AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS

Thursday 16 October, 2014

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (12:51): I move:

That this house—

(a) notes the Australian Red Cross is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding on 13 August 1914, nine days after the outbreak of World War I;

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (12:51): I move:

That this house—

(a) notes the Australian Red Cross is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding on 13 August 1914, nine days after the outbreak of World War I;

(b) congratulates generations of Australians for their extraordinary contributions through the everyday work of the Red Cross; and

(c) continues to support the independent, neutral and impartial humanitarian mission of Red Cross to work with and assist the most vulnerable people in need, both in Australia and internationally.

This year, 2014, is the centenary year of the Red Cross in Australia, a substantial milestone in the social history of this nation, and it commemorates 100 years of humanitarian service to the people of Australia.

I would like to congratulate first, Sue Vardon AO, Chair of SA Red Cross and Helen Connelly, the Executive Director of SA Red Cross, and their team, and generations of Australians for their extraordinary contributions through the everyday work of the Red Cross. It is important that we continue to support the independent, neutral and impartial mission of Red Cross to work with and assist the most vulnerable people in need, both in Australia and internationally.

Many Australians have shared a personal connection with the Red Cross from its humanitarian role during two World Wars and other wars, to preparing for, responding to and recovering from natural disasters, helping vulnerable people and communities, helping them to overcome disadvantage, and also through its world-class blood service that is available.

The Red Cross was of particular importance to many Australian prisoners of war interned by the Japanese during World War II. The Red Cross was their only source of aid in many cases, or contact with the outside world, in the most appalling of circumstances. For 100 years the Australian Red Cross has enjoyed a unique auxiliary status to the public authorities in the humanitarian field, working in partnership with governments of different political persuasions, both in Australia and internationally, to alleviate suffering in a voluntary aid capacity whilst adhering to its principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality.

The Australian Red Cross is part of the world's largest, arguably, humanitarian movement, with millions of volunteers working in over 100 countries, united by the fundamental principle of preventing and alleviating human suffering without discrimination and wherever it may be found in times of war, conflict, disaster or personal crisis.

Today the Australian Red Cross has a network of, some say, many hundreds of thousands of volunteers, members, staff, donors, aid workers and supporters. I would like to particularly acknowledge the work that Red Cross volunteers from Australia did, helping with the recovery effort after the devastating 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

In July 2014 in my own electorate I attended a Red Cross Gala Dinner to celebrate the Centenary of the Australian Red Cross at the Fogolar Furlan Function Centre in my electorate. I would like to especially thank Cavallaro Lorenzo Ferini, the President of the Fogolar Furlan Club, and the Hon. Julian F. Stefani OAM, JP, a former member of the other place, as well as the Hon Dean  Brown who also attended that function. It was at this function that I met members of the state Red Cross, and it was an absolute pleasure to see and share their success stories and pay tribute to this great organisation.

As a member of this place, I believe that all sides of politics should honour the Red Cross's service to Australia. It is not a partisan issue, I know members on both sides of the house have good relations with this group and have given great support to the Red Cross over a number of years, and I would call for that support to continue. I encourage all members to support the motion and continue to support the fantastic work of the Red Cross.