Australian Red Cross celebrates 100 birthday

Written on the 13 August 2014

Australian Red Cross celebrates 100 birthday


Australian Red Cross celebrated its 100th birthday - back where it all began at Melbourne's Government House.

Just days after the outbreak of WWI, the wife of the then Governor-General, Lady Helen Munro Ferguson founded Red Cross in Australia and transformed the ballroom of her residence into Red Cross headquarters to serve the humanitarian needs of the nation during the Great War.

As Co-Chair of the Friends of the Red Cross, I joined Victorian patron Mrs Elizabeth Chernov, and wife of His Excellency the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC Governor of Victoria, the President of Australian Red Cross Michael Legge, the Minister for Health David Davis, parliamentary colleagues and members of the Red Cross to acknowledge and celebrate this significant occasion on August 13.

The Red Cross has flourished in peacetime to become one of the nation's largest, most trusted humanitarian organisations which operates at all times with the principles of impartiality and neutrality, and an absolute focus on improving the lives of vulnerable people.

As the world’s largest voluntary humanitarian organisation, operating in over 1,000 locations across Australia and 189 countries around the world, the story of the Red Cross is one of extraordinary generosity and compassion. Generations of everyday Australians have served the nation with Red Cross during times of war, disaster or personal crisis and through the blood service.

Today one million people generously help Red Cross make a positive, lasting difference to the lives of vulnerable people.


Professor Melanie Oppenheimer from Flinders University spent years researching Red Cross history for the book, The Power of Humanity: 100 years of Red Cross in Australia which has been released as part of the celebrations. It is available from the Red Cross at:


Photo taken by Shannon Reddaway

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