1 Dec 2016 6:00 pm
2016 WA Australian of the Year
Having a child die in Anne's arms as her mother confessed this was her seventh child to die of Ebola trumped any concerns Anne had for herself. This and other experiences in the Red Cross Ebola treatment centres of Sierra Leone sharpened her focus on what really matters.
We all found the thought of Ebola in our own community frightening. Think how much more frightening the West Africans must have found it. They faced it with a health workforce depleted by recent war. Their health workers were dying from Ebola, this made it harder to fight the spread of the disease.
Red Cross provided a boost to the depleted health workforce, teams that could build specialised field hospitals and leadership. Most importantly Red Cross’ presence told the locals to have courage, they had not been abandoned. Courage is contagious just as Ebola is. In the end Ebola is proving to be no match for Courage.
Anne came back with a new determination to apply basic wisdoms from the Ebola experience. It is not just in Ebola hospitals that we need courage. For example in our hospitals and clinics there is a long recognised problem of workplace bullying. Applying the courage to create a kinder workplace would benefit not just health professionals but would make our hospitals and clinics safer for patients.
About Anne Carey
Anne Maria Carey, born in Dublin in 1958, moved with her large Irish Family to Australia in 1969. Left school at 14 and after six years in the workforce joined a missionary order. Studied nursing and midwifery before going to PNG where she ran a remote hospital in a poor rural district of PNG.
After 18 years in the order she left to work in health care in remote areas of Australia interleaved with Red Cross Missions in war zones overseas and completed her Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She was a member of the Red Cross team that stayed in Gereida, Sudan. Gereida was the world’s largest refugee camp and had come under armed attack. All the other agencies including the UN abandoned the camp. Subsequent focus of world attention on the plight of the refugees and the Red Cross workers prevented subsequent attacks.
More recently Anne Carey became involved in the running of the Red Cross Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone. She was there at the height of the epidemic through to the recovery phase.
She received the Pride of Australia Care and Compassion Award 2015 and is the 2016 Western AustralianAustralian of the Year. The Guiding principal by which Anne tries to live is to have the Courage to be Kind.
Currently as the Western Australian of the year it is Anne’s intention to channel the same energy that she used to tackle the bully Ebola with to raise awareness and tackle bullying in the health workforce and unkind treatment of refugees. Anne resides in Esperance with Donald (a doctor) and Rusty (a dog).
About the Red Cross Oration
The Red Cross Oration springs from a collaboration between the University of Tasmania and Australian Red Cross. The organisations have joined together to present an annual oration. The purpose is to contribute to the advancement of public understanding and interdisciplinary dialogue concerning issues of human significance in the contemporary world. The Oration is presented by an internationally renowned speaker and has the primary purpose of introducing to the wider community issues that connect broadly with the values and principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
While the speaker may come from any discipline, the focus of the Oration is on an important contemporary issue that has a distinctly human meaning and significance whether related, for instance, to some aspect of human distress or suffering, human dignity or respect, or human understanding and human engagement.
Date: 1st Dec 2016 6:00 - 7:30pm
Venue: Stanley Burbury Theatre, University Centre, Sandy Bay campus
RSVP / Contact Information: E. UTAS.Events@utas.edu.au; T. 6226 2521
Refreshments from 5.30pm.
Presented in partnership with Australian Red Cross.
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