Red Cross farewelled one of its finest volunteers in December when Gwen Blazely stepped down as Convenor of the North East Red Cross Patient Transport service, which provides a lifeline for people in need who can’t get to essential medical appointments on their own. Beechworth Branch turns 100 this month, and judging by the lengths they went to for last year’s Red Cross Centenary, we can be sure to expect a big celebration. Last year the Branch Chairman, Julia Smith worked with the local Chamber of Commerce to get the whole town involved in initiatives to mark the Centenary of Red Cross and raise funds.
Beechworth Bakery made a special red velvet cupcake (which was also sold in its bakeries in Bendigo, Echuca, Healesville, Ballarat and Albury). From 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, 533 people in Victoria received daily morning phone calls from 302 Red Cross volunteers.
In the 2013-2014 financial year, Mazda Foundation’s contribution enabled us to support 40 Telecross clients in Victoria. When Isobel was injured in her home, her daily phone call from Red Crossallowed her to get urgent assistance. With an ageing population, there is a pressing need to grow the Telecross service so that we can provide reassurance to a greater number of older Victorians. You may copy and use extracts of this publication provided that you acknowledge Red Cross as the owner of the material. We are on the home stretch of what has been a marathon centenary year for Australian Red Cross. We have also been happy to see the great interest in our centenary book, The Power of Humanity: 100 years of Australian Red Cross 1914–2014, following the book launch at a Lord Mayoral Reception. Two remote Aboriginal communities in South Australia are better prepared for emergencies with help from Red Cross.
Terry Coulthard from Iga Warta and Roger Johnson from Nepabunna attended Red Cross emergency preparedness training in Port Augusta.
We developed our Aboriginal REDiSupport training in 2011 in response to the increasing number of emergencies in South Australia’s regional areas.
As a volunteer with our Telecross program, Tania helps to provide a daily phone call to older and isolated people to check in on their welfare. SA is leading an exciting new initiative in inviting schools to sign up as Red Cross members. We have designed our school memberships to be flexible, encouraging open communication between Red Cross and participating schools so that they can provide us with information on what works well for their students.

The aim of the school membership program is to make providing social justice activities simple for teachers and schools, while increasing community engagement with Red Cross. In another change for our division, His Honour the Honourable John Hardy OAM was sworn in as the 21st Administrator of the Northern Territory last November and has kindly accepted our offer to become a Patron for Red Cross in the NT. In news on our services, we are very pleased to announce that we recently opened our first Telecross centre based in Katherine. Red Cross was at the forefront of the response, with volunteers and staff providing immediate relief and working with the community in the following months and years as people rebuilt their lives. Red Cross extends thanks to all the members and volunteers who came to view the exhibition, as well as the City of Darwin which provided generous support. We recently introduced our Telecross program in Katherine, providing daily phone calls to check on the wellbeing and safety of people who are elderly, isolated or at-risk.
Volunteer Coordinator Nicole Asling couldn’t resist the opportunity to begin volunteering for Telecross herself. Our local volunteer coordinator wasted no time contacting the Telecross coordinator in Darwin, where this service currently supports about 80 people. World Red Cross Day is held annually around the globe on 8 May, the day that Red Cross Red Crescent founder Henry Dunant was born.
In 2015 we mark World Red Cross Day byA celebrating 50 years of the Fundamental Principles - the humanitarian values that guide our work as an international movement.
Our Fundamental Principles were formally and unanimously adopted at the 1965 International Conference of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
Thanks to the commitment of Red Cross people to uphold the ideals expressed in the Fundamental Principles, we are able to deliver humanitarian services at home and around the world. On World Red Cross Day we invite people to learn more about the Fundamental Principles, which are listed below. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide. Victorian members and volunteers have always been wonderful supporters of Red Cross Calling, raising much-needed ongoing funds for our everyday work.
Gwen will continue to support Red Cross Calling and volunteer in her local Red Cross shop, which she helped to establish.

Beechworth Honey donated part of their honey jar sales to us, and Beechworth Squash and Fitness offered free health assessments for anyone who donated to Red Cross or gave blood. You may use the material in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests Red Cross endorses you or your use.
The renewed focus on inviting local dignitaries and other community groups alongside branch members has allowed the Red Cross message to be communicated to a broader audience. Professor Melanie Oppenheimer was on hand to sign copies of the book and has continued to show her commitment to Red Cross through speaking at a number of zone meetings.
Last year marked 100 years of Red Cross in Australia, but the celebrations didn’t stop there, as this year marks a century since Red Cross opened its doors in the Northern Territory on 19 May 1915. Charles was introduced to Red Cross at a very young age, assisting his mother with varying programs and fundraising events in Darwin as a child. Artefacts and photographs hidden away in our archives for the past 40 years were opened up to the public, documenting the courage and spirit of the Darwin community and Red Cross workers. It could also help in dealing with events like crocodile attacks, riots and car accidents, and could contribute to building the community’s resilience. Across the world, in nearly every nation there is a Red Cross or Red Crescent Society committed to the same set of humanitarian principles.
Andrew has been with Australian Red Cross since 2006 in the role of National Manager, Emergency Services. A Social Return on Investment study recently completed by Social Ventures Australia and funded by National Australia Bank found that Telecross delivers financial benefits and savings to the community – in fact, the social value of Telecross was estimated to be $12.1 million nationally. Our first member school participated in this year’s Red Cross Calling fundraising campaign and raised an impressive $3,885! We thank the many committed Red Cross people who are always there to support communities impacted by disaster.
The amount of media attention through local newspapers and radio has also been very welcome and we have had a number of regional members speak directly to their local radio stations about the significance of Red Cross in their community.

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