Since graduating from Massey University with an advanced diploma of nursing in 1984, Mr Cameron has worked for Red Cross in Kenya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Georgia. He has also used his skills to help some of the most remote communities of Australia.

He was awarded the prestigious Florence Nightingale Medal, one of the highest international distinctions a nurse can achieve, in 2011.

Despite a love of the profession, Andrew admits the job can take a toll. His most challenging Red Cross posting so far has been in Sierra Leone, where he worked to help those affected by Ebola, he says.

“While it wasn’t a conflict zone, trying to contain such a virulent disease was tough. You are on high alert the whole time. You can’t even shake the hands of our colleagues for fear of contamination."

It was heart-breaking talking to patients one day, and burying them the next.

New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Tony Paine says aid workers like Andrew play an important role, working in challenging and often dangerous situations where the need is greatest. However, they are often quite matter-of-fact about their job.

“When I suggest they are being courageous, their response is similar to so many heroes: “I am just doing what anyone would do, this is what I have trained for”.

“Despite this low-key approach, Andrew’s work has enabled us to make contributions on the world stage that, as in so many spheres, are disproportionate to our size and isolated location at the bottom of the map.”

Stopping off in Whangarei, Hamilton, Napier and Nelson, Cameron will also discuss emerging global health challenges and opportunities on the tour, which has been organised by Massey University.

Event details

All events begin 5.30pm, and are free entry. Please RSVP online, by email alumni@massey.ac.nz or phone 06 350 5865.

Monday, November 2 – ARC Security Lounge, Toll Stadium, 51 Okara Drive, Whangarei

Tuesday, November 3 – Genesis Energy Lounge, 128 Seddon Road, Gate 5, Hamilton

Wednesday, November 4 – War Memorial Theatre, 48 Marine Parade, Napier

Thursday, November 5 – The Free House, 95 Collingwood Street, Nelson

For more information contact:

Hanna Butler

Communications Manager

New Zealand Red Cross

Rīpeka Whero Aotearoa

Direct dial: +64 4 495 0139 

Mobile: +64 27 836 5529

Twitter: @hannarosebutler