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the Humanitarian

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									March 2010 | Issue 12

the Humanitarian

the long road
from the ashes
bright futures
P2 the Humanitarian

the inside
Two staggering natural disasters have been the focus of the beginning of 2010.
Just 12 days into the year, images of a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti began
flooding our television screens.
At the same time, survivors of the devastating 2009 Victorian bushfires were
preparing themselves emotionally to commemorate the anniversary of a day
that is etched in Australia’s memory.
In this edition of the Humanitarian, contributing writer Sian Powell analyses how
humanitarian agencies are putting lessons learned from past disasters into
action, as they face the enormous task of rebuilding in Haiti.
                                                                                                                   6 long road
Jacqui Pringle speaks to an Australian aid worker who has recently returned
from Haiti, where he helped to set up and run a basic health care clinic to care
for survivors of the earthquake.
One year on, Karina Coates and Janine Gray find out how two couples affected
by the Victorian bushfires are recovering, as they share some of their experiences
of the past year.
To help young people recover from emergencies such as the Victorian
bushfires, Red Cross has developed new resources containing personal stories,          ashes
music and interviews. Jacqui Pringle speaks to two young people who share
their own experiences of emergencies, through which they hope to help others
in similar situations.
Andrea Lee meets siblings from the Democratic Republic of Congo, reunited
through Red Cross after five years of separation.
Bruce Wardley looks at a school-based support service that is helping families                                     16 futures
overcome challenges and give their children the best start in life.
And Laura McKay explores how a basic first aid course saved a life the following
week in Vanuatu.
We hope you enjoy this edition of the Humanitarian, and we hope you are
inspired to help us continue our work supporting vulnerable people in so many
ways. Please visit our website at to see how you can help
by becoming a humanitarian partner.                                                    22
                                                                                       liquid gold

                                                                                                      Make a donation
                                                                                                           1800 811 700
                                                                                                    First Aid enquiries
                                                                                                           1300 367 428
                                                                                                             Give blood
                                                            Michael Raper
                                                                                                                13 14 95
                 Robert Tickner                             Director of Services and     Become a humanitarian partner
                 CEO                                        International Operations                       1800 812 081
                 Australian Red Cross                       Australian Red Cross

                                                                                       Front cover: Mirly Etienne receives clean drinking water
                                                                                       from French Red Cross in Camp Dihautsu, an internally
                                                                                       displaced persons camp in Port-au-Prince. Photo: Talia
                                                                                       Frenkel/American Red Cross
                                                                                                                                                        March 2010 P3

                                                                                                                           A child with a gun is a disturbing image.
                                                                                                                           You may have seen just that around your
                                                                                                                           city in February – cardboard cut-outs
                                                                                                                           of a life-size little boy and girl, in school
                                                                                                                           uniform, clutching a gun nearly as big
                                                                                                                           as they are, two rounds of ammunition
                                                                                                                           slung casually across their bodies.
                                                                                                                           It’s all part of our Even Wars Have Laws
                                                                                                                           campaign. The campaign highlighted
                                                                                                                           the simple and compelling message
                                                                                                                           that ‘even wars have laws’. International
                                                                                                                           humanitarian law (IHL) is a set of rules
                                                                                                                           that seeks to limit the effects of armed
                                                                                                                           conflict on people and objects. Also
                                                                                                                           known as the law of war, or law of
                                                                                                                           armed conflict, IHL protects certain
                                                                                                                           categories of people and restricts the
                                                                                                                           methods and means of warfare.
                                                                                                                           Using street-based installations the
                                                                                                                           campaign demonstrated:
                                                                                                                           •	 it	is	illegal	to	torture	prisoners	
                                                                                                                              of war (indeed anyone!) under
                                                                                                                              any circumstances
                                                                                                                           •	 it	is	a	crime	to	use	children	to	fight	
                                                                                                                              a war
                                                                                                                           •	 weapons	such	as	landmines	are	
                                                                                                                              banned because they do not
                                                                                                                              discriminate between soldiers
                                                                                                                              and civilians.

                even wars have laws
                                                                                                                           Red Cross wants the Australian public
                                                                                                                           to know that wars do have laws, and
                                                                                                                           that these laws make a difference. They
                                                                                                                           continue to save the lives of civilians, and
                                                                                                                           captured and wounded combatants.
                                                                                                                           Nine-year-old Matt who features in the
                                                                                                                           campaign (pictured) got a taste of what
                                                                                                                           it’s like to be a child soldier for a day.
                                                                                                                           ‘The bullets were heavy as,’ he said.
                                                                                                                           ‘Seeing myself on the poster, I really
                                                                                                                           don’t like being in war. It’d be really sad
                                                                                                                           if I had to do that,’ he said.
                                                                                                                           The reality is that children just like Matt
                                                                                                                           are being forced to hold weapons and
                                                                                                                           take part in atrocities. Forcing children
                                                                                                                           to fight a war is criminal and children
                                                                                                                           under 18 cannot be forced to sign up.
                                                                                                                           Even if they volunteer, they still cannot
                                                                                                                           take part in the fighting.

Nine-year-old Matt played the role of child soldier for a day. For some children being a child soldier is not dress up –
they are forced to hold weapons and take part in atrocities. Photo: Australian Red Cross/David Calleja (Fuel).
P4 the Humanitarian

news in brief
                                                                                           Soccer fans support South
                                                                                           African youth
                                                                                           While it’s hoped that the Socceroos
                                                                                           will make a big impact in this year’s
                                                                                           World Cup in South Africa, Australia’s
                                                                                           dedicated soccer fans will also leave a
                                                                                           legacy in the rainbow nation long after
                                                                                           the final whistle has blown.
                                                                                           The Green and Gold Army (GGA)
                                                                                           will descend on South Africa in their
                                                                                           hundreds in June. In conjunction with
                                                                                           Australian Red Cross, the GGA aspires
                                                                                           to raise $50,000 for the South African
                                                                                           Red Cross’ HIV Youth Peer Education
                                                                                           Project. The project aims to educate
                                                                                           young people in the most vulnerable
                                                                                           communities about HIV and AIDS and
                                                                                           improve their quality of life. It also aims to
Camp Daihatsu, an internally displaced persons camp in Port-au-Prince. January 27, 2010.
Photo: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross                                                    reduce the incidence of HIV infections.
                                                                                           UNAIDS estimated that, in 2003, about 65
Haiti earthquake response                                                                  percent of new HIV infections occurred in
On a Tuesday afternoon, 12 January 2010, the Caribbean nation of Haiti was struck          the group under the age of 24 and this is
by a devastating earthquake 15 kilometres off the coast. The earthquake left one           why the project, particularly the work of
million people injured or homeless, caused huge loss of life and destroyed thousands       the peer educators, is so important.
of homes. Strong aftershocks continued weeks after the quake and despite rescue
                                                                                           Youth peer education is one of the
efforts, as time passed the hope of finding more survivors diminished.
                                                                                           most useful tools in preventing HIV
More than 500 Red Cross aid workers from at least 22 countries have been sent              transmission as it allows information
to the region to work with the survivors. Local and international staff and volunteers     and education to reach young people in
are providing emergency assistance such as clean water, food, shelter and medical          vulnerable communities, where there is
attention in the most affected areas.                                                      less access to mass media.
The earthquake has compounded the already very difficult humanitarian conditions           To make a donation and help the
in Haiti, following tropical storms and hurricanes in 2004 and 2008, which will make       GGA reach a goal that goes well
the recovery process even more difficult.                                                  beyond soccer, visit
Medical assistance, food, clean water and shelter are priorities for people – tens
of thousands are living on the streets and in makeshift camps throughout the
capital Port-au-Prince. Others have left the city to seek shelter in other areas of
the country. Red Cross has established first aid posts, and much-needed medical
supplies are being distributed to people in need.
The outpouring of generosity and goodwill from the global community has been
extraordinary, with volunteers and staff on the ground and around the world
working to help Haiti recover from this disaster. The work is far from over, however,
and Red Cross will continue to work with the people of Haiti as they begin the
process of rebuilding their country.
Disasters come in many forms. Please visit to see how,
with your support today, Red Cross will always be there to help.                           Photo: David Chancellor/South African Red Cross Society
                                                                                                                      March 2010 P5

                                                                                               news in brief
Together as partners with Aboriginal and Torres Strait                                    Convention on Cluster
Islander Australians                                                                      Munitions to commence
As part of our renewed commitment to supporting the most vulnerable and                   saving lives
disadvantaged people, Red Cross is putting more effort into working with Aboriginal       On 16 February 2010, Burkina Faso
and Torres Strait Islander Australians.                                                   became the 30th State to ratify the
In July last year the Austrailan Red Cross Board adopted the Aboriginal and Torres        Convention on Cluster Munitions, which
Strait Islander Strategy 2009–2015, which sets out how we will work in long-term,         means that the Convention will enter
respectful partnerships with Indigenous peoples and communities and sets clear            into force on 1 August 2010. Cluster
outcomes in ten important areas. We are making great progress in this renewed             munitions are weapons consisting of
service area.                                                                             a container that opens in mid-air and
                                                                                          scatters explosive smaller ‘bomblets’
A key to the success of this strategy is employing local people who know and              over a wide area. The number of
understand their communities, and can help us work best together. We now have             bomblets can vary from several to
more than 80 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff in the organisation and are      more than 600. They were first used in
on track to meet our target of increasing this number from three to six percent of all    World War II, and continue to be used in
staff and volunteers.                                                                     conflicts today.
We have also opened new offices in Broome in north-western Western Australia and          Australian Red Cross strongly supports
in Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory to better support staff and improve service    the Convention on Cluster Munitions,
delivery in these areas. Our Kalgoorlie office is due to be officially opened in March.   which will help to prevent further civilian
Our existing services are being delivered, and expanded, with Aboriginal and Torres       suffering, assist countries that are still
Strait Islander communities in regional centres and remote communities across             affected by cluster munitions and bring
Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia.                survivors the care and rehabilitation they
                                                                                          require. Australian Red Cross encourages
We are also rolling out some exciting new services that are in line with Red Cross’       the Australian Government to ratify the
new strategic priorities focusing on vulnerable groups such as homeless people,           Convention as soon as possible.
people with mental health issues, and prisoners and their families, with an emphasis
on early intervention and prevention.                                                     With the entry into force of the
                                                                                          Convention on Cluster Munitions,
For more information about our work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait                     international humanitarian law now
Islander Australians, visit                                          provides a comprehensive framework
                                                                                          for preventing and ending the civilian
                                                                                          suffering caused by ‘weapons that
                                                                                          can’t stop killing’. Together, the 1997
                                                                                          Mine Ban Convention, the 2003
                                                                                          Protocol on Explosive Remnants of War
                                                                                          and the 2008 Convention on Cluster
                                                                                          Munitions are a far-reaching response
                                                                                          to the humanitarian consequences of
                                                                                          unexploded and abandoned ordnance
                                                                                          and give hope for a future where
                                                                                          affected communities can one day live
                                                                                          without the threat of these weapons.
                                                                                          To read more about how international
                                                                                          humanitarian law is protecting people
                                                                                          during times of armed conflict visit
P6 the Humanitarian

With the enormous task
of rebuilding ahead
for Haiti’s survivors,
humanitarian agencies
are putting lessons
learned from past
disasters into action,
writes Sian Powell.

the long road                                                                                   The decisions
                                                                                             made now will have
                                                                                             long-term impacts.

The ever-climbing death toll in Haiti is now likely to rival the      it is likely to be at the top of the list when major donors meet to
carnage of the 2004 Asian tsunami, one of the worst natural           discuss Haiti’s needs at the United Nations headquarters in New
disasters of the modern age. As the sheer scale of the                York in March. Donors have already concluded that many of the
catastrophe comes into sharper focus, the international aid           spontaneous camps are likely to turn into settlements that will
community is bracing itself for a massive recovery program            house thousands of Haitians for years to come, and carefully
expected to take years and cost billions of dollars.                  planned ‘transitional’ housing should be a priority. Steel beams,
                                                                      for instance, could hold up tarpaulins in the short-term and later
The Haitian government now estimates as many as 230,000
                                                                      form the skeletons of more permanent shelter.
Haitians were killed when the magnitude 7.0 quake struck on
12 January. Many of the footpaths, parks and schoolyards of           The world has learned a great deal from a spate of natural
Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince, a city now largely reduced    disasters: the Asian tsunami, earthquakes in Pakistan, Indonesia,
to rubble, have become impromptu camps for at least one million       China and Iran. Planning for years of recovery now begins almost
homeless Haitians. These destitute survivors live under plastic       immediately, and constant communication has become a staple
tarps or lengths of fabric strung up to form temporary weather-       of disaster aid management. The aid community knows it is
breaks at more than 700 sites of varying sizes in and around          essential to discuss plans and operations with the people
Port-au-Prince – many without any sanitation at all. As well          affected by the disaster; to start talking and listening as soon as
as the incessant need for food, clean water and medical care,         possible, and to keep it up for as long as it takes.
the Haitian need for shelter is becoming increasingly urgent.
                                                                      Grievous errors can be avoided: like, for instance, the oversupply
Haiti’s rainy season is expected to start in weeks, and the           of donated fishing boats to tsunami-affected Sri Lanka, where
Caribbean hurricane season officially begins on 1 June. Adequate      over-fishing had long been a problem; or the failure to help keep
shelter and sanitation is crucial to prevent a wave of disease, and   the essential orchards watered in Bam in Iran after the 2003
                                                                                                                                                     March 2010 P7

earthquake, the priority deemed most important by the people of                               many as 230,000 people in 2004.
Bam, more important than shelter or schools.
                                                                                              As well as the importance of maintaining clear lines of
Planning for kick-starting livelihoods and providing long-term                                communication with the affected populace, Staines says the
shelter has to begin almost immediately to avoid dispiriting                                  tsunami taught development agencies the importance of making
delays. Even before the earthquake Haiti was deeply troubled,                                 very careful early decisions. Rushed or panicky plans, such as
with a disaffected population mostly living below the poverty                                 the urge to hurl up shelters at top speed, can be counter-
line in a nation riddled with corruption and lawlessness.                                     productive. In the end some insecure shelters in post-tsunami
                                                                                              Aceh had to be retrofitted, or even knocked down and replaced.
Many in the development community are determined to avoid
past errors and do their utmost to assist Haitians rebuild their                              Red Cross was careful to build solid, earthquake resistant houses,
shattered nation, and rebuild it into a more effective, better-                               even though they took more time and cost more money. And a
functioning, economically more stable nation. World Bank                                      series of aftershocks in Haiti has made it clear that it is essential to
president Robert Zoellick has warned that it is essential the                                 prepare for the worst. ‘The decisions made now will have long-
donors don’t lose interest when the cameras leave. United                                     term impacts,’ Staines says. ‘Building back better is crucial.’
Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon has asked the world to                                  Sian Powell worked for The Australian for 14 years until the end
think about Haiti’s future, to free Haitians from ‘dependence on                              of 2008. The newspaper’s Jakarta correspondent between 2003
the world’s generosity’.                                                                      and 2006, she spent a lot of time in tsunami-ravaged Aceh.
Chris Staines, an Australian tsunami unit officer from the                                    She now works as a freelance journalist in Thailand.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent                                        Please visit to see how you can
Societies, has been working on compiling information on the                                   support Red Cross to always be there to help people
lessons learned from the Asian tsunami that took the lives of as                              affected by disasters.

Residents of La Piste, Port-au-Prince, lined up hours in advance of the 13 February distribution of relief shelter-material – tarpaulins and rope.
Photo: American Red Cross/Bonnie Gillespie
P8 the Humanitarian

                                                                                    Australian Red Cross
                                                                                    aid worker Christopher
                                                                                    Cliffe travelled to
                                                                                    Port-au-Prince to help
                                                                                    people injured by the
                                                                                    devastating 12 January
                                                                                    earthquake. Jacqui
                                                                                    Pringle spoke with
                                                                                    Christopher upon his
                                                                                    return to Australia.

Joely Jeanwe in the destroyed 18th Centuary cathedral in downtown Port-au-Prince. January 24, 2010. Photo: Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross
                                                                                                                                    March 2010 P9

                                                          Christopher Cliffe recalls the moment         The team spent its days working
                                                          he and his colleagues discovered              through a steady stream of injured
                                                          a two-year-old living in a makeshift          patients at the clinic, typically treating
                                                          camp. Both of the child’s legs had            infected or badly managed crush
                                                          been broken during the earthquake.            injuries from the earthquake, as
                                                          Plaster casts had been applied, but the       well as emerging illnesses related to
                                                          bones had pierced the skin. Unable to         overcrowding and the breakdown of
                                                          access follow-up care, painful sores had      local infrastructure; pneumonia and lung
                                                          developed and become infected.                infections, skin disorders and diarrhoeal
                                                                                                        diseases. Christopher also travelled out
                                                          ‘He was crying and very distressed, as        to communities to identify the public
Australian aid worker Christopher and his colleagues
spent each day working through a steady stream of         you can imagine,’ Christopher says. ‘It       health needs of people who had been
patients injured during the earthquake. Photo: Courtesy   took a fair amount of time to calm him        displaced by the earthquake and were
of Christopher Cliffe
                                                          down, for him to trust us and for the         living in makeshift camps.
                                                          family to realise that we were going to
                                                          take him and the mother away to the           ‘There were nearly a million people,
                                                          little hospital that we’d created.’           maybe more, who were displaced. And
                                                                                                        these are people who have lost their
                                                          Upon arrival at the small Red Cross clinic,   houses and some, their livelihoods,’
                                                          Christopher and his colleagues removed        Christopher says.
                                                          the plaster and dressed the wounds.
                                                          ‘To see how much more comfortable we              You have to look for
                                                          were able to make him, and to get him          the small, little glimpses of
                                                          laughing and carrying on and blowing
                                                          up the gloves and drawing faces on
                                                                                                             hope that happen.
                                                          them … they’re the highlights,’ he says.      ‘In the first few days, people were just
                                                          ‘You have to look for the small, little       sitting on piles of rubble, looking into
                                                          glimpses of hope that happen.’                space. I can’t blame them, they didn’t
                                                                                                        know which way was up. But very quickly,
                                                          Christopher arrived in Haiti six days
                                                                                                        people started to realise there were
                                                          after the capital of Port-au-Prince was
                                                                                                        children who survived, people needed to
                                                          levelled by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake.       be fed, they needed to find water, they
                                                          Driving overland across the Dominican         needed to search for a job … that life

survives in Haiti
                                                          Republic and through the border into          goes on. The resilience was amazing.’
                                                          Haiti, he joined more than 1,000 national
                                                          and international Red Cross workers           Christopher says that aid efforts over
                                                          assisting shell-shocked communities.          the two-week period were making an
                                                                                                        increased impact on the communities in
                                                          Although an experienced Red Cross aid         which he was working.
                                                          worker, having spent the past 15 years
                                                          helping communities ravaged by natural        ‘People were starting to get food and
Six weeks after the quake, the                                                                          getting access to water, and people
                                                          and man-made disasters in countries
Australian public, governments and                                                                      were getting more and more access to
                                                          across the world, nothing could have
corporate organisations had donated                                                                     latrines and shelter,’ he says.
                                                          prepared Christopher for the devastation
more than $6 million to the Australian
                                                          he witnessed upon his arrival.                ‘The needs were enormous and it was a
Red Cross Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
                                                                                                        huge task, but there’s a lot of experience
Since the first donations began to                        ‘In the city centre, which people liken to
                                                                                                        in the international world. Everyone’s
flow, funds from the appeal have                          the size of Melbourne, at least 95 percent    working together and everyone’s pulling
been used to support emergency                            of buildings were totally wiped out,’ he      together and it’s going to take a long
relief work. Ten Australian Red Cross                     says. ‘The buildings were just rubble.        time for Haiti to rebuild and to meet all of
aid workers have been sent to Haiti                                                                     their needs, but I have hope that they’re
                                                          ‘The number of people walking around
since 12 January to provide medical                                                                     going to make it.’
                                                          in a daze was horrific. People had lost
support and expertise in shelter. Each
                                                          everything, they were thirsty, they didn’t    The Australian Red Cross Delegates
of our aid workers provides additional
                                                          know when and if they were going to           Program is supported by the
capacity to Haitian Red Cross Society
                                                          get food, they had no shelter; they didn’t    Australian Government (AusAID). Visit
staff and volunteers who have been
                                                          know what was happening to their loved to find out how
working around the clock since the
                                                          ones. They were terrified,’ he says.          to become an Australian Red Cross
earthquake occurred. The funds
                                                          Joining a Japanese medical team,              aid worker or to support our aid work
from the appeal will also contribute
                                                                                                        across the world.
to rehabilitation and recovery                            Christopher and his colleagues were
activities aimed at assisting Haitian                     tasked with setting up and running a
communities to rebuild their homes                        basic health care clinic among the rubble
and lives over the coming three years.                    of a suburb just outside Port-au-Prince.
P10 the Humanitarian

There are many paths                          and a sprinkler system. But the months
                                              that followed have been consumed by
                                                                                             Both couples have also appreciated
                                                                                             the support of the wider Australian and
to recovery from a                            dealing with the bushfires’ enormous           international community, reflected in
                                              impacts on the rest of their property.         the unprecedented response to the
major catastrophe like                                                                       Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Karen and
                                              Lynda says the clean up has been
the Victorian bushfires.                      physically, mentally and emotionally
                                                                                             Macca’s temporary home and Lynda
                                                                                             and Ken’s replacement hayshed were
Karina Coates and                             demanding. ‘I think the hardest thing was
                                                                                             funded through donations to the appeal.
                                              that I couldn’t find time for time out,’ she
Janine Gray find out                          says. As well as managing paperwork,           ‘Every single person, whether they
how two couples have                          attending appointments and community
                                              events, hosting visitors and arranging
                                                                                             donated 50 cents or $50,000, they
                                                                                             have a stake in Kinglake’s future and the
coped over the last year.                     tradespeople, there was also the physical      other fire-affected areas,’ says Macca
                                              work that needed to be done. ‘Pulling          passionately. ‘So I say, come on up, buy a
                                              down the fences was just ongoing –             pie, have a beer at the bar and see where
                                              every weekend – and people said “you’ve        your generous donations have gone.’
                                              got to have a break”, but we couldn’t.
                                              We felt we had to get the place back to        Simple pleasures
When Kinglake residents Karen and             where we were before the fires,’ Lynda
Anthony (Macca) McDonald lost their           says. ‘It was one thing after the other.’      While Karen takes pleasure in her
home and well-established garden in the                                                      garden, particularly enjoying the visits
bushfires, it was heartbreaking to consider   Even signs of recovery in the scorched         of vibrant rosellas, king parrots and
all that had gone. But the thought of         landscape, though welcome, have                cockatoos that provide bright splashes
moving to another community and starting      produced mixed feelings for Ken and            of colour in the rejuvenating landscape,
again was even less appealing.                Lynda. ‘When we first saw the regrowth         Lynda and Ken have also been
                                              we thought it was beautiful,’ Lynda says.      remembering the special reasons they
‘We’ve been here for 12 years, we             ‘But after a while, we almost felt broken-     decided to move to the area, and the
love the community and we’re part of          hearted. Because of the rain, everything       importance of living in the moment.
it, so we thought it was important to         has regenerated and it’s lovely and green
stand tall and continue to be part of         – but it is completely out of control. It’s    ‘When we worked on the fences with
the community,’ says Macca. ‘We also          overwhelming to think that there’s more        wonderful volunteers from the organisation
felt that with the magnitude of good will     work to do – another huge job.’                BlazeAid, I realised it was enjoyable – we
after the fires, we wanted to show that                                                      had a laugh with the neighbours and
the investment wasn’t in vain.’               Dr Rob Gordon, consultant psychologist         for the first time we sat down at a place
                                              with Australian Red Cross, has spent           that we had always said would be nice
The Kinglake couple are living in a           the past year working with communities         to have a picnic – and it was just brilliant,
temporary home while they wait for            in bushfire-affected areas. He says that       absolutely brilliant. We said “wow, this is
their new home to be built. As it slowly      for those recovering from a major event        what everybody else sees.”’
takes shape, Karen spends much of             like the bushfires, every dimension of
her time working on her garden. ‘When         life, both conscious and sub-conscious,        Many people that Dr Gordon has
your house isn’t growing, you get a lot of    has been disrupted. ‘Everything has            worked with during the year have also
pleasure out of green things,’ she says.      changed. It takes a long time, and much        spoken of a much clearer sense of
                                              energy, to re-establish those basic            what’s important, even though they
Such small pleasures ease the stress
                                              routines and to free the mind for coming       continue to feel pain, sadness and grief.
of the vast, time-consuming job of
rebuilding. ‘You get the sense that           to terms with it all,’ Dr Gordon says.         ‘Some may never take for granted their
people think “it’s been a year since the                                                     previous sense of security or confidence,
fires, aren’t you better yet? Haven’t you     Giving and receiving                           but each will find their own new normality
built your house yet?”,’ Karen says.                                                         in a changed, though possibly more
                                              Lynda is grateful for the invaluable
‘And you think, how long do you think                                                        dangerous world,’ Dr Gordon says.
                                              support of many people in the
this takes? It takes a long time. I mean                                                     ‘What we do know for certain is that
                                              community, including new friends and
your house burnt down, not to mention                                                        every journey takes time and needs our
                                              Red Cross volunteers. But for a person
all your ancillaries – that’s what people                                                    continued support and acknowledgment.’
                                              who is accustomed to helping others,
have had to continue with.’
                                              it was difficult to realise that she herself
At the other end of the Kinglake-             needed support. Lynda managed this
Healesville Road, Lynda and Ken               feeling by taking every opportunity to
Hultgren’s family saved their home from       help other people who were struggling,
three ferocious blazes that converged         including transporting the gift of a horse
on their Healesville property. The            to a little girl with leukaemia whose own
couple and their three daughters credit       horse perished in the fires. ‘That was
focused teamwork as well as a raft of         really good. It made me feel better that I
preventative measures – including back        could do something for someone else,’
up power, an underground water tank           she says.                                      Karen and Anthony McDonald at their Kinglake home.
                                                                                                                                                   March 2010 P11

                                                                                                                          Victorian bushfires –
                                                                                                                          one year on
                                                                                                                          One year has passed since we
                                                                                                                          witnessed the worst natural disaster in
                                                                                                                          Australia’s history. The loss of so many
                                                                                                                          lives and the devastation caused by
                                                                                                                          the Victorian bushfires of 2009 are still
                                                                                                                          very present in our nation’s psyche.
                                                                                                                          For many community members whose
                                                                                                                          lives were irrevocably changed by the
                                                                                                                          fires, the one-year mark has brought
                                                                                                                          with it a painful reminder of loss – of
                                                                                                                          loved ones, homes, possessions and
                                                                                                                          once close-knit communities. For
                                                                                                                          others, 7 February 2010 has brought

                                                                                                                          with it a celebration of life, survival and

from the                                                                                                                  acknowledgement of how far they
                                                                                                                          have come.
                                                                                                                          For every Australian, this anniversary
                                                                                                                          is also a reminder of the incredible
                                                                                                                          display of generosity and love we
                                                                                                                          witnessed across this nation, and
                                                                                                                          indeed the world, in the days, weeks
                                                                                                                          and months following the fires. As is
                                                                                                                          so often seen in the face of immense
                                                                                                                          challenge, the response from the
                                                                                                                          wider community following the 2009
                                                                                                                          Victorian bushfires was staggering,
                                                                                                                          with more than half a million people,
                                                                                                                          companies and governments
                                                                                                                          responding to the pain and suffering
                                                                                                                          of families and communities torn apart
                                                                                                                          by an act of nature. The power of
                                                                                                                          humanity to unite people for a cause
                                                                                                                          should never be underestimated.
                                                                                                                          The Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009
                                                                                                                          raised $379 million, which together
                                                                                                                          with interest and other donations paid
                                                                                                                          direct to the trust account set up by
                                                                                                                          the Victorian Government, means
                                                                                                                          that more than $389 million was
                                                                                                                          made available to support individuals
                                                                                                                          and communities in the wake of this
                                                                                                                          devastating event. For that, we say
                                                                                                                          thank you.
                                                                                                                          The journey to recovery for many
                                                                                                                          will be long. It certainly doesn’t end
                                                                                                                          with this anniversary. Australian
                                                                                                                          Red Cross, through the generous
                                                                                                                          funding contributed by government,
                                                                                                                          charitable and corporate supporters,
                                                                                                                          will continue to work in bushfire-
                                                                                                                          affected areas, supporting people
                                                                                                                          in for the long-term through their
                                                                                                                          journey to recovery.
                                                                                                                          To view an interactive timeline that
                                                                                                                          captures the words, images and
                                                                                                                          voices of the people affected, visit
                                                                                                                          our website at
                                                                                                                          For more information about the
                                                                                                                          bushfire appeal funds visit
After a year of constant activity, Lynda Hultgren is finding time to reflect. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Rodney Dekker
P12 the Humanitarian

Personal stories, music
and interviews feature in
new resources to help
young people to recover
from emergencies.
Jacqui Pringle speaks
to two teenagers
who share their own
experiences of recovery.                                                              healing the youth
Tim Liddell is sure that by sharing his experience of flooding in his hometown, he will help other young people get back on their feet after an emergency. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Catfish

Sam Montague knows what it’s like                                actors and sporting stars. It also includes                               It’s the experience
to be threatened by fire. The Year 11                            an online space where young people,
Maffra Secondary College student                                 like Sam, can share their stories, validate
                                                                                                                                          of others that people
spent more than 60 days over the                                 their experiences and help others.                                           can learn from.
summer of 2006/07 helping his parents
                                                                 Red Cross State Manager Emergency
prepare the family’s Valencia Creek
                                                                 Services Adam Dent says the project                              artists to create something that will be
property in Victoria as bushfires burned
                                                                 was developed as a result of working                             useful to people recovering from 2009’s
out of control nearby. He refers to that
                                                                 with community members, schools                                  fires, as well as being relevant and
summer as a period spent waiting
                                                                 and youth agencies in and around                                 available for future emergencies – fires,
for the inevitable. But the Montagues
                                                                 towns and suburbs affected by the                                floods and storms.’
were lucky; the fires stopped short one
                                                                 Victorian bushfires.
kilometre from the house, leaving their                                                                                           The project gets the stamp of approval
property and lives intact.                                       ‘The gap that kept coming up                                     from both Sam and his classmate Tim
                                                                 throughout our discussions with                                  Liddell, who shares his own experience of
Sam’s story and others like it are now
                                                                 community members was the absence                                a major flood in his hometown of Newry
available online as part of a project
                                                                 of a guide or resource that’s relevant to                        for the web space. Both feel strongly that
developed by Australian Red Cross in
                                                                 12- to 25-year-olds recovering from an                           their stories will be helpful to other young
the wake of the deadly 2009 Victorian
                                                                 emergency,’ Mr Dent says.                                        people facing a similar situation.
bushfires. The project includes an
MP3 player featuring a 45-minute radio                           ‘So we set to work with young                                    ‘If you look at all the information for
program of information, music and                                people, youth-focused agencies and                               people who have been affected by
interviews with Australian musicians,                            organisations, and some great Aussie                             fires or floods, it’s all for young kids or
                                                                                                                                                            March 2010 P13

Year 11 student Sam Montague shares his experience of bushfires online as part of new Red Cross emergency recovery resources for young people. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Catfish

adults,’ Sam says. ‘There’s absolutely                      ‘Teenagers are just young adults,’ Sam                       An Australian-first for the emergency
nothing out there for us.                                   says. ‘We’re not children, we can help                       sector, the resources have been
                                                            too. We can do just as many things as the                    developed with advice from members
‘This project uses people’s own
                                                            adults can; it’s just that they’ve had more                  of the Australian Child and Adolescent
personal experience. It’s not read off a                    life experience than us. We’re completely                    Trauma, Loss and Grief Network
script – it’s the experience of others that                 capable of doing anything they want us to                    after consultation with young people,
people can learn from.’                                     as long as they show us how to do it.’                       agencies and communities.
‘Hopefully the stories will help people                     The radio show features Aussie artists                       The project can be accessed at
bounce back,’ Tim says. ‘To get back on                     including Lisa Mitchell, Bluejuice, Chance         
their feet after an emergency and help to                   Waters and Blue King Brown and is                            aftertheemergency.
keep them going forward.’                                   hosted by Triple J’s Zan Rowe. MP3
The project has also provided an avenue                     players were distributed to schools and
for Sam to impart some important                            youth groups in fire-affected areas in the
advice to parents across Australia.                         first week of February and will be handed
Unlike many of his friends who have                         out following future emergencies.
been sent away during emergencies,                          The webspace at
Sam’s parents took the time prior to the                    au/aftertheemergency features video
fires to teach both their kids about what                   stories for and about young people
to do in the case of a major emergency,                     affected by emergencies and links to
an action that Sam says was helpful                         information and materials from Red
because it made him feel useful.                            Cross and other agencies.
P14 the Humanitarian

After five years of
worry and waiting,
a sister embraces
the three brothers
she feared lost,
writes Andrea Lee.

separated by war

                                              siblings reunite

Joyous Dorcas Mwinyi Yungu recently hugged her three              In October 2005, during
younger brothers in the flesh, after five years of fearing they   armed conflict in the                 I was so
were dead. Separated from her siblings by armed conflict in       Democratic Republic of           very happy to find
their homeland – the Democratic Republic of Congo – Dorcas        Congo, her husband was
fled to Australia, not knowing if they were alive or dead.        killed and Dorcas fled
                                                                                                      them alive.
                                                                  with their son Junior Yungu to Zimbabwe, where they lived in
Onlookers watched on as Dorcas and her brothers – twins
                                                                  refugee camps until coming to Australia in 2007.
Mangaza and Songa, aged 16, and Wapa Yungu, aged 17 –
greeted each other in an emotional reunion at Darwin Airport      Once in Australia, she approached Red Cross to help her find
in February.                                                      her family. Red Cross’ Migration Support team in the Northern
                                                                  Territory worked closely with Dorcas to reunite the family.
Every year, thousands of people flee their war-ravaged homes
and seek a life of peace and protection in Australia and          In June 2008, a Red Cross Message delivered the news that
other countries.                                                  her family were safe and living together in a refugee camp.
Dorcas found her brothers through the Restoring Family Links      ‘I love this,’ said Migration Support Program Coordinator Joan
program, part of the global Red Cross international tracing       Washington, as she witnessed the emotional reunion. ‘This is
service, helping to reconnect people who have been separated      the best part of the job. We usually hear the worst stories, so
from their loved ones by conflict and natural disasters.          these are such great moments.’
‘I am feeling very happy,’ said Dorcas. ‘When I started with      Dorcas recently married Karim Sumaili, who was also reunited
Red Cross, they looked everywhere for my brothers. When           with his family through Red Cross’ Restoring Family Links
they found them I was so very happy to find them alive.’          program. ‘My life is good with Karim, our new baby Abraham,
                                                                  Junior Yungu and now my brothers. I’m so happy,’ she said.
Australian Red Cross has handled 2,151 tracing cases over
the past year.
                                                                                                                                                                      March 2010 P15

Dorcas is reunited with her brothers at Darwin Airport. Her family is just one of the 2,151 tracing cases Red Cross has handled over the past year. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Chris Knight
P16 the Humanitarian

The challenges that
some families face
can be difficult to
overcome without
help. Bruce Wardley
finds out how
a school-based

support service is
giving children the
best possible start.

Rosie and the three other Kettlewell children have gone from strength to strength with support from the program. Photo: Renae Droop
                                                                                                                        March 2010 P17

                                                                                                 Parents like Cheryl
                                                                                           Kettlewell (pictured with
                                                                                                daughter Rosie (left)
                                                                                           and son Max (right)) can

                                                                                              access resources and
                                                                                            information through the
                                                                                             Early Years Health and
                                                                                                Wellbeing Program.
                                                                                               Photo: Renae Droop

Cheryl and Brett Kettlewell know just         development, behavioural problems and        people l am not sitting here worrying
how hard it is to bring up a young family.    general health issues,’ Ms Davidson          about what is happening with my son.
With four children under ten it is often a    says. ‘Without help, many parents            I know he is in good hands and is well
struggle for the Kettlewells to make ends     struggle to form positive relations within   looked after. I’m truly overwhelmed and
meet. Born and raised on a dairy farm         the school community and this can            you should be proud of these people
just outside Ipswich, Cheryl is proud of      affect the child’s learning experience.’     that have gone out of their way to help
her connections with rural southeast                                                       my little boy.’
                                              Ms Davidson says that rather than a call
Queensland, but money is tight and
bringing up their four children has been      from the school being seen as a bad          Red Cross Executive Director in
full of challenges.                           thing, families working with the program     Queensland, Greg Goebel says a
                                              have usually developed a relationship        school-facilitated referral service helps
Project Coordinator for the Red Cross         with a Red Cross staff member to a point     to build a school’s capacity to support
Early Years Health and Wellbeing              where they are comfortable discussing        and engage children and families.
Program in Queensland, Christina              their problems and happy to ask for help
Davidson, says the Kettlewell family                                                       ‘It aims to give local children the best
                                              to deal with any issues that arise.
is typical of many that Red Cross is                                                       possible start in life by supporting
supporting in the Ipswich area through a      ‘Cheryl and Brett Kettlewell have made       parents to take responsibility for
school-based early intervention service       great progress since becoming part of        their child’s health and wellbeing.’
designed to give children the best start      the program. They are well respected in      Mr Goebel says.
in life.                                      their school community and are now more
                                                                                           ‘Parents have access to a wide range
                                              willing to accept advice from healthcare
The service places dedicated teams                                                         of resources and information, including
                                              professionals, school staff and other
within schools to identify the needs                                                       advice on nutrition, parenting skills and
                                              support services,’ says Ms Davidson.
of prep-year children and refer their                                                      physical education activities.’
families to relevant health and other         ‘Children of families that don’t receive
                                                                                           The program is a partnership between
support services.                             this sort of assistance can fall into
                                                                                           Red Cross, the Queensland Office for
                                              a cycle of falling behind at school,
One of the Kettlewell children in                                                          Early Childhood Education and Care, and
                                              challenging and disruptive behaviours,
particular needed help with maths,                                                         three local state schools.
                                              depression and low self esteem.’
speech and occupational therapy. Since
working with the team, the Kettlewell         ‘Red Cross is fantastic,’ says Cheryl
children have gone from strength to           Kettlewell. ‘It’s the best service
strength and are now highly regarded at       out there.’
their local school.
                                              Another parent is also glowing in her
Ms Davidson says that parents in the          praise after Red Cross team members
area often face not just one, but a host      helped her towards the diagnosis of
of challenges such as unemployment,           Asperger Syndrome in her youngest son.
poverty, poor literacy, health issues and
                                              ‘We now have a different little boy,’ the
the difficulties that can come with blended
                                              mother writes in a letter to Red Cross.
families and changing family dynamics.
                                              ‘He is much calmer and it’s nice to sit
‘Many of the children we work with have       down and have a discussion on various
learning difficulties, delayed speech         things after school. Thanks to caring
P18 the Humanitarian

Laura McKay
how a strong
friendship and
basic first aid
saved Johnny

back from the br
Kalomor’s life.

Remote Loh Island was the scene of a diving accident that almost cost Johnny Kalomor his life. Photo: xxxxx
                                                                                                 March 2010 P19

    Johnny Kalomor       Nothing could prepare experienced             These dynamic volunteer trainers learn
        was saved by
     first aid. Photo:   diver Johnny Kalomor for what would           about first aid at courses run by Vanuatu
 Vanuatu Red Cross/      happen to him when he went out diving         Red Cross with support from Australian
    George Worwor
                         one Saturday in remote Vanuatu. But a         Red Cross. Around 20 volunteers are
                         first aid training session held two days      chosen by their communities in remote
                         earlier by Red Cross helped a friend          southern and northern provinces of
                         save his life.                                Tafea and Torba to take the course.
                         Surrounded by sharp coral reefs and           After the course, three students are
                         abundant marine life, Loh Island is part      selected to study further to become
                         of the remote Torres Islands in northern      trainers themselves. Women, men and
                         Vanuatu. Johnny and his friend Selwin         young people are equally represented
                         Godwin noticed the waves were strong,         among the trainers, who then return
                         but felt they were skilled enough to handle   to their communities to deliver first aid
                         the conditions and go fishing for a meal.     classes to more than 1,000 people like
                                                                       Selwin and Johnny in the far reaches of
                         Johnny soon found himself pulled
                                                                       the archipelago.
                         under. Despite his diving experience, he
                         couldn’t get back to the surface.
                                                                       On the rocks
                         ‘I didn’t know what was happening.
                                                                       Seeing that Johnny was not breathing,
                         I was aware of something pulling me
                                                                       Selwin began to apply the resuscitation
                         down to the sea bed,’ remembers
                                                                       techniques he had learnt from the
                         Johnny, who is principal of Robin
                                                                       community volunteers only a few days
                         Primary School. ‘After that my mind was
                                                                       before, freeing the breathing passage and
                         lost and I thought I was dead.’
                                                                       applying cardio massage. His training
                         Selwin surfaced to catch his breath, and      worked. Johnny was resuscitated.
                         then dived again to find Johnny lifeless
                                                                       ‘It was a miracle that I found myself
                         at the bottom of the ocean. Trying to get
                                                                       lying on sharp rocks and stones,’
                         to shore, the current threw them against
                                                                       recalls Johnny.
                         the coral reef, cutting them both badly.
                         Selwin used all his strength to haul          Badly injured by the reef, Selwin had
                         Johnny in.                                    to rest for a long time before he could
                                                                       carry Johnny to the health centre. This,
                         Remote islands like Loh have limited
                                                                       Johnny can remember. ‘My mind began
                         access to basic services like health
                                                                       functioning again and I started asking
                         care. Luckily, two days earlier, Johnny

                                                                       questions,’ he smiles. ‘The two Red
                         and Selwin had attended a basic first
                                                                       Cross volunteers told me everything.’
                         aid training session conducted by Red
                         Cross volunteers. Looking in on the           A trip to Port Villa for further treatment
                         session was Rufino Pineda.                    confirmed the diving pair’s injuries are
                                                                       healing and they are returning to health.
                         ‘I was immediately struck by their
                                                                       This brings a huge smile to Johnny’s face.
                         professionalism,’ says Rufino of the
                         two volunteers leading the class. ‘They       ‘I was lost and dead and now I am
                         perfectly understood how to adapt their       found,’ he states, smiling broadly and
                         lessons to their audience, make the           looking forward to returning to his life on
                         shyest feel comfortable, and draw the         Loh Island.
                         maximum from the participants.
                                                                       For information about Red Cross’
                         ‘We never know when we will possibly          wide range of accredited first aid
                         need this knowledge,’ Rufino told the         courses and first aid products, visit
P20 the Humanitarian

                                                                                                                Red Cross retail is embarking on an
                                                                                                                odyssey through fashion with the opening
                                                                                                                of its new Victoria flagship vintage store,
                                                                                                                191 Bridge. A first of its kind, 191 Bridge
                                                                                                                has a selection of hand-picked, top-of-the-
                                                                                                                range vintage and streetwear clothing and
                                                                                                                accessories on offer, giving shoppers the
                                                                                                                opportunity to create unique looks with
                                                                                                                proceeds going to Red Cross.
                                                                                                                Located in Bridge Road in Richmond,
                                                                                                                Melbourne, 191 Bridge is a treasure trove
                                                                                                                for any fashion lover. With constantly
                                                                                                                changing stock sourced both nationally
                                                                                                                and internationally, you never know what
                                                                                                                you will find.
                                                                                                                With original World War I and World War II
                                                                                                                Red Cross posters adorning the walls and
                                                                                                                an eclectic mix of furniture and shop fittings,
                                                                                                                the store will transport shoppers to bygone
                                                                                                                eras with its interior and merchandising.
                                                                                                                It’s an exciting time for Red Cross retail
                                                                                                                with plans to expand its range of stores
                                                                                                                throughout 2010 including a New South
                                                                                                                Wales flagship vintage store in Newtown,
                                                                                                                Sydney and two stand-alone accessory
                                                                                                                stores in Brunswick, Melbourne and Surfers
                                                                                                                Paradise in the coming months.
                                                                                                                Red Cross Retail Buyer Olivia Cozzolino is
                                                                                                                enthusiastic about the first flagship store.
                                                                                                                ‘We’ve identified a niche in the market, for
                                                                                                                people looking for something different,
                                                                                                                who will appreciate a premium charity
                                                                                                                experience. It’s a totally new direction for
                                                                                                                Red Cross retail and will provide shoppers
                                                                                                                with an unbeatable shopping experience.
                                                                                                                ‘We understand that charity stores
                                                                                                                have long been a source of inspiration
                                                                                                                for fashion-forward shoppers and our
                                                                                                                customers have been delighted by all the
                                                                                                                wonderful items they have found,’ she says.
                                                                                                                ‘Fashion is ultimately influenced by the past,
                                                                                                                so our stock relies on recycling clothes
                                                                                                                from previous eras. Many of our supporters
                                                                                                                would be surprised at the treasures hiding
                                                                                                                in their wardrobes that others would love
                                                                                                                to discover.’
                                                                                                                Red Cross retail is on the look out for
                                                                                                                fashion-loving volunteers who want to
                                                                                                                bring their own style to a Red Cross
                                                                                                                store. To register your interest call
                                                                                                                1800 339 888. Stock donations of good
                                                                                                                quality clothing and accessories are
                                                                                                                gratefully accepted over the counter at
                                                                                                                all stores.
Shoppers can choose from hand-picked, top-of-the-range vintage and streetwear clothing and accessories at new
Red Cross vintage fashion stores. Photo: Australian Red Cross/Jesse Marlow
                                                                                                                                                           March 2010 P21

Coles gives kids a
kick start

Since 2006, support from Coles and its customers has enabled Red Cross to provide over 2.75 million healthy breakfasts to school children across Australia. Photo: Australian
Red Cross/Rodney Dekker

Red Cross National Humanity Partner                         enabled the program to become the                           ‘Our school is very important to the
Coles and its customers have raised an                      largest of its kind in Australia,’ he said.                 community and we are delighted to be
outstanding $275,000 in support of the                                                                                  able to offer our children a healthy start
                                                            ‘Since 2006, support from Coles and
Red Cross Good Start Breakfast Club,                                                                                    to the day.
                                                            its customers has enabled Red Cross
which provides a free healthy breakfast                     to provide over 2.75 million healthy                        ‘The children have more focus and that’s a
and nutrition education to children in                      breakfasts to school children across                        fantastic thing to see because the children
areas of greatest need across Australia.                    Australia. We are so grateful for the most                  reap the benefits in the classroom when
Marking the ‘back to school’ period in                      recent fundraising efforts, which will                      they have energy to learn.’
February, Coles launched the Coles                          have a huge impact on the program.’
                                                                                                                        All proceeds raised from the sale of
Cereal Challenge to encourage healthy                       Currently Good Start Breakfast Clubs                        Coles brand cereal will support and
eating among families. For every box                        operate in more than 260 schools                            expand the Good Start Breakfast Club
of Coles brand cereal sold from 4 to 17                     across Australia, serving over 800,000                      and deliver 100 nutrition education
February, $1 was donated to the Good                        healthy breakfasts each year.                               workshops and physical activity days
Start Breakfast Club.                                                                                                   nationwide.
                                                            For Ettalong Beach Public School in
Shaun Hazeldine, National Manager                           New South Wales, the Good Start                             Red Cross would like to sincerely
of the Good Start Breakfast Club                            Breakfast Club is relatively new but its                    thank Coles and its customers for their
program, gratefully acknowledged the                        presence has already had a big impact.                      generosity and commitment to building
support from Coles, which has led to                        On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday                            healthy communities across Australia.
significant program expansion since the                     mornings, some 180 children are
partnership began in 2006.                                  served up a healthy breakfast, nutrition
                                                            education and plenty of smiles.
‘The Good Start Breakfast Club is
committed to working to improve                             School Principal, Colin Wallis, has
nutrition education among all families,                     welcomed the positive changes that he
and our partnership with Coles has                          has seen in the students.
P22 the Humanitarian

This year the Blood                                                                                        What is plasma?
                                                                                                           The pale liquid part of the
Service is encouraging                                                                                     blood that makes up half of
                                                                                                           the blood’s volume.
more blood donors to
                                                                                                           Why donate plasma?
donate plasma.                                                                                             Because the Blood Service
Beverly Ligman-Smith                                                                                       predicts a 100 percent increase in
                                                                                                           demand for blood during the next
talks to one woman                                                                                         ten years. The demand is being
whose compelling story                                                                                     driven by plasma due to an ageing
                                                                                                           population and developments in
clearly illustrates why.                                                                                   medical science.
                                                                                                           What diseases are combated by
                                                                                                           plasma based products?
                                                                                                           Mostly, chronic auto-immune
                                                                                                           deficiencies and cancers.
                                                                                                           How often can you give plasma?
                                                                                                           If you are already a blood donor and
                                                                                                           fit and healthy, every two weeks.
                                                                                                           How many products does
                                                                                                           plasma make?
                                                                                                           Plasma is used to make 16
                                                                                                           different products and contains
                                                                                                           very important proteins, nutrients
                                                                                                           and clotting factors, which help to
                                                                                                           prevent and stop bleeding.
Kristen Lewis holds the unenviable title of being Australia’s highest user of plasma.

liquid gold
Blood donors don’t often get to meet                               I am alive today because               As you can imagine, the numbers added
the people they help, which is why                                                                        up very quickly, I have used about 4,000
Kristen Lewis’ story is one to be shared.                             of the Australian Red               bags of plasma to date.
Kristen, now 25, is a plasma recipient,                               Cross Blood Service.                I am much better now, but still dependent
but not just any plasma recipient; she
                                                              I was in hospital for seven months          on plasma exchanges every two weeks
holds the unenviable title of being
                                                              dependent on a plasma exchange every        to keep me as healthy as possible. I
Australia’s highest user of plasma. Since
                                                              day to stay alive. A plasma exchange is a   have rebuilt my life around hospital visits
being diagnosed in 2006 with a rare
                                                              process in which blood is removed, spun     and am now very happily working as a
blood disorder, she has used almost
                                                              in a centrifuge, the plasma separated,      swimming instructor and a relief teacher.
4,000 units of donor plasma.
                                                              then my red blood cells are returned        To give blood or plasma, please call
In her own words                                              along with the new donor plasma.            13 14 95
                                                              This is a continual process that uses
My name is Kristen Lewis and I am                             approximately 14 bags of plasma and          The condition known as
alive today because of the Australian                         takes about three hours to complete.         Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic
Red Cross Blood Service, and all its
                                                              Put simply it is the exchange of my          Purpura (TTP) can affect between
wonderful donors.
                                                              unhealthy plasma with that of a donor.       two to four people in a million. It is
In 2006 at the age of 21, I had just come                     During those seven months I certainly        cured through massive transfusions
back from a United Kingdom trip with my                       had a tough time with as many as 10          of plasma, which can amount to
boyfriend and was about to start the 4th                      tubes placed in my main arteries at          as much as several tonnes. If left
year of an education degree, when I fell ill                  different times. At my sickest I was         untreated, the mortality rate for TTP
with a stomach bug. A week later I was in                     placed on a machine two times a              is 90 percent, but when treated
hospital and diagnosed with Thrombotic                        day and the amount of plasma was             by plasma exchange, the mortality
Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP).                               increased, using about 56 bags a day!        rate drops to 10 percent.
 the world
  is easier
you think.

From as little as $1 a day, you have the
power to feed thousands of hungry children.
That’s the power of humanity.

Become a Humanitarian Partner today.
Call 1800 812 018 or visit
                                                                                                           Contact your local
                                                                                                          Red Cross office for
                                                                                                            more information.

In all activities, Red Cross staff members and volunteers
are guided by the following Fundamental Principles.

Humanity The International           Neutrality In order to continue     Unity There can be only one        Cover image Talia Frenkel
                                     to enjoy the confidence of all,     Red Cross or Red Crescent          Designer Miguel Valenzuela,
Red Cross and Red Crescent
Movement, born of a desire           the Movement may not take           Society in any one country. It     Editors Karina Coates, Janine Gray
to bring assistance without          sides in hostilities or engage      must be open to all. It must       Printer DPA printed on Monza Satin
discrimination to the wounded        at any time in controversies of     carry on its humanitarian work     recycled 200 and 130 gsm.
on the battlefield, endeavours,      a political, racial, religious or   throughout its territory.          the Humanitarian is published three
in its international and national    ideological nature.                                                    times a year by Australian Red Cross.
                                                                         Universality The International     Mailing address 155 Pelham Street
capacity, to prevent and
                                     Independence The Movement           Red Cross and Red Crescent         Carlton VIC 3053, Australia.
alleviate human suffering
                                     is independent. The National        Movement, in which all             Telephone + 61 3 9345 1800
wherever it may be found.
                                     Societies, while auxiliaries in     Societies have equal status and    Supporter Services Centre
Its purpose is to protect life and
                                     the humanitarian services of        share equal responsibilities and   1800 811 700
health and ensure respect for
                                     their governments and subject       duties in helping each other,
the human being. It promotes
                                     to the laws of their respective     is worldwide.
mutual understanding,
                                     countries, must always
friendship, co-operation and
                                     maintain their autonomy so that
lasting peace among all people.
                                     they may be able at all times
Impartiality It makes no             to act in accordance with the
discrimination as to nationality,    principles of the Movement.
race, religious beliefs, class
                                     Voluntary Service It is a
or political opinions. It
                                     voluntary relief movement not
endeavours to relieve the
                                     prompted in any manner by
suffering of individuals, being
                                     desire for gain.
guided solely by their needs,
and to give priority to the most
urgent cases of distress.

                                                                         Cnr Lambell Terrace and            TAS
                                                                         Schultze Street,                   40 Melville Street,
                                                                         Larrakeyah NT 0820                 Hobart TAS 7000
                                                                         Tel 08 8924 3900                   Tel 03 6235 6077
                                                                         Fax 08 8924 3909                   Fax 03 6231 1250
                                     Cnr Hindmarsh Drive                 QLD                                VIC
                                     and Palmer Street,                  49 Park Road,                      23-47 Villiers Street,
                                     Garran ACT 2605                     Milton QLD 4064                    North Melbourne VIC 3051
                                     Tel 02 6234 7600                    Tel 07 3367 7222                   Tel 03 8327 7700
                                     Fax 02 6234 7650                    Fax 07 3367 7444                   Fax 03 8327 7711
National Office
155 Pelham Street,                   NSW                                 SA                                 WA
Carlton VIC 3053                     159 Clarence Street,                207-217 Wakefield Street,          110 Goderich Street,
Tel +61 3 9345 1800                  Sydney NSW 2000                     Adelaide SA 5000                   East Perth WA 6004
Fax +61 3 9348 2513                  Tel 02 9229 4111                    Tel 08 8100 4500                   Tel 08 9225 8888                  Fax 02 9229 4244                    Fax 08 8100 4501                   Fax 08 9325 5112

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