NSW Waratahs and Australian Wallabies rugby union player Adam Ashley-Cooper gives blood assisted by nurse Michelle Dibbs of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, at a mobile donor centre in Sydney, Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
NSW Waratahs and Australian Wallabies rugby union player Adam Ashley-Cooper gives blood assisted by nurse Michelle Dibbs of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, at a mobile donor centre in Sydney, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. AAP Image - Dan Himbrechts

The Red Cross marks 100 years in Australia this month

THIS month Australian Red Cross celebrates 100 years.

It is an honour to reflect on our remarkable history, to celebrate our achievements and thank generations of Australians for their support.

This includes the one million Red Cross members, volunteers, donors, staff, blood donors and supporters who make such a positive, lasting difference to the lives of people in need every day - thank you!

The Centenary of Red Cross is a great Australian story about the extraordinary generosity and compassion of people helping people.

These are the stories of people like Florence Flower who during the First World War reportedly wore out four pairs of shoes walking house to house to collect money to purchase a Red Cross field ambulance that was later sent to Egypt.

Or Vietnam veteran Rod Hagan who recalls watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon while making one of his 114 blood donations.

Or Jessica Hazelwood who worked at a hospital in a hostile and dangerous part of Afghanistan to help children and civilians who had been injured from conflict.

These are just a few examples of the countless stories of people who have so generously given their time, energy and resources to help others.

We are so fortunate that this culture of giving thrives in our community.

Founded on an enduring spirit of volunteerism and generosity, Red Cross strives to offer assistance without discrimination, and to alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found, regardless of nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.

We live in an increasingly complex world with difficult humanitarian challenges and our mission to care for the most vulnerable people in need has never been more relevant.

So this month as we reflect on the last 100 years, we look to the next 100.

We pass the baton on to the next generation of Australians to carry on the legacy of the millions of selfless individuals who together demonstrate that the power of humanity can, and does, change people's lives for the better.

There are so many ways you can carry on this legacy - make a regular donation, become a member, volunteer, donate goods to your local Red Cross shop and buy unique items from there too, learn First Aid, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, leave a bequest in your will, or donate blood.

Simply visit http://www.redcross.org.au or call 1800 811 700.

You too can be a part of the great Australian story of people helping people.