Family Foundation and William Angliss (Victoria) Charitable Fund supported food security programs. The Miller Foundation Ltd donated to our East Africa Food Crisis Appeal.

We extend our thanks to the following trusts, foundations and private ancillary funds which each contributed more than $20,000 in 2016/2017:

  • Carmichael Memorial Fund managed by Equity Trustees
  • Bloomfield Group Foundation
  • Brian M Davis Charitable Foundation
  • Cameron Foundation
  • The Charles Bateman Charitable Trust managed by Perpetual
  • Clayton Utz Foundation
  • Colin Bisdee Trust (managed by Tasmanian Perpetual Trustees)
  • Collier Charitable Fund
  • The Enigma Charitable Trust
  • The Ernest Heine Family Foundation
  • Evolhope Trust
  • Give Where You Live Foundation
  • Goldie Knight Foundation
  • The John and Beryl May Henderson Foundation managed by Perpetual
  • Lady Proud Foundation
  • The Law Foundation of South Australia Incorporated
  • Law Society Public Purposes Trust
  • Lord Mayor’s Community Trust
  • The Miller Foundation Ltd
  • Motorola Solutions Foundation
  • Percy Baxter Charitable Trust managed by Perpetual
  • Perpetual Foundation – The Jean and Redvers Dunbar Charitable Foundation
  • Perpetual Trustees
  • Philandron Foundation
  • Profield Foundation
  • The Reuben Meyer Trust Fund
  • Ronald Geoffrey Arnott Foundation managed by Perpetual
  • Sisters of St John of God
  • William Angliss (Victoria) Charitable Fund
  • Youanmi Foundation