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#CallforCode, Tiddas 4 Tiddas + Help Australian Farmers Appeal – A Year On

10 July 2019


Hi everyone,

What do facial recognition, data sharing and our very own Get Prepared app have in common? Well might you ask! 

They are all part of a winning idea which was hatched last weekend. It was part of a collaboration with IBM to explore solutions for supporting communities before, during and after emergencies. It’s part of #CallforCode, IBM’s global multi-year initiative that inspires developers to solve pressing global problems with sustainable software solutions.

The IBM Design Garage team facilitated a two-day workshop hosted by Red Cross to explore opportunities to prepare for and improve the disaster recovery experience of Australians. It brought together 15 people with lived experience of the Tathra bushfires and various Queensland floods to explore the problems they faced before, during and after the disaster.

Guided by the IBM team’s design thinking approaches including empathy and journey mapping, the group identified and prioritised common pain points and potential solutions to reduce or remove them.

Help Australian Farmers Appeal – A year on

Antoine, Red Cross worker, talks to Anne Pratt, a Queensland farmer affected by the 2018 drought

It’s been nearly a year since Australians responded so generously to the "Help Australian Farmers Appeal" we ran last August. We launched the appeal to give all Australians a chance to support those farming families who were in the parts of Australia which were experiencing extreme drought.

A total of 7,452 grants were provided totalling just over $11.5 million. Farming families used the grants to pay household bills and rates, cover school and vehicle costs, and pay for groceries and other living expenses. A huge thank you to our distribution partners: the Country Women’s Association (NSW, Qld and SA), Rural Business Support (SA) and Rural Financial Counselling Service (VIC) who provided the grants. 

While our appeal funds have now been spent, help is still available for farmers. The drought is not yet over and we’re still supporting drought-affected communities. 

We’re also running drought-specific recovery programs in NSW and Qld, including Let’s Talk, which brings rural communities together to stay connect and support each other. Let’s Talk has supported events like sheepdog schools, ‘pamper days’, charity bike rides, trade and social media workshops and family fun days. 

Tiddas 4 Tiddas

Marlee Silva, 23 years old, is a proud Kamilaroi, Dunghutti woman. Marlee is also the Chair of our National Youth Advisory Committee. From 7 July Marlee will host, with her sister, a new podcast Tiddas 4 Tiddas (which means Sisters for Sisters) each Sunday, sharing powerful stories of some of our brightest and most interesting Indigenous women in Australia. To kick this off, Mia Freedman from Mamamia recently spoke with Marlee to learn about the day Marlee saw herself differently and how Marlee has turned this experience into a driver for positive change.

Catching up with Zahra and Tiyana

Photo: REDxYouth

Lastly, don’t forget to join Zahra and Tiyana from REDxYouth on Tuesday 16 July, from 7 to 8pm. They’ll be sharing their reflections and insights from their recent experience at the 4th Red Cross International Youth Meeting in Solferino.

There will be a Q&A after the presentation, so come prepared with your questions and ideas. Here’s a short clip of their trip to get you started.

Holidays are holidays and blog takeover!

It is a fairly short blog this week because half of my week was spent on holidays. Next week I’m also on holidays. I’m a firm believer that ‘holidays are for holidays’ so I won’t be writing the blog next week. So it is time for a blog takeover – that is, for you to share your stories and thoughts about what is going on and the work of Red Cross. Peter Walton, who will be CEO in my absence, will pick up what you share and add his own perspectives and ideas. Please share your stories for the blog takeover with Mel by Monday 22 July.

That’s all for this week. Chat to you soon.