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Melbourne pop-up shop, Supporting disaster recovery + Australian Red Cross Board

19 June 2018

Hi everyone,

Last Saturday, we had a fantastic time at the Red Cross shop pop-up shop at Melbourne Town Hall. The turnout was great and the team managed to raise $87,000 in just a day. That’s amazing! To put that in perspective, that’s more than some of our smaller stores trade in a whole year.

Thank you to all staff members and volunteers who have worked so hard to make this a successful event. A few Red Cross people have told me that they’ve brought along their family members to shop and have picked up some high quality items.

“It was such a sensational day and it was the most incredible retail event I've ever been part of. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to help bring it together,” said one of our veteran retailers.


Supporting disaster recovery

In the wake of the tragic murder of Eurydice Dixon, our volunteers have been providing personal support to the people in Princes Park and across the country over the weekend. 

Our volunteers have been providing emotional support, helping where we can and standing with the community as we all come to terms with this senseless tragedy. We’ve been gently approaching people at the vigils who may need support and helping them feel calm.

Take care of yourselves and each other. Look out for your loved ones and neighbours – you can be a great source of support. We recover better when we stand together. Our guide for coping with stressful situations may provide comfort at this time.

Since my update a couple of weeks back, there has been an overwhelming amount of thanks and gratitude on social media and in person from the Margaret River Shire, clubs and community members acknowledging Red Cross efforts. Red Cross is proud to have been able to continue supporting the Margaret River and surrounding community in their road to recovery and long-term healing after the Osmington tragedy.

Thanks to all of the volunteers as well as Red Cross staff members, who have all went above and beyond and were tireless in their efforts to support throughout this time.

Andrew Coghlan presenting on the cost of social impacts of disasters

On Wednesday 6 June, Red Cross held a lunch for people who contributed to Red Cross’ work after Cyclone Debbie. Those who attended including companies, individuals and the Queensland Government contributed almost $2 million. These contributions fund recovery coordinators in impacted communities in Queensland and NSW. As well as supporting communities to recover, the Recovery Coordinators have been doing a lot of preparedness work to make communities more resilient in future disasters. 

Andrew Coghlan, National Manager, Emergency Services, spoke about the often hidden but equally high cost of the social impacts of disasters. He reiterated our call for disaster funding to include resilience measures for social and psychological impacts. Dan O’Hara from our national Emergencies team gave an overview of the many activities we’ve been involved in to help community recovery. A key one has been helping people prepare for future disasters – which also helps recovery.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our massive work after Cyclone Debbie and to those who continue to improve the understanding of disaster risks to the broader public.


Bring Your Good

We’re coming up to a very busy time of year, calling on people far and wide to take action and bring their ‘Good’ to the world before the end of the financial year. Whether they want to do it in a social setting or solo, whether they want to do something quick and simple, or something more involved, we’d love their support – and yours – in doing just one thing to bring about a better world. Here are some of the opportunities for action:

1. #Goodhuman: If you do one thing this week, call out a #goodhuman in your life. You can lift someone’s day, week, month by tagging them on social media and letting them know they’re valued. Make it public. Make it a surprise. And when you do, you’ll feel like a #goodhuman too.

2.  Beat Loneliness: As you know, we’ve been asking millennials to help us beat loneliness by sparking an important conversation amongst their peers and networks. Teams right across Australia have been renaming their sporting, online gaming or hobby teams ‘Loneliness’ and saying to their competition: “We’re the team to beat”.

3. Winter Woollens: As the weather cools, we have launched our public clothing drive for scarves, coats, jumpers – anything woollen and warm. As people edit their wardrobe for the new season, we’re asking for clothing donations to sell in our Red Cross Shops, raising money for our life-changing work.

4. Getting prepared: We’re continuing to work with people and communities on their preparedness plans, helping them connect with key support people and ensuring they can protect the things they hold most precious.

5. A donation to help spark more life-changing connections. At this time of year, many thousands of generous Australians make a donation. It’s a simple act of kindness that helps us spark something special in the lives of people overcoming crisis right around Australia and our region, connecting them with life’s essentials, with companionship, with their resilience and resourcefulness.


Australian Red Cross Board

This weekend our Board meets. The Board members devote two days of their time every two months to provide stewardship, governance and oversight. The papers cover many subjects from assessing our performance so far this year, to reviewing the initiatives and performance of the Blood Service to getting an update on critical humanitarian issues such as the impact of the monsoon season on the refugee situation in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Each meeting I do a report for the Board. In it, I often include what I call ‘interesting snippets’. Sometimes I take these from the articles and links many of you include on Yammer. I thought you might be interested in the links I provided this time so here they are.

College kids want to save the world, just don't ask them to volunteer.

“A new report finds that the number of college students volunteering has hit an all-time low.”

IBM will give $200,000 to a team that can come up with a solution for natural disaster relief.

“… a global initiative that calls on developers to create technology that can be used for natural disaster preparedness and relief. … IBM, which is working with the United Nations Human Rights Office and the American Red Cross, is pledging $30 million over five years to the program….”

• Given the rapid shifts underway in the issues related to International Humanitarian Law, the ICRC developed the video “The Paradox of the Future Battlefield” which explores the current and future issues around the use of autonomous weapons. With the launch of The Paradox of the Future Battlefield explainer video, ICRC in Washington aims to begin a conversation that looks at the future battlefield more broadly, including cyber warfare, the rise of artificial intelligence, algorithmic targeting, the evolution of armed drones, civilian protection and the role of the Law of Armed Conflict. You can view the video here.

• JBWere’s The Support Report: The changing shape of giving – released 27 April 2018.

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