It’s been quite a wild and cold week at least in the south east corners of the country but nothing compared to the heat waves and fires across Europe, Canada and Japan. As always, Red Cross teams are on hand to help. I always find it interesting and satisfying reading about how our Red Cross Red Crescent peers around the world respond in times of disaster.
Get Prepared v2.0
Speaking of disasters, or more importantly, getting prepared for them.
After much work by the teams, the new version of the Get Prepared app is now live, with improved features based on user feedback and a social impact study. This includes a simplified user experience, more tailored plan, shorter tasks and more digital interactivity within tasks.
Jody Broun, NSW Director, shared the app at the official release of the Resilient Sydney strategy, an initiative by the City of Sydney yesterday. The strategy puts in place a significant measure of getting 100,000 people ready for an emergency.
“This app guides you through the simple steps to getting prepared for any emergency. Anyone at all can use our free app to make a plan that includes a key contacts list, checklists and other vital information. The app creates for you your own personalised emergency plan,” said Jody.
I downloaded the update on the weekend. It is much more intuitive but still shows me that I haven’t done a good enough job yet of getting prepared!!!! You can find the app or update it by visiting the Get Prepared page on our website.
Mary Fran Myers Gender and Disaster Award
How fantastic is this. May Maloney has been recognised for her amazing work on gender sensitive and socially-inclusive humanitarian operations. May has won the 2018 Mary Fran Myers Gender and Disaster Award for ground-breaking research along with Priyanka Bhalla and other Red Cross colleagues, on the dynamics and prevalence of gender-based violence in the aftermath of disasters. Her research gives voice to affected communities’ concerns and gives depth on the gendered nature of safety after disasters. You can read more about May here. We are so proud of May and her work.
Wedding bells… in a war zone. This cool, Converse-wearing bride and groom were separated by the conflict in Syria in 2012, and finally reunited last year. Photo: The Mirror/Dan Warburton
Feel Good Stories of Humanity
Time to get curious and get sharing. We’ve recently launched Feel Good Stories on our website. It’s all about bringing the best of everyday humanity to life. The image above is a great story about ‘Wedding Bells in a War Zone'. We’re keen to have everyone share stories from wherever they are. It serves as a reminder on how kindness shines through, time and time again. If you have one of your own, you can submit it here.
World Humanitarian Day
Talking of everyday humanity, the International Federation has launched a photo competition for 2018 World Humanitarian Day. This World Humanitarian Day will recognise and showcase Pacific humanitarian workers who have prepared for and responded to disasters in the Pacific Island countries.
So, here’s another opportunity to share photos of yourself or Red Cross colleagues and volunteers across the Pacific, showing them in action. The photos that you submitted will be displayed at an exhibition in Suva, on 17 August in celebration of World Humanitarian Day.
Send your photos and captions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photo submission closes on 27 July 2018.
Water Blessing Ceremony in Nauiyu
On 18 July, the Daly River community held a Water Blessing Ceremony to welcome Red Cross emergency services team members. It was a way to thank the team for their support when the community was evacuated due to floods in January.
The ceremony involves sprinkling water from the river over the head and back into the river, representing being part of the community; and sprinkling water on the navel and back into the river, representing new life being born.
The Leadership Team was in town for our quarterly review. We spent the first day on building our own abilities to lead particularly as we become more agile and more human or partner-centred. We also challenged ourselves to be more creative in how we lead change – here’s a great example.
We also worked through the most recent Pulse results. We learnt from Mali and Mark and the very specific approaches they are taking to resolve the concerns being raised in their States. We talked about the suggestions in the Pulse survey and how we can act on them within each of our groups.
We then dived into how we’re tracking on Strategy 2020. We looked at external opportunities over the next two years to really drive and influence national policy and its state and territory implementation in reducing the risk of disasters. We considered opportunities to leverage what we do every day in community and at the national policy level to support and settle refugees, particularly in regional areas. We talked through a new partnership being formed between PwC, Mission Australia, Centre for Social Impact and Australian Red Cross to focus on homelessness – a critical contributor to our outcome on those who are facing deep social exclusion. We worked through what is underway to help millions of Australians take humanitarian action.
We also talked about how some of our ways of working – such as shifting towards the mass mobilisation of people, working in partnerships and building community coalitions – are much more suited to helping us achieve our ambitious outcomes than the times we try and solve problems all on our own.
That’s all for now.