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Mandatory mask wearing in VIC | Volunteering in the Decade of Action | REDxYouth Climate:RED Design Jam

24 July 2020

Mandatory mask wearing in VIC

We’ve had a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases in recent days. Following the Victorian government announcement, starting yesterday, people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will now be required to wear a face covering when leaving home. The fine for not wearing a face covering after 22 July will be $200. Plus a reminder that there are only limited reasons why those in Melbourne can leave home.

For the few of you who need to come to a Red Cross office or workspace, you will need to wear masks. The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that people working inside Red Cross premises will need to wear a face mask on and from yesterday, Thursday 23 July.

At this stage, the requirement for masks applies to all of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. Mask supplies at our shops and offices in Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are sufficient with further supplies coming in next week. 

In NSW, significant work has been occurring in the background to ensure that we are prepared and know the steps that need to be taken for whatever may progress. We are putting a pause on taking any more steps for returning to face to face activities and Red Cross workplaces for a period of  three weeks effective Thursday 23 July. This will allow time to see what happens in NSW and if further restrictions are introduced by Government we won’t need to make as many changes. We will review this position and advise you of next steps before Friday 14 August.

If you’re a volunteer or member, you can contact your local Community Mobilisation Team by phone on 1800 833 489 if you have any questions. You and your immediate family are also able to access confidential support through our employee and volunteer assistance provider Converge International if this would be of benefit to you. Please call 1300 687 327 (1300 287 432 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples hotline). Bookings can also be made online

A huge thank you to everyone providing help during this time. We’re on the phone providing useful information and linking people to the support they need – whether that’s essential food, links to mental health services or support for families. We're also working in partnership with local government and community services, and helping people to access appropriate and in-language health information.

Wherever you are, please continue to look after yourselves and one another, and keep up the kindness. I understand this may be worrying for some of us who have been juggling family and work. If you require any additional support over this time with regards to flexibility, please talk to your manager. 

Volunteering in the Decade of Action 

I mentioned last week that I’ll be sharing some of the ideas that came out from ‘Reimagining Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda’ - a virtual meeting co-chaired by the International Federation of the Red Cross, Red Crescent and UN Volunteers program occurred over three days.

The outcome of the event was a global call to action on next-generation volunteering to help deliver the 2030 Agenda.

The Call to Action on Volunteering in the Decade of Action outlines seven key areas that require urgent action:

  1. Scale up access to volunteering and volunteering opportunities across the SDGs 
  2. Ensure that volunteering is well supported beyond formal, organisation-based opportunities
  3. Address inequalities and risks in volunteering
  4. Strengthen structures for people’s ownership of development processes through volunteering
  5. Create new models for voluntary action to supercharge ideas to solutions
  6. Measure the impact on well-being of volunteers and the 2030 Agenda
  7. Strengthen the alignment of volunteer efforts with SDG gaps and challenges

The Global Technical Meeting on Reimagining Volunteering for the 2030 Agenda shone the light at alternative visions and models of volunteering support that are fit for the future. Here are a few of my favourite quotes from this session:


“Our understanding of volunteering and the structures that support it need to evolve as we face new challenges and realities." - Fine Tuitupou-Arnold, Secretary General of the Cook Islands Red Cross.

“Reimagined humanitarian volunteering goes beyond just helping communities to be resilient and survive but rather to a much broader change agenda for a new flourishing future for all of us." - Aranthi Krishnan, Humanitarian Futures and Strategic Foresight Advisor Australia

“We know that70% of volunteering is done informally but as organisations we are still implementing policies and frameworks around volunteering that’s based on formal linear models … we are like trying to solve 21st century problems and challenges regarding volunteering with the 19th century solutions as one [size] fits all which is not for volunteering in such changed dynamics." - Dr Amal Emam, youth and volunteering coordinator Egyptian Red Crescent Society


If you did not get a chance to join the meeting, you can still view all highlights and session recordings from the entire event.   

REDxYouth Climate:RED Design Jam 

We also hosted two design workshops inviting Australian Red Cross youth and the broader REDxYouth network to join a “Design Jam”. They looked at climate change challenges from an Australian Red Cross perspective and came up with lots of ideas to submit to the IFRC Climate:Red Innovation Competition. 

The team welcomed the 19 participants to a unique workshop environment to learn about Design Thinking while exploring four major climate change issues presented by the climate team at Red Cross. The workshop was a success with young people expressing excitement about being able to discuss climate solutions in the context of Red Cross and Australia.

It was really great to discuss climate solutions in the context of Red Cross and gain a better understanding of how we can work in this space.” - Mia

Teams are currently collating ideas to submit to the IFRC Climate:RED Innovation Competition which closes 9 August.

The Climate:RED Innovation Competition calls for creative, innovative ideas and ventures addressing climate change related issues from within the Red Cross Red Crescent global network. The innovations submitted for the competition will address the Climate:RED’s themes listed on the Summit’s website. A panel of experts will select some of the most innovative ideas to be pitched live during the Climate:RED Summit, where the winners and a crowd favourite will be selected. The most innovative ideas will win funding to help implement the idea.

I encourage you to give it a go and submit your idea. The team has developed a simple Ideation Kit which you can use to help build your idea and submit to the competition. Reach out to

Mapping COVID volunteers’ experience and insights

From March - June 2020, the Solferino Academy convened thousands of Red Cross Red Crescent volunteers and staff for conversations and insights about the COVID-19 response. These stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

They’ve put together a map visualisation of the stories that were shared. This gives you another way to visit the stories from around the globe or to filter the stories by category or sentiment.

If you have more to share, you can also still add your story.

That’s all for this week. Take care.