Interested in a humanitarian career? The Australian Red Cross is a great place to start - Part 2November 14, 2014
Once you’ve learnt the basics and have some amount of volunteering experience, you will have a better idea of whether or not this is something you would like to do. If you are interested, the short courses and volunteering stints would have prepared you to take your humanitarian career up a notch.
The Red Cross recruits new aid workers once a year. The Australian Red Cross maintains a register of specialist aid workers who can be sent overseas at any time to support humanitarian field operations. Because aid workers may operate in situations of disaster, violence or armed conflict, the organisation’s requirements are very specific.
Eligibility criteria for going on a Red Cross humanitarian mission
Here are some of the requirements for getting onto the employment register of Red Cross Australia:
- Any kind of experience with operating in resource-poor settings
- Some experience with working in humanitarian aid in any setting including remote Australian communities, underserved developing countries or with displaced or vulnerable people
- Specialist healthcare skills in areas of need. Healthcare skills that are in need can vary widely depending on the crisis situation. They can range from nursing and surgery to infectious disease and HIV
- Above average diplomacy, tact and cross-cultural competence
- Critical thinking, communication and problem-solving skills
- Excellent health and emotional resilience
- A valid Australian passport or Australian permanent residency status
- While not essential, proficiency in foreign languages is always an additional asset
The Red Cross recruitment process
The organisation advertises once a year for specific profiles. These vary depending on the needs at that particular time. To be selected, it is important that your application must demonstrate a strong match with the profile requirements that are listed. The selection process itself is quite extensive and includes multiple interview sessions, a behavioural assessment centre, profile psychometric testing and criminal history checks.
Upon successfully clearing the above assessments, you are ready for the final step, which is a six-day residential training program. After completing this program and relevant health clearances, you are eligible to join the aid worker register and can be considered for missions.
Mobilisation eligibility criteria
Before mobilising you to any crisis area, you will be required to pass certain tests. These include:
- Complete medical assessment and health clearance
- Police check and working with children check
- Current valid passport
How the Red Cross supports you
Joining the Red Cross as a member opens the door to plenty of opportunities to work in international healthcare. Most importantly, when there is a humanitarian crisis, whether it is caused by a natural disaster or a war overseas, you will not just know about the problem, but you can be part of the solution
The Red Cross supports all of its members on active duty by providing training, insurance, airfares, living allowances and in-country support. Before you leave on any overseas assignment, you will be required to participate in a training program that is designed to help all aid workers function effectively in an international development context.