Red Cross Calling challenges
I started my Red Cross Calling challenge last week on 1 March. My challenge is that I only wear skirts and dresses for the month. This is what I’ve realised so far; skirts and windy days don’t mix and nor do skirts and housework.
Plus, I have a bit of a hiccup in the plan; my old ‘corporate clothes’ (and proposed supply of skirts and dresses) don’t fit anymore. Bummer. Off to the Red Cross shop this weekend. Overall though my friends know me well and understand this challenge for me. As a result, I’ve raised around nearly $600 for Red Cross so far.
I also enjoyed hearing about what others are doing:
- Sarah Jones is giving up social media for four weeks. Sarah works alongside me in Carlton Street Melbourne office.
- Rose Rhodes, Chair SA Divisional Advisory Board (DAB), will be hosting a morning tea cake stall Red Cross House in Adelaide. This will be quite a challenge as she is having hand surgery this week.
- Josie Nash is going green – she’ll only be eating and drinking naturally green foods for the last two weeks of March. Josie is from our fundraising team.
- Di Buckles, Chair of the WA DAB, is running a challenge of not wearing high heels for a month.
- Lyndal Herbert, our Deputy President, is wearing nail polish for a month and changing it every day for 21 days. A particular challenge given she can’t remember the last time she painted her nails.
- Belinda Dimovski is asking her friends and family to sponsor her for a ‘Walk To Work Wednesday” for the month of March. Belinda heads up our engagement and support team.
- Ross Pinney, our President, is holding a fundraising dinner with family and friends.
- Anne Macarthur, our Victorian DAB Chair, will be tin shaking over the Victorian long weekend outside a busy service station and at the farms around her district. She tells me that takes many days as everyone wants to chat – but it’s a great way of checking on their wellbeing as well.
We’re all part of 14,500 Australians who are raising funds for Red Cross this month or otherwise being involved in our communities. What are you doing for Red Cross Calling? You can sign up and create your own challenge here.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross Calling team have also introduced tap-and-go technology for the first time. It’s been trialled in a few cafes, near our Sydney and Melbourne offices, and some retail outlets. The technology means that shoppers can make an on-the-spot donation. Looking forward to hearing the results.
My week last week
Of course, last week wasn’t just about skirts and dresses. My week was made up of media interviews on Red Cross Calling (a huge thanks to the media team for getting the message out far and wide).
I also had my regular one-on-one with several of my team where we have a significant chunk of time to talk through what the team members are working on. In addition, we had sessions on first aid, Disability Employment Services and the move from Carlton to Villiers Street in Melbourne.
I spent one day last week in Sydney as part of our involvement in the National Outlook Project. This is a really fascinating initiative which is working on what Australia’s future could be. It is an unusual initiative for us to be involved in but an important one. The project is led by David Thodey, as Chair of CSIRO and Dr Ken Henry, Chair, National Australia Bank.
The day after Ken Henry gave a speech you can find here. Here is a quote “One of the more important things we in business can do at this time is accept responsibility for the social and environmental outcomes of our activities. Not unreasonably, this is what the community expects.”
Finally, I also joined the team who are starting work on how we re-imagine our role in supporting migrants-in-transition. It was a good first session on how we make the most of the freedom and support we have to ensure migrants in transition have their humanitarian needs met and are participating and included in society. Stay tuned.
SBS interview with our aid worker in South Sudan
If you didn’t see our aid worker Dorsa Nazemi-Salman on SBS’s Dateline last week, I highly recommend it. Dorsa is on assignment in South Sudan – one of the most dangerous countries in the world for aid workers. She told SBS: “You never know when the first bullet is going to be shot, so you have to be sure that they know that we're coming. You would be quite naive to think that danger is not around the corner."
PNG devastated by massive earthquake
A massive 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Papua New Guinea last week. It was a devastating earthquake and there has been widespread damage with homes buried and destroyed, roads destroyed, bridges snapped and power and communications cut. The earthquake was followed by a deadly aftershock yesterday.
The Secretary General of the PNG Red Cross, Unvenama Rova, says some roads are slowly opening up, and aid is trickling in - although, owing to the remote and rugged terrain, it could be some time before everywhere is reached and a full picture emerges.
"We are still trying to work out the best way. We have our Mt Hagen branch as our operations centre and we are mobilising volunteers from there."
Provincial authorities say the total death toll is now about 60, with the toll expected to rise as reports come in of entire villages buried under landslides. ABC is reporting a further 11 people were killed in yesterday’s aftershock.
PNG Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross are on the ground providing assistance and we are on standby ready to help if needed.