Australian Red Cross is embarking on a broad ranging inclusion and diversity change program to improve ourselves and become a more inclusive organisation for employees, members, volunteers and the communities we serve.
The purpose of the first phase of the change program, Building a more inclusive Red Cross, is to establish where we are today, and most importantly, identify real and systemic changes we need to make. Red Cross recognises that this is a long term process and the first step involves a deep listening exercise with a broad range of stakeholders.
Red Cross has engaged Myriad International Consulting Services to ensure that the process of listening and learning in this first phase is conducted independently. Myriad was selected for their depth of experience in facilitating consultations with culturally and linguistically diverse stakeholders, and ability to build safe and trusting environments.
Red Cross is also supported by The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation as we actively take steps to understand and identify the culture and systems that prevent equal and culturally safe participation, and which need addressing.
The CEO continues to prioritise inclusion and diversity and was instrumental in initiating a change program. All phases of the change program, including this deep listening phase, will be overseen by the Board. We are committed to building a more inclusive organisation where every person is respected and valued, can be culturally confident and has a strong sense of belonging.
The first phase of the change program seeks to understand how people experience (or experienced) Red Cross’ structures, systems and culture. The viewpoints and experiences of all Red Cross employees, members and volunteers will be heard with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and culturally and linguistically diverse people an initial priority.
The first phase of the change program is adopting an intersectional framework to understand experiences in meaningful ways. It seeks to learn how personal identity intersects with social systems and structures within Red Cross to influence experiences of inclusion and exclusion. All Australian Red Cross employees, members and volunteers have been invited to participate in the first phase of this long term change program. Additionally, we have contacted former colleagues whose details we have.
We know that as an organisation, we have not done enough to address systemic and structural inequities. In July 2020, we publicly acknowledged the need to do better and it is something we are committed to changing. An organisation comprising of a breadth of diversity, including but not limited to, people from different ethnic groups, people with different abilities, genders, world views and perspectives, will provide Red Cross with a broader range of ideas and insights to draw on in decision-making, policy development and program delivery. An organisation that reflects the Australian community will understand its audience better, and lead to improved services and a more inclusive community for all.
The first phase of the change program is expected to take several months.