RED CROSS: At the Red Cross conference in Ballina are Anais Arrighi and her grandfather Alex Arrighi.
RED CROSS: At the Red Cross conference in Ballina are Anais Arrighi and her grandfather Alex Arrighi. Graham Broadhead

100 years on, Red Cross works for humanity

ANAIS Arrighi is a face of the work of Red Cross.

The 27-year-old sat among the 90 Red Cross branch members who attended the Country Zone 2 and 27 conference in Ballina yesterday and heard of the work the 13 branches in the region do to raise money for the humanitarian organisation.

Ms Arrighi is a psychologist working with Red Cross in Timor Leste.

It was only by chance Ms Arrighi was in Ballina and at the conference.

She was visiting her grandparents and wanted to hear her grandfather, Ballina's Alex Arrighi, sing The Rose of No Man's Land at the conference, which is about Red Cross nurses serving during World War I.

Ms Arrighi is just one of many working in the field today, continuing the Red Cross legacy.

That work is supported by the Australian Red Cross, formed 100 years ago on August 13, 1914, just after war was declared.

Branches back then focused on the war effort. Today, branches raise money for all the work Red Cross does here and overseas.

Ms Arrighi works with children and in training staff in a country she said had "a long history of unease".

"Trauma is one of the biggest issues," she said.

"There are a lot of health issues and no services. There is no support for disabilities or mental health."

She was inspired to join Red Cross after hearing the stories her "poppy", Alex, told of his father who was a Digger on the Western Front during World War I and was treated by Red Cross nurses.

Country Zone 2 and 27 representative Kerrie Gray said local branches raised $70,673 in the past year.

Some of that pays for Ms Arrighi to work in Timor Leste where Red Cross also contributed to the building of a centre for psychology.

Certificates were presented to Alstonville and Wardell branches for 100 years.

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