This year the Red Cross marks 100 years of service to the communities of Australia. This morning I sat down for a yarn with a group women in Cairns who, between them, have given almost 150 years of service as Red Cross volunteers in far north Queensland. They’ve recently returned to the Lake Street site that has been home to the Red Cross since the early 1960s. But the old green two story HQ building is lone gone, replaced by a flash new multi-level well-being centre that will be officially opened next Monday.
One of the main Red Cross services here in FNQ is to provide accommodation and support services for people who’ve come to Cairns for hospital or medical treatment, often from remote communities on Cape York or in Torres Strait and the Gulf country. The new centre can hold up to 88 people, as well as office space for the local branch and the regional HQ. It will be used as a training venue for Red Cross College, and as an emergency recovery centre during emergencies and disasters.
And the new building proudly carries the name of the region’s longest serving Red Cross volunteer – Pat Gosper, who joined in 1947. LISTEN – meet Pat and her fellow volunteers and explore a new Cairns landmark – Pat Gosper Place.