A message from the Chair and Director
We welcomed our CEO, Judy Slatyer, to Tasmania in March, where she met clients, volunteers, and members to hear about work going on in the state. Judy also presented certificates of appreciation to volunteers and members of the Red Cross Hobart bookshop for their continued dedication and commitment to raising funds to support our work.
Judy has made a big impression on everyone in her first year as CEO. We look forward to the positive changes ahead as we strive to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people.
We have recruited three new members to our Divisional Advisory Board and are in the process of finalising recruitment for the Youth Advisory Committee. These new members were thrown in at the deep end and participated in strategy workshops during April and May. It was fantastic to see their engagement as we discussed how Tasmania can best contribute to our Strategy 2020 outcomes.
Meanwhile, our members, volunteers, and staff were deployed to Queensland and New South Wales to assist with community recovery following Cyclone Debbie earlier this year. We are always proud of the efforts of our Tassie team at times like these. From the people who fly interstate to help to our dedicated debriefing team on King Island, and to those who stay at home to keep our day-to-day work on track, everyone displays their humanity in times of emergency.
Tasmania Divisional Advisory Board Chair
Executive Director Tasmania
Healthy snacks, Aussie style
Mothers from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan keen to learn how Australian food can be integrated into their children’s diets took part in our healthy eating FoodREDi program earlier this year.
“We ran workshops for the women in three separate groups,” said FoodREDi Coordinator Siobhan Reid. “As part of the training, we spent time learning how to read food labels and working out how much sugar, fat and salt were in different products.”
The women, who have all recently arrived in Tasmania, learnt how to choose and prepare healthy snacks and meals for their families. “Sushi, savoury muffins and popcorn were particularly popular,” Siobhan said.
One of the participants, Fatima Alizada, says she had a great time. “I learned a lot about Australian food, sugar and salt in sauce and also to check the expiry date.”
The workshops were supported by the Women’s Friendship Group and the Launceston City Council.
Following on from this workshop, a group from Tasmania’s Afghanistan and Bhutanese communities will be taking part in our upcoming Train the Trainer project. This group will then be able to deliver the FoodREDi program back into their own communities and in their own language.
Prisoners upgrade peer support skills
A group of Risdon Prison inmates who provide peer support to fellow inmates recently completed a training course with the help of Red Cross.
The aim was to assist the prisoners in their peer support role, through which they provide information, advice and educational support to fellow inmates. Of the six inmates who enrolled in the Certificate II in Community Services, four completed the course.
“A great result considering the circumstances and the barriers to delivering training in this location,” says Red Cross Prison Support Program Coordinator Keith Hinde.
Once a week for 36 weeks, Red Cross staff and volunteer guest speakers from our Prison Support Program set up a classroom inside the prison’s minimum security area to deliver the latest lessons and assignments. The course material was provided by Red Cross Training Services.
“During the course two of the students were transferred to a different part of the prison but they stayed motivated and kept up the course work,” says Keith. “These two inmates finished the modules in their own time – a stellar achievement.”
Congratulations to the graduates and our volunteers.
World Red Cross Day celebrations
World Red Cross Day on 8 May, the birthday of Red Cross founder Henry Dunant, was celebrated at events across the state.
Tasmanian State Director Russell Penman says the day acknowledges “how important it is that we are part of a wider global humanitarian movement promoting peace”.
At celebrations in Hobart, awards were presented to Red Cross volunteers, including Pamela Watts, a volunteer with our human resources team.
“Like many of our volunteers, Pam doesn’t like being the centre of attention,” says Russell. “Once she received her award, she flashed her dazzling smile and went straight back to work.”
An award was also given to Diane Munday, a volunteer with the Mates Program. “Matched with several clients who have experienced mental ill-health, Diane was recognised for her patient and dedicated support,” Russell says. “Diane also didn’t feel comfortable being made a fuss of but was determined to attend the award ceremony to encourage others to contribute their time.”
Tasmania’s Emergency Home Alarms Team was also presented with an award. Russell says the commitment shown by staff members Shannon Pokorra and Jan Everett meant people could stay in their own homes. The award acknowledged their professionalism and excellent customer service.
“Now unlike our volunteer award recipients, Jan doesn’t mind being the centre of attention,” says Russell. “She just had time to remind people if they know anyone in need of a monitored personal alarm, then she is the person to call.”
Contact your local Red Cross office for more information