Years of disaster response service recognised

16 January 2024

Mobilising the power of humanity needs extraordinary human beings. That’s why every year we recognise the service of our people through national honours and awards. We’re a team of over 500 employees and 9,000 members and volunteers across the motu from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Over 100 people were recognised for their service in 2023. Amelia and Hamish MacArthur are two of them, both receiving an Honorary Life Membership, awarded to people who’ve given remarkable service and dedication to Red Cross.

Hamish joined the Dunedin Disaster Welfare and Support Team in 2010 and Amelia joined in 2011. They’ve both deployed multiple times, including in response to the 2011 Canterbury Earthquakes, South Dunedin floods and Chain Hills fire in 2015, the Kaikōura earthquake in 2016, the Dunedin and Mosgiel floods in 2017, and the Burnside fire and South Dunedin floods in 2018.

Two women standing together

Amelia MacArthur and Jane Wilson

Hamish has also been an international delegate for 10 years as a member of Red Cross’ international IT and Communications Emergency Response Unit. In 2023, the unit deployed to Hawke’s Bay as part of the response to Cyclone Gabrielle, the first time it was deployed within Aotearoa.

As well as volunteering their time to train for and respond to disasters, both Hamish and Amelia have served as executive members for Red Cross’ Dunedin Branch. They both joined the executive in 2016 – Hamish became treasurer in 2017, while Amelia took on the role of branch president in 2018. Their roles have seen them lead fundraising activities and recruit members from other areas of Red Cross, including the Red Cross Choir and refugee support, to join in making decisions about the branch and their activities. This has seen the branch support one local, national, and international project each year.

Amelia stood down as president in 2022 and 2023 was Hamish’s last year on the executive – both want to focus on their family but remain committed disaster welfare and support volunteers.

“Amelia led the executive team with an inclusive style making sure each team member was empowered to have a voice. Hamish went above and beyond behind the scenes to make sure that our systems were in order. And all of this was done on top of their other volunteer work, professional work, and family commitments. Their service has been invaluable,” said Lynette Will – Red Cross Dunedin Branch President.

More information

Thank you to all our people for your contributions to our mission and Movement – we couldn’t do it without you.