Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Indonesia earthquakes, Champions of humanity + Space Apps Challenge

9 October 2018

Hi everyone,

Indonesia Red Cross teams supported by Red Cross people from across the world continue to do amazing work following the Sulawesi earthquakes and tsunami. The devastation and impact on people’s lives is significant.

The death toll in Indonesia island of Sulawesi has risen to more than 1,900 people, with 11,000 injured. Indonesian Red Cross has been on the scene since the first earthquake hit, with search-and-rescue teams, ambulances and first aid crews. Emergency medical, water and sanitation teams are working hard in the affected areas to help survivors. Red Cross teams are providing medical care and distributing tarpaulins, blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, jerry cans and other relief supplies to survivors, but access is difficult due to damaged roads and bridges.

Antony Balmain, our Media Adviser, is currently in Sulawesi to coordinate international media for the IFRC and has been featured across a number of news channels including this story in the Herald Sun, reporting on the damage and impact on the island. We are doing and will do whatever we can to assist Indonesia Red Cross.

Australians have so far donated nearly $700,000 to the Indonesia Earthquakes and Tsunami 2018 Appeal


Champions of humanity

This time last year we were thrilled that our colleagues at ICAN had received the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. This year we are equally thrilled. The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict." You can watch the announcement here. It is humbling to read about the work of people like Denis and Nadia – the power of humanity.


Launch of Galiwin’ku Community Centre

We have had the privilege of working with the Galiwin’ku community for 11 years now. In 2014 Galiwin’ku was struck by a strong cyclone and many community places suffered irreparable damage. With the community we agreed what role Red Cross could play in rebuilding and over several years we’ve designed and built a new community centre. 

The community centre is already making a difference - providing a safe and welcoming space to children and their parents through community gatherings, programs and services. Last week was the formal opening. Here’s a summary of the day from Jenny Dally, Regional Manager, Darwin.

“It is estimated approximately 500 people were here. It was an amazing experience with many, many people attending lunch and providing dancing and speeches. In those speeches, they talked about Red Cross’ work and how important it was in supporting Yolngu people in the community, especially children. They talked about this building being one of sharing and working together in safety and learning.

Later in the morning, Yolngu Wananhamirr Mitj (YWM) presented the Dhatam to Red Cross. As many of you know, the Dhatam is a history of YWM and their journey with Yalu Marnithinyaraw Indigenous Corporation and Red Cross and is about the processes and ways of working alongside of each other. It is a model of this way of working – of its strengths, desires and reflects on the journey past and ongoing. It is a powerful piece of work and Red Cross are proud to have received it.

After lunch, Red Cross also received a presentation from Galiwin’ku Women’s Space (GWS) – an emerging program built by the women in Galiwin’ku. It is a space for women to feel safe and protected and to grow and develop. Red Cross is also proud to be a part of this work on into the future. You can find out more about GWS here.

I would like to say a huge congratulations to the whole team for pulling this together.”

Getting the community centre designed, built, opened and, more importantly, being a safe and welcoming place for the community has been such a journey, supported by so many from Red Cross. Thank you to all involved.


Dhatam means water lily

As Jenny mentioned, the Yolngu Wananhamirr Mitj women took us through Dhatam. “Dhatam means water lily. Through the growth of the Dhatam we are sharing one story of many from the Galiwin’ku community. The formation of the strong Yolŋu Waŋanhamirr Mitj leadership team in 2012, is an example of where Yolŋu have been given the access, agency and responsibility to control and direct funding to best suit the needs of children, families and communities.” [See case study link below].

Galiwinku Vision for Dhatam model

“Nhaman nganapurr’ka dhukarr’tja ngunhi gatjpuyunawuy’tja, nhakurr ngilimurr ga ngirrimbum.
Ngirrimbumany nganapurr ga balayin burwu’lil ngunhi ga ngorra dharrwa mangutji mala nhakun Djamarrkuli, ngunhi walal ga galkun ga nhama wanha ngayi dhukarr dhunupa ga magaya bumakku Djamarrkuliw. Limurrtja ga djamamirryaman marr Djamarrkuliiydja dhu dharangana manymak’nha wiyingumirriw’nha walangaw marrtjinaraw.”

Language: Yolngu Matha
Words: Djandi Ganamabarr – Yolngu Wanganhamirr Mitj’

[We are looking at the road that leads to the vision. We are walking the pathway to get there to the flower, to where the seeds are. The seeds are the children, they are watching and waiting for their goal and their value, their future. They can choose whatever they want when we get to the seeds. From the effort we make the children will have a better life to make their free choices.]

Translation – Gaylene Gurruwiwi – Yolgnu Wanganhamirr Mitj’, and Helen Nyomba.

I have included a link here to a case study about the initiative. It really is worth taking a seat and reading through it cover to cover. It took me about an hour to read it thoroughly. So many learnings for so much of what we do in Australia and overseas.


Space Apps Challenge

After some good opportunity spotting and planning, the South Australia team and Divisional Advisory Board are now signed up as a Bronze sponsor for this challenge and we can all participate.  

Space Apps is an international hackathon aimed at creating solutions to real-world problems and challenges. Taking place on 19 October, Space Apps occurs over 48 hours in cities around the world and is an annual event that pulls citizens together regardless of their background or skill level.

Have a think about “What the world needs now is…” and/or “Can you build …?” a solution or process in relation to one of the following areas:

  • Enabling local community action to adapt to climate change
  • Building social capital/community leadership to prepare for and recover from emergencies
  • Building individual or community resilience
  • Improving the wellbeing of those experiencing extreme vulnerability
  • Addressing humanitarian crises arising in conflict zones; or
  • Tracing and finding loved ones for families separated by war, disaster or migration.

“My thanks to our generous sponsor, Sue Vardon for we would not have been able to afford to enter otherwise. Thanks also to Keith Wilson for coordinating this project and to Rebecca and Petra [and the] brand team and the development of our theme.“ - Rose Rhodes, SA Division Advisory Board Chair.

You can read more on the Space Apps Challenge here.


Connected Women

Also in NT, Her Honour Vicki O'Halloran, Administrator of the Northern Territory, hosted a morning tea for Connected Women at Government House. The women were from Ukraine, Tanzania, Philippines, East Timor, Syria, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia and Zambia.

The group had a great conversation with Her Honour about their first project taking place on International Women's Day next year. Her Honour offered Government House to host their sewing workshops for the upcoming fashion show and mentioned she would love to be part of the project.

The Connected Women also attended a session facilitated by Red Cross Emergency Services looking into the key elements of preparedness in RediPlan and the ways to use the Get Prepared app.

Here is some feedback from the women:

“The sessions was really helpful and useful. We came from different states/country and new to the NT, it’s good to learn what happens during the wet season and how to prepare for it. The men who delivered the message were very kind in sharing their information. I was happy to learn how to be prepared for what is coming.”

“I have learnt about the Get Prepared app and RediPlan; we really have to prepare before an emergency. I didn’t think of it before but now I know I should prepare important documents, phone and especially food. It is also good to know who can help during emergency and knowing your neighbours is very very important.”


Spring cleaning anyone?

It’s that time of the year again to look in the wardrobe - to force myself to be ruthless in farewelling clothes that I really won’t wear and donating them. To help me, and everyone else who gets the bug to go through the wardrobe, our Red Cross Shops colleagues are organising a spring cleaning initiative from now till 30 November. You can donate your clothing items to any Red Cross shops across Australia. We have a network of 165 stores, click here to find your local shop.

We’ve also got Loyalty Cards – a sticker will be added each time you make a donation or make a purchase of $10 or more. After 10 transactions, you’ll get a 25% discount off your next purchase at Red Cross Shops - so you can refill your wardrobe with new things! All for the good causes of Red Cross and recycling.

Talk to you soon.