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Emergency Response Fund Bill | Running for Good | What will the world be like in 50 years?

23 October 2019

Hi everyone,

In your busy day-to-day and with so much happening across the globe, have you ever had the time to wonder what the world will be like in the next five decades?

In this survey, Quartz, a news and insights platform asked some of the boldest thinkers what their thoughts are on the future. One of them is none other than Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross. When asked what’s his best prediction for the world in 50 years, Peter said:

ā€œI would like to predict that the International Committee of the Red Cross will have closed because wars will have ceased, and humanitarian aid and protection will not be needed. But the past 100 years or more of warfare makes this seem unlikely. I expect technology to play an increasing role in war: cyber attacks, AI, nanotechnologies, combat robots, and laser weapons.ā€

I couldn’t agree more with his sentiments. The rise in the use of new and emerging technology is already happening and we are looking at how blockchain, artificial intelligence and robotics can mitigate the negative impacts and create the best outcome for humanity, like in Humanitech.  

Have a look at this series, which explores what innovation looks like as a tool for change and growth within complex institutions, and how organisations can use it to both reimagine their work and culture, and develop a more forward-looking view.

What do you think the world will be like in 50 years?

Emergency Response Fund Bill

Last week, the government introduced the Emergency Response Fund Bill 2019 as a vehicle to provide an additional funding source for future emergency response and natural disaster recovery. 

We welcome the increased funding from government on disaster preparedness. There is substantial evidence on the long-term, disruptive nature and costs of disasters on Australian lives, and Australia’s future prosperity. With more Australians at risk from disasters - as a result of more frequent and more damaging weather events, increasing population, changing settlement patterns and demography - and increasing value of assets at risk, the case has never been more compelling for an uplift in investment in disaster risk reduction.

Last year we responded to over 50 emergencies including fires, floods and cyclones, and supported 65,000 Australians affected by emergencies and disasters. And we’ll continue to provide support to those affected by recent bush fires and weather events.

Stand up for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Last week, The Family Matters Report was published revealing that the crisis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children being over-represented in the child protection systems continues to escalate at an alarming rate.

The report shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are now 10.2 times more likely to be removed from their families than non-Indigenous children while the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in out-of-home care will more than double in the next 10 years by 2028.  

If you want to understand this more, have a read at this article by The Canberra Times that shed light on the story of Kristen Gray, a Yuwaalaraay and Muruwari woman who, with her sister, was removed from her birth mother’s care when she was two. 

Running for good

Following on from the Melbourne Marathon that I wrote about last week, I want to share a story about Shane Mankitya Cook. Shane is a Peer Support Worker in the Justice and Reinvestment team in SA.  He was born on Kaurna country in SA and his family traces back to the Gwua/Wuli Wuli people of Queensland.

On 3 November, Shane will be participating in the world’s most iconic running event - the New York City Marathon, as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project. 

The project is a core program of Robert de Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Foundation. The health charity uses running to promote active and healthy lifestyles and to drive social change in disadvantaged Indigenous communities across Australia.

Each year the Indigenous Marathon Project supports 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women to train for this event in just six months. The program is not just about running a marathon, it’s a leadership program that develops and creates inspirational ‘agents of change’ and empowers young individuals with the strength, resilience and skills to make positive change and become role models in their community. Shane is the perfect example of a trailblazing young Aboriginal man who is making a huge impact in the community space including his incredible artwork.  

While in New York he is hoping to collaborate with a few artists and apply for residency opportunities for 2020. Check out Shane’s gofundme page if you’d like to support his cause.

The power of conversation; particularly unlikely ones.

I love a good podcast. Mark Duggan, who leads us in the ACT, does too! 

More than that, he was recently the Co-Chair for Anti-Poverty week in the ACT.  This was a major role for the week including all the preparations, ideas on what initiatives to run with, engaging the media etc. As part of the whole week Mark also helped to bring to life a GIVIT initiative – the Unlikely podcast series.

“In each episode of the ‘Unlikely’ podcast series, we share the story of an unlikely person who, after an unexpected or life-changing event, found themselves living in poverty.  We’ll also talk to the charity who supported them along their journey.” Mark worked with a group of people, including GIVIT, to develop the idea and then engage stakeholders to identify those clients who wanted to tell their story.

We’re also building out other podcast opportunities.  One relates to ‘Life in Australia’ and another relates to those who work in the gig economy and how they are combating loneliness. Watch this space!

The aftermath of the Queensland Monsoon

Earlier this year Townsville experienced heavy, unrelenting rain as a result of a very active monsoon trough.  Last week I was able to sit with the team in Queensland to look back at the unprecedented event, learn from it and understand what we are still doing. 

This is what I learnt.

The city and northern surrounds received a year's worth of rainfall in nine days. 3,299 damaged buildings were identified; and 8,400 people were displaced with potentially 1,591 additional people likely to be displaced.

This resulted in our biggest response since the 2011 Queensland Floods and our longest Emergency Services activations – 65 days activated

Thanks to 431 Red Cross people, we were able to support more than 52,600 community members. We went door-to-door and set up recovery centres, to offer people support during this tough time.

We made over 21,000 telephone outreach calls to households providing welfare checks and referrals to community members.We supported refugee and migrant families from the Islamic community in Townsville who had recently been moved from the suburb of Aitkenvale to the suburb of Annandale, which was subsequently inundated by the flooding.

We also supported the homeless community who have been displaced as a result of the flooding, and distributed essential food vouchers to community in need.

But our work does not stop here.

Seven months on, there are still many residents still living in temporary accommodation or with family and friends.

We will continue to assist the community to recover from this devastating event through community led recovery program, ensuring that individuals and communities affected by disasters are supported and ensuring recovery workers have the confidence to support and assist individuals and communities affected by disasters.

Talk to you next week.