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NEWSROOM


Keep up to date with all the news and activities of AAI through the following resources.

Media Releases

Radio Interviews

Listen to AAI members on the radio.

2012

Bay FM - Babel

2011

ABC Triple J - Cutting Aid

ABC Triple J - Pakistan Flood

2008

ABC Radio National-Cyclone Nargis

2005

ABC Triple J - Pakistan Earthquake

Radio Adelaide - Pakistan Earthquake

Radio National - Pakistan Earthquake


Newspaper Articles

Read about AAI in the newspapers

2012

Alfred Healthlink

2011

The Nursing Post

2010

Medical Teams International Helps Filipinos Recover from Typhoon Disasters (www.medicalteams.org)

2009

Progress Leader

Gold Coast Sun

Diamond Valley Leader

Progress Leader

Diamond Valley Leader

2007

Diamond Valley Leader

Australian Nursing Journal

2006

Adventure Travel Magazine

Diamond Valley Leader

2005

Australian Rationalist

The Big Issue

Dyna Care Newsletter

The Age

Sydney Morning Herald

Armidale Express

 

 

27 July 2013

We all know that humanitarian crises have very different impacts on women, girls, boys and men. They face different risks and are thus victimized in different ways. For example, in the 2005 Tsunami, in parts of Indonesia and Sri Lanka up to 80% of those who died were women. In contrast, in situations of armed combat, young men are more often the primary victims.  So how does this affect AAI's programming?  Who we consult with when assessing the gaps, vulnerabilities and resilience mechanisms, will affect the responses we get, and ultimately the programs we design and implement.  How we interpret what we hear and see also has a big influence on our decisions.  Having an appropriate "gender lens" is helpful to ensure the best chance of successful programming.  The IASC has prepared the Gender Handbook in Humanitarian Action, titled, “Women, Girls, Boys and men different needs – equal opportunities”, which gives lots of guidance and good ideas.  Read More >

26 July 2013

Access Aid International is a signatory to the IFRC Code of Conduct for NGOs and we deeply believe in these ten guiding principles.  Our action remains guided by the highest standards of effectiveness, independence, transparency and accountability to affected populations during emergency responses. AAI continues to provide humanitarian assistance wherever it is needed and basis its program objectives on a needs-based, people-centre approach. The Code can be found at http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/publications/icrc-002-1067.pdf

14 March 2013

Developing countries experiencing unprecedented growth, says UN report

The rapid growth of developing countries is propelling millions out of poverty on an unprecedented scale and radically reshaping the global system, according to a flagship United Nations report launched today. Read More >

2 December 2011

AAI Attends Volunteers in Aid Conference

On 2 December 2011, Australian Aid International attended the Volunteers in Aid conference hosted by the Mandala Foundation at the William Angliss Conference Centre in Melbourne. AAI Director Marc Preston and GetInvolved! Program Officers Sophie Wallace and Heather Pettican attended the event.

AAI Attends Volunteers in Aid Conference
Sophie Wallace, Program Officer for Australian Aid International (AAI), giving a presentation about her experiences as a volunteer on AAI's GetInvolved! Program.

 

The Volunteers in Aid conference was aimed at prospective volunteers of all ages and backgrounds and provided participants with the opportunity to learn more about potential volunteer opportunities. Attendees were also given the unique opportunity to meet Australia's leading volunteer deployment agencies.

AAI Attends Volunteers in Aid Conference
AAI Director Marc Preston and Get Involved Program Officers Sophie Wallace and Heather Pettican attend the VIA conference.

 

Approximately one hundred delegates attended the event and prospective volunteers heard from volunteers who had recently returned from the field.

AAI Attends Volunteers in Aid Conference

Prospective volunteers were able to talk to AAI staff members and volunteers.

 

Sophie Wallace gave a presentation on her international volunteering experiences with AAI's GetInvolved! Education Program on the Thai/Burma border and Marc Preston presented on AAI's Introduction to Humanitarian Operations training course. AAI also hosted a booth at the event giving participants the chance to talk and ask questions to AAI staff members and volunteers.

AAI Attends Volunteers in Aid Conference
Conference participants were given the opportunity to ask questions from Marc Preston about AAI's training courses and volunteer opportunities.

 

AAI thoroughly enjoyed attending the conference and getting the chance to meet prospective volunteers and other volunteering agencies.

AAI Attends Volunteers in Aid Conference

Sophie Wallace shared her experiences of volunteering with AAI on the Thai-Burma Border working with Karen refugees at a learning centre in Mae Sot. She also reflected how this experience led to other roles with AAI.

 

1 March 2011

Professionalising the Profession

Australian Aid International (AAI) continues to recognise the need for professional standards within the humanitarian sector. AAI becomes a member of the People in Aid Network as a part of its commitment to providing top quality humanitarian programs in some of the most neglected regions of the world. 

People in Aid is an international network that improves organisational effectiveness within the humanitarian and development sector by supporting, recognising and advocating good practice in the management of people.

Humanitarian professionals are the foundation of AAI and it is through using highly experienced and trained aid professionals that AAI has been able to deliver comprehensive programs in some of the most affected regions of the world.

AAI is committed to professionalising the aid industry and CEO, Marc Preston comments, “It is essential that our beneficiaries remain central in every humanitarian endeavour. In order to maximise the effectiveness of humanitarian programs it is important that organisations such as AAI deliver programs in partnership and coordination with the rest of the humanitarian sector.”  AAI’s membership and involvement in networks such as People in Aid as well the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) are avenues through which AAI can deliver coordinated humanitarian efforts. These networks provide a number of standards, tools and resources that are essential for continuously improving the management of NGO’s such as AAI.

AAI operates in austere environments and currently AAI is working in Mae Sot, Thailand educating Burmese migrant children as well as Sindh Province in Pakistan where AAI is implementing a comprehensive public health program.

To find out more about the People in Aid Network please visit http://www.peopleinaid.org/.

28 February 2011

What is new in the 2011 edition of the Sphere Handbook

The purpose of the revision process was not to change the qualitative standards, nor to overhaul the Handbook, but to update the qualitative and quantitative indicators and guidance notes as needed, and to improve the overall structure and consistency of the text.

Click here to download the changes.

 

14 December 2010

Vale Sasha Poll

Sasha Poll, international health coordinator/nurse from Seattle USA, tragically died last night in her home town.

Sasha was a long term member of AAI and was one of dedicated volunteers to be deployed in AAI's first ever mission in Pakistan in 2005. Sasha continued to work with AAI in numerous emergency responses around the world. Sasha was an important member on AAI’s Disaster Response and Assessment Team and always happily deployed on short notice to austere environments to help the needy.

Working with AAI, Sasha developed a career in humanitarian aid and she represented AAI as program health coordinator over the past five years in many countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Sasha was a valued member of the AAI family and will be greatly missed by all us as well as the broader humanitarian aid community.

Please read and write in Sasha Guest Book.

 

12 December 2010

Dear friend,

Through our education programs in border regions of Thailand, hundreds of children every year receive an education they would otherwise not receive.

Our continued response to the worst affected parts of Pakistan in the wake of their recent floods has provided some of the most urgent medical treatment in the country. Our mobile medical clinics continue to work in the most devastated areas, partnering with and training local health providers.

This was another great year for Australian Aid International. Last week we celebrated the organisation’s recent achievements at an evening information session in South Melbourne. For those who were able to be with us, thank you very much for your support. And for the 2,000 other supporters who subscribe to our emails across the globe, we are most grateful for your continued involvement and crucial contributions in 2010.
This year, AAI has intensified its development and emergency response efforts, responding to sudden onset emergencies in the Philippines, Pakistan, Haiti and also with ongoing humanitarian crises in Burma and in Thailand along the Thai/Burma border. We have sought to learn from crosscutting issues like the rising toll of natural disasters, conflict and lessening funding sources. But we have also focused on engaging with our supporters through our regular eNewletters, our regularly updated website, a new AAI Facebook page and ongoing information events.

Our top priority remains the intervention and assistance where poor health, education or security is affecting human development. Since 2005 AAI has been committed to these goals and strengthening its work in all of these areas. To ensure AAI continues to make progress in pursuit of humanity, we must further strengthen our presence in the areas where we work. For us, this means investing both globally in our programs and locally in our awareness-campaigns and community engagement. AAI will remain focused on these goals through 2011 and hope to expand our coverage in already successful areas like the Thai/Burma border and in our emergency response capability.
Your support will enable AAI to advance our work and achieve this vision. As you reflect on own this year, we hope you will consider making an end of year contribution by clicking here. Your gift is a direct investment in the improvement of someone’s life.
My colleagues and I wish you and your family the very best as this year draws to an end and I thank you for making our goals your own.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Bowen
Manager

 

22 November 2010

AAI Supports World Toilet Day Through Efforts in Pakistan

Australian Aid International (AAI) acknowledged World Toilet Day on November 19, 2010 through the provision of much needed sanitation programs in Pakistan.  

On 19 November 2010, people from around the globe took one minute out of their day to squat in public in support of World Toilet Day. This day aimed to draw critically needed awareness that 2.6 billion people worldwide are living without access to proper sanitation. Inadequate access to sanitation is a detrimental health risk that kills 1.8 million people each year, most of which are children.

AAI is committed to mitigating the double burden of poverty and poor access to quality health care in regions where systems have collapsed or are in crisis. AAI focuses on the provision of health services, hygiene and sanitation programs as well as community based capacity-building initiatives. AAI has run a variety of hygiene and sanitation programs including the installation of latrines, water systems and extensive hygiene education programs in Indonesia, Timor- Leste, the Philippines and Pakistan.

Director of Operations, Frank Tyler quotes, “The primary goal for AAI when operating overseas is to provide Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programs, as lack of sanitation is the greatest contributor to poor health.”

AAI is currently operating in Sindh Province, Pakistan after the devastating floods of August and September 2010. AAI is providing much needed outreach healthcare as well as WASH initiatives. “The sanitation and hygiene practices in this area are extremely compromised. People do not have access to water and the damage from the flooding has destroyed previously existing systems. Countless children are suffering and dying due to the inadequate sanitation and hygiene services,” stated AAI Country Manager, Gavin Humphries.

AAI is currently working in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Pakistan and in order to continue this work, AAI requires ongoing support. Please visit www.aai.org.au for more information and to support AAI in Pakistan.

1 November 2010

AAI Information Night

Australian Aid International warmly invites you to our Information Session at 6pm on Wednesday 24 November at the South Melbourne Town Hall. 

AAI had a busy few months with personnel working in the flood-affected Sindh Province, Pakistan providing local communities with access to healthcare services. The clinics, operating in collaboration with partner NGOs - Search and Rescue Services (SARS) and Doctors Worldwide, often provide the first quality healthcare people have received since the floods began. AAI are also working with local authorities to reinvigorate local healthcare facilities destroyed by the floods. Access to healthcare is vital to enable people to rebuild their homes and livelihoods and to be able to return to work and school.

AAI is also about to recommence a new Volunteer's English Program in Mae Sot, Thailand. Our Program Co-ordinator, Erin Atherton, will be returning from Thailand to brief us on this exciting new program

You will also have the opportunity to meet with Marc Preston, CEO, and some of our volunteers and learn more about our plans for 2011. We will also be keen to receive your feedback on our plans and programs.

So bring a friend and join us over a drink and some nibblies to hear more about AAI's plans and activities! 

To RSVP visit 
http://www.trybooking.com/6399.

We look forward to seeing you there!

AAI Information Session Details
When: Wednesday 24 November 2010
Time: 6pm-7.30pm
Where: South Melbourne Town Hall, 208-220 Bank St, South Melbourne
RSVP: Thursday 18 November 2010

1 October 2010

AAI Annual Report 2010

This Annual Report encompasses the period from July 2009 to June 2010 and reviews AAI’s humanitarian programs delivered to those in need of assistance as a result of both natural disasters and complex emergencies. The number of disasters where AAI initiated a response remained consistent to previous years although the number of programs that AAI undertook during this period had actually reduced. This was due to the significant reduction in the level of funding and financial support received by AAI to continue its operations subsequent to the first response.

Download the 2010 Annual Report

Download the Audit Summary Report

 

24 August 2010

Advisory Board Membership

AAI is currently requesting applications for members of the community, with an interest in international humanitarian affairs, to form part of the organisations Advisory Board. Please refer to the TOR's attached.

If you are interested or aware of dynamic leaders in the community with a range of skills and experience, who can make a difference to less fortunate around the world please contact AAI before 30 September 2010. Applications will be assessed by AAI's Board of Directors and appointment offers made in October.

Please read the Terms of Reference.

For more information please contact;

Marc Preston CEO

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

27 June, 2010

AAI partners with NGO – Focus on Africa Development

Australian Aid International is a growing NGO that is keen to expand its efforts into Africa . There remains an unquestionable need for humanitarian support in Africa and at the start of the year AAI entered into a partnership with an African focused International NGO – Focus on Africa Development (FOAD).

FOAD is made up of a group of Australian & African public health professionals and development practitioners. FOAD's mission is to advocate for development in Africa through serving and assisting African countries in meeting their challenges in governance as well as the millennium development goals (MDGs). This will be achieved through the coordination of stakeholders and in drawing solutions that are tailor made to suite each country's specifications.

Since the start of the year AAI has been working collaboratively with FOAD to plan and establish a framework for future initiatives. AAI is interested in expanding its efforts into Africa and AAI and FOAD have parallel program goals when it comes to delivering sustainable programs that empower and build the capacity of local communities. Both AAI and FOAD are health, water and sanitation focused NGOs and together they will provide exceptional programs to some of the most vulnerable and affected populations in Africa .

Of late, AAI and FOAD have formed a consortium for the new Australian non-government organisation program in Africa called the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme (AACES) which is being launched by the Australian Agency for International Development. The AACES aims to support Australian NGOs to increase and strengthen their existing programs in Africa .

Read more about FOAD

 

20 June 2010

AAI Prepares to Implement a Health and Hygiene Reconstruction Program in Iraq

AAI has been working with Save the Children ( Iraq ) to assess a prospective Schools Rehabilitation Program in and around Basra and Um Qasr in Southern Iraq . This program will encompass the refurbishment of approximately 30 schools over a two year period and is designed to ensure the long-term improvement of children's lives in Iraq .

The first year of the project will focus on the building of infrastructure, renovation and rehabilitation. In the second year, AAI will work extensively with children, parents, community leaders, teachers and health workers to ensure effective ongoing management and utilisation of these facilities.

Marc Preston, CEO of AAI, recently returned from 2 weeks in Iraq where he conducted assessments for the upcoming program. AAI is highly skilled at operating in dangerous and austere locations, as an organisation AAI feels that it is well equipped to deliver an effective and sustainable program and looks forward to working with Save the Children in Iraq.

 

18 June 2010

Kyrgyzstan Situation Report

An estimated 200 people have been killed in recent days, with many more thousands injured as a result of ethnic violence. Initial estimates place over 100,000 Uzbeks in makeshift camps on the border with Uzbekistan. Conditions are reported to be very poor in the camps with dysentery already spreading among children. Information received from the border indicates that there are still many thousands of people waiting to cross into Uzbekistan and the temporary camps.

Australian Aid International has an experienced Disaster Assessment and Response Team ready for immediate deployment to the disaster affected area.

Read our initial site rep...

 

23 May 2010

AAI Staff Awarded Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal Awarded for Services during the Southern Asian Earthquake.

Director of Operation Frank Tyler presents volunteer Paul Piaia his HOSM medal for his work in Pakistan in 2005.

Australian Aid International (AAI) receives recognition from the Department of the Prime Minister for its outstanding contribution in remote areas of Kashmir , Pakistan during the South Asian Earthquake in 2005.

AAI was one of the first humanitarian organisations to reach some of the most devastated villages in Pakistan . AAI provided immediate emergency medical care, urgent immunisations, emergency shelters and distributed relief goods to thousands of affected individuals. After the initial emergency, AAI remained in location and developed longer term projects to aid the many millions who had been affected and displaced. Recovery projects included public health initiatives, training of maternal and community health workers, reconstruction and water, sanitation and hygiene improvements.

AAI award recipients were presented with their Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal during a small awards service led by Director of Operations, Mr Frank Tyler. Mr Tyler, a previous Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal holder himself, for his services in Northern Iraq in the early 90's, told staff that “whilst AAI likes to complete difficult work and assist people in peril in severe environments without recognition, it is always fulfilling to know that the Australian Government is aware of what small organisations such as AAI can do to provide humanitarian assistance on the international stage .”

Australian Aid International is an international non-profit, non-government organisation that is committed to mitigating the double burden of poverty and poor access to quality health care in regions where local systems have either collapsed or are in crisis. This is achieved through the provision of emergency medicine, community and public health care, capacity building and other humanitarian initiatives. AAI is run by a group of like-minded and highly experienced humanitarian aid workers and volunteers who have been committed to responding to international disasters for many years. AAI has been able to provide outstanding programs due to its exceptional volunteers from all around the world.

AAI's comprehensive response in Kashmir , Pakistan came with challenges however this award recognizes the positive impact AAI had during such a devastating time. “The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal solidifies AAI as a serious contributor when it comes to humanitarian disaster response,” said Mr. Tyler. AAI is dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance during times of disaster and crisis and AAI will continue to provide high quality programs well into the future.

Read more about the Humanitariun Overseas Medal Medal.

 

20 November 2009

Australian Aid International (AAI) Provides Emergency Medical Services to Typhoon Affected Victims in the Philippines .

Australian Aid International (AAI) continues to provide much needed medical assistance to flood victims in the Philippines . Four devastating typhoons have swept through the Philippines affecting close to 10 million people and thousands remain displaced .

“Remaining flood waters in many areas are making the recovery process very difficult and perpetuating the ongoing risk and reality of infectious disease outbreaks” said Director of Operations, Mr Frank Tyler.

The humanitarian response effort in the Philippines has been hampered due to funding shortfalls. AAI has been a forefront leader in responding in the typhoons however their ability to provide high quality and vital health services is limited by a lack of financial support. AAI is seeking funding so that they can continue to provide much needed mobile health and sanitation services.

In response to the typhoons, AAI and its partners are providing emergency medical outreach and mobile clinics to remote and isolated communities that have been severely affected by the typhoons. AAI is delivering effective health services as well as capacity building and training initiatives.

“Thousands of families are now exposed to water-borne diseases as the flood waters become polluted with garbage, human excreta and sewage. Access to adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services is difficult in affected areas due to ongoing flooding and collapsed infrastructure” said Mr Tyler.

AAI has addressed this gap by commencing a hygiene promotion project. AAI ran and will continue to facilitate hygiene promotion training. Trained volunteers will work within affected communities to promote WASH initiatives.

“There is a real need to address the WASH and health sector if deaths want to be averted. The polluted flood waters that remain are going to perpetuate disease outbreaks. Health systems are already strained and this coupled with existing and looming health problems including malaria and dengue fever translates into an immediate need to respond” stated Mr Tyler.

AAI is an international non-profit, non-government organisation committed to mitigating the double burden of poverty and poor access to quality health care in regions where health systems are not optimal or non existent. AAI provides much needed health services in war and disaster affected areas.

AAI is seeking funding to enable them to continue to deliver high quality medical services and to avert the risk of an infectious disease outbreak.

For more information and to support AAI in its typhoon response please visit http://www.aai.org.au/operations/philippines.html

 

Posted 30 September

Philippines - Tropical Storm Ondoy Response

AAI prepares to send a Disaster Response and Assessment Team to the Philippines in response to the devastating flooding from Tropical Storm Ondoy

Tropical Storm Ondoy – which is known locally as Typhoon Ketsana - hit the Philippines province of Quezon province causing widespread damage, including in nearby Capital of Manila.

It has been reported that the storm has caused the worst flooding in the country in over four decades, with the deaths toll raising to over 200 to date and over 500,000 people affected and displaced, mostly in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces in southern Luzon.

The risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases is expected to be exacerbated by the widespread damage to infrastructure through flooding and mudslides, which have already buried hundreds of homes and caused widespread displacement.

AAI are preparing to deploy a Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART) to coordinate with local partners who AAI have worked with in the past in other disaster responses in the Philippines .

How to Help

Donations can be made directly online at www.aai.org.au or

by via calling +61 3 8625 0005

 

Posted 31 August

AAI achieves comliance with ACFID Code of Conduct

 

Posted 2 July 2009

Tour de Timor, a race against time.

As professional cyclists make their way to Paris in this year's Tour de France, a team of Australian Aid International volunteers is gearing up for an event more than 13,000 kilometres away, to help improve the health of people in Timor-Leste.

Australian Aid International (AAI) operations director Frank Tyler and public relations officer Paul Piaia, will cycle the 350 kilometre Tour de Timor this month, to raise funds and attention about the state of burgeoning nation's health.

The state of health in Timor-Leste is the poorest in South East Asia. Rates of preventable and easily treatable diseases such as malaria are the highest in the region, largely because of limited medical infrastructure and inadequate access to remote areas.

“We're effectively racing against time to help limit disease in a poor nation where only half the population has access to drinking water. Maternal mortality and child malnutrition rates are unacceptably high,” Mr Tyler says.

Australian Aid International is a non-profit, non-government organisation. Since March 2007, its volunteers have worked across Timor-Leste, particularly in Atauro, where it has helped establish more than 150 mobile medical outreach clinics and facilitated the majority of aero-medical evacuations to Dili.

Efforts to continue the program, that has helped thousands of people through the provision of medical assistance, provided medical education for local healthcare staff and obtain funding for a remote area nurse to work on Atauro Island, have come under strain in recent months due to a shortage of funding.

The AAI team has called for financial assistance and cycling equipment to help complete the Tour de Timor and sustain its work in Timor-Leste.

“It's important that Timor-Leste's story is told to Australian and international audiences in order to raise critically needed funds to help communities who cannot yet help themselves,” Mr Tyler says.

For more information about the Tour de Timor (August 23 – 28) or to support AAI visit: www.aai.org.au/tourdetimor/tourdetimor.html

DOWNLOAD MEDIA RELEASE AS PDF

Posted 1 July 2009

AAI Annual Report 2009

2009 has been another successful year for AAI in the delivery of international medical relief and humanitarian programs to the underserved in need of assistance as a result of natural disasters and
complex emergencies. This year saw the second anniversary of the highly successful partnership with Oilex Ltd in the implementation of its medical outreach program on Atauro Island in Timor- Leste. This program has now been paused and AAI is currently looking to reinvigorate this program in conjunction with the Ministry of Health. The Thai-Burma border region also gained focus with the conduct of the war trauma surgery courses to Karen medics some held in highly dangerous however, necessary locations. The strength of AAI in both providing and maintaining such an effective capability has and will
always be the commitment and energy of its staff, volunteers and supporters. Quality people are the medium through which AAI delivers the highest level of humanitarian assistance and programming and it is very privileged to engage some the best and most experienced people in the sector. The AAI management team forms the backbone of its current organisational structure and drives its most significant initiatives. Its volunteers, both local and international, bring with them a unique set of skills and competencies and a common desire to “make a difference” to the less fortunate. AAI’s valuable work would, of course, not be possible without the generosity and support of its donors (organisational, individual and corporate) and also its Advisory Board who play both an active and
representational role. 2009 also saw the further enhancement of AAI’s professionalism in the NGO sector with the and the conduct of a number of training programs and in particular the successful Disaster Risk Reduction program on behalf of AusAid and the Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network . AAI will build on these achievements during 2010. AAI’s strives to become recognised internationally as a humanitarian leader with a reputation for providing relief and assistance well outside the scope and capability of similar organisations and to effectively complement and augment the international humanitarian community in the delivery of
outcomes anywhere in the world. Thank you all once again for your support during 2009 and your continued commitment to the
humanitarian imperative.

Download the 2009 Annual Report

 

Posted 13 March 2009

Funding shortage exposes thousands to disease

Thousands of people living on a remote Timor-Leste island will be put at risk of death and disease if an Australian-based aid program is forced to withdraw at the end of this month due to lack of funds.

Australian Aid International is working with officials on Atauro Island, about 30 kilometres by sea north of Dili, to deliver healthcare services and education to isolated communities affected by disease and limited resources.

But Frank Tyler, Australian Aid International Director of Operations has warned that without continued funding beyond March this year aid operations would prematurely end. He pleaded for donations to help volunteers continue to provide basic healthcare for people in need.

“In response to local flood and bushfire emergencies, Australians' generosity is evident. Any donation from people or business is vital and is greatly appreciated,” Mr Tyler said.

“Atauro is vulnerable to preventable and easily treatable disease because its population simply cannot access basic health services. Communicable diseases including malaria are endemic, accounting for almost two thirds of deaths throughout Timor-Leste. Only half the population has access to drinking water, while maternal mortality and child malnutrition rates are among the highest in the region.”

Mr Tyler said Australian Aid International has been providing support and assistance to Atauro's District Health Service and Community Health Centre's for almost two years.

The organisation has helped establish more than 150 mobile medical outreach clinics and facilitated the majority of aero-medical evacuations to Dili, he said. It has also provided internationally trained doctors to conduct clinical consultations, provided medical education for local healthcare staff and obtained funding for a remote area nurses to work on the Island.

Mr Tyler said preventative health promotion for adults and school children was complemented by capacity building operations – equipping local healthcare providers with medical, financial and computing skills, and education to on-train other community members so the island could help itself in time. He said the number of patients presenting to clinics is increasing as they become aware of the regular and reliable healthcare service. As a result, more people now have access to healthcare and treatment for malaria and other diseases that would otherwise have poor outcomes for the patients.

“It is essential that operations on Atauro continue. This year we plan to supplement where possible, medical supplies and drugs to ensure essential supplies are maintained, and continue to develop health promotion sessions focussing on respiratory conditions and women's health,” he said.

Project funding (about $180,000 USD per year) is directed entirely to local initiatives and is considered minimal compared to operating costs of other NGOs and projects in Timor-Leste.

Australian Aid International is an international non-profit, non-government organisation. More information about its operations in Atauro and other communities is available at: www.aai.org.au

DOWNLOAD MEDIA RELEASE AS PDF

Posted 15 October 2008

AAI attends Civil Military Coordination Training in Geneva, Switzerland

CEO, Marc Preston, attended the Civil Military Co-ordination (CM Coord) Staff Training Course on behalf of AAI that was recently conducted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva , Switzerland . Marc was one of only two NGO representatives and the only Australian on the course.

CM Coord is the essential dialogue and interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian emergencies that is necessary to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency, and when appropriate pursue common goals. Basic strategies range from coexistence to cooperation. Coordination is a shared responsibility facilitated by liaison and common training.

The course brought together both civilian and military personnel from 23 countries who are actively involved in co-ordination roles within their respective organizations.

The skills acquired on the course and the interaction with other humanitarian practitioners will greatly assist AAI in the delivery of coordinated programs in both natural disasters and complex emergencies.

 

 

Posted 31 August 2008

AAI Annual Report 2008

2008 has been another successful year for AAI in the delivery of international medical relief and humanitarian programs to the underserved in need of assistance as a result of natural disasters and complex emergencies.

The most significant international disaster that occurred during this period was Cyclone Nargis in Burma where AAI deployed its Disaster Assistance Response Team to distribute emergency medical supplies and provide training assistance to national responders. AAI also continued its longer term programs in Indonesia , the Thai-Burma border region and Timor-Leste where it continued a highly successful partnership with Oilex Ltd in the implementation of its medical outreach program on Atauro Island .

The strength of AAI in both providing and maintaining such an effective capability has and will always be the commitment and energy of its staff, volunteers and supporters. Quality people are the medium through which AAI delivers the highest level of humanitarian assistance and programming and it is very privileged to engage some the best and most experienced people in the sector.

The AAI management team forms the backbone of its current organisational structure and drives its most significant initiatives. Its volunteers, both local and international, bring with them a unique set of skills and competencies and a common desire to "make a difference" to the less fortunate. AAI's valuable work would, of course, not be possible without the generosity and support of its donors (organisational, individual and corporate) and also its Advisory Board who play both an active and representational role.

2008 also saw the further enhancement of AAI's professionalism in the NGO sector with the achievement of both approved status under the Overseas Aid Grant Development Scheme and Deductible Gift Recipient status recognised by the Australian Taxation Office. AAI will build on these achievements during 2009.

AAI's strives to become recognised internationally as a humanitarian leader with a reputation for providing relief and assistance well outside the scope and capability of similar organisations and to effectively complement and augment the international humanitarian community in the delivery of outcomes anywhere in the world.

Thank you all once again for your support during 2008 and your continued commitment to the humanitarian imperative.

Marc Preston
CEO

Download the 2008 Annual Report here.

 

Posted 30 August 2008

AAI contributes to the ACFID Civil Military discussion paper

Titled 'Building bridges of understanding: A discussion paper on the current state of relations between the Australian NGO sector, the police and the military' prepared by Yvonne Oberhollenzer for the Australian Council for International Development. AAI participated in interviews conducted by ACFID's Yvonne Oberhollenzer . The interview formed an important part of the background research for the paper. 

The recommendations include an increase in cooperation with the ADF and AFP at the strategic level, cohesion and standardisation of NGO and military and AFP training and finally, the recommendation to conduct further research. These recommendations will form the basis for future discussions regarding our cooperative approach.

Click here to read the whole paper.

 

Posted 15th November 2007

AAI EXPERT ATTENDS THE 2 ND ASIAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON DISASTER RISK REDUCTION 

The 2nd Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was a significant move to again gather an international group of ministers, environmental and human experts, professionals, multi-sectorial humanitarians and disaster responders and educators in one conference to discuss the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction (DRR).

The overall goal of expanding the political space allocated to DRR is an essential component to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly in respect of poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. The conference further developed the framework for mainstreaming disaster preparedness as first proposed in Japan in 2005, now known as the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA). The idea of mainstreaming disaster preparedness is that by integrating disaster preparedness and reduction into all socio-economic development and planning activities the damage caused by disasters can be reduced.

AAI strongly endorses the HFA, which includes:

1. The prioritisation by governments of developing legislation, institutions and frameworks for disaster risk reduction (DRR);

2. The application of science and technology to identify and assess disaster risks;

3. Socio-educational development of the whole community enabling a culture of safety and resilience;

4. The reduction of the underlying vulnerabilities (including poverty alleviation, environmental degradation, urban planning etc); and

5. The development of DRR as part of the humanitarian process: prepare, mitigate, respond, and recover.

Over 500 delegates including ministers or their representatives from 47 countries attended the conference in Delhi, plus almost 100 overseas experts, in addition to nearly 40 experts from throughout India. Nearly all UN agencies were represented at the conference, as were many large international NGOs (INGOs). Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh gave the opening address and a keynote speech was given by Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson of the UPA.

Throughout the conference many best practices were shared during high-level round table discussions and side-events. Experts also addressed various delegates on various DRR initiatives in the fields of science and technological applications, community based disaster preparedness (CBDP), and public-private partnerships (PPPs).

AAI's Info rmation and Security Manager, an expert in the field of DRR attended the conference and participated in many forums and discussions. Dominic said about the conference, 'it was a splendid gathering of some of the world's most impressive humanitarians and disaster experts. Whilst it was an excellent opportunity to discuss the many initiatives taken by various agencies and intergovernment organisations, it was pleasing to see that our own operations are a vanguard for the latest DRR practices.'

AAI will continue to participate in the international discussion on disaster risk reduction and remain on the forefront of leading trends and developments in its pursuit of gender equality, decreased child mortality, improved maternal child health care practices, enhanced community health care systems, stronger community partnerships and better educational facilities for young children in disaster prone areas.

For more information on the MDGs see http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

 

Posted 5th April 2007

AAI appointed as member of the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network

AAI has been unanimously appointed a member of the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN). ADRRN promotes the coordination and collaboration of NGOs and other stakeholders for effective and efficient disaster reduction and response in the Asia-Pacific region.

The network is chaired by Dr Jemilah Mahmood and its objectives are:

  • To develop an interactive network of NGOs committed to achieving excellence in the field of disaster reduction and response.
  • To raise the relevant concerns of NGOs in the Asia-Pacific region to the larger community of NGOs globally, through various international forums and platforms
  • To promote best practices and standards in disaster reduction and response
  • To provide a mechanism for sharing reliable information and facilitating capacity building among network members and other stakeholders

For more information on the ADRRN please click www.adrrn.net.

AAI looks forward to becoming an effective member of this network.

Posted 28th May 2006

AUSTRALIAN AID INTERNATIONAL (AAI) DEPLOYS DISASTER ASSESSMENT RESPONSE TEAM TO JAVA ISLAND

Australian Aid International (AAI) has now deployed its DART (Disaster Assessment Response Team) to the Island of Java to appraise the situation after an earthquake of 6.2 magnitude struck just after dawn yesterday, causing hundreds of houses to collapse and cutting electricity and telephone services in the region around Yogyakarta . Initial estimates are putting the death toll in excess of 3,500.

As thousands of people on the island of Java have spent the night outside ruined homes or in the grounds of mosques, churches and schools, AAI volunteers and medical staff are preparing to assist where required. The area where the earthquake occurred has already spent the last three weeks on high alert as Mt Merapi threatens to erupt.

The efforts of Aid organisations and government agencies to get to the area have been hampered by the closing of the Yogyakarta airport due to a damaged runway. All of the regions nine hospitals are now full and people desperately wait for urgent medical treatment.

AAI now calls for donations and support.

Posted 19th May 2006

Mark "Squiz" Squirrell reaches Mt Everest, sponsored by AAI

As stated on February 1st 2006, AAI has sponsored Mark "Squiz" Squirrell's Mt Everest attempt  in support of the World Food Program 2006 Walk the World. Mark is a long time associate and supporter of AAI . The expedition will raise awareness and funds for their School Feeding Programme. Please have a look at the website  http://wfp.org.np/everest/ AAI has provided medical equipment, gear and other support..

Friday 19th May
Location: Camp Three
Altitude: 7300 metres
This morning I have descended safely from Camp Four in the Death Zone and have just reached Camp Three. I'll keep descending and sleep at Camp Two tonight. Tomorrow I'll have to travel through the dangerous Khumbu icefall one final last time before arriving in Base Camp. A big thank you for all the support from my friends and family. I'm really looking forward to telling you all tall stories next Friday night at the Summit Hotel in Kathmandu.

Squiz just called from Camp Four. He only had enough batteries in his phone to call me and then call his parents. He has had an EPIC ascent and will provide more details when gets back to base camp, which will probably be on Saturday. I passed on everyones congratulations and he knows we all think he's a champ. He was excited, the connection wasn't 100% so it was difficult to get all the details but here is his update .....

Thursday 18th May
Location: Camp Four
Altitude: 7900 m
Last night I left Camp Four at 9:15 AM. After one hour my oxygen system malfunctioned so I then climbed without oxygen for the next two hours. These two hours were the hardest two hours in my entire life. I reached The Balcony and used the radio to talk with my expedition leader at Base Camp. He said "You're too slow, you'll have to come down and try again next week." I replied "NO WAY MATE, THE ONLY DIRECTION I'M GOING IS UP, GIVE ME ANOTHER SOLUTION!". So then my Sherpa gave me his oxygen mask and cranked it to flow rate #2. I felt better and soon reached the start of the Hilary Step. I talked on the radio with my expedition leader again who said I was too slow but allowed me to turn the oxygen flow rate to #4. I then powered up through the Hilary Step and literally ran up the summit ridge to reach the summit within an hour, reaching the summit in record time at 10:05 AM. After taking summit photos with the WFP flag and 'Walk The World' flag I descended safely to Camp Four. I'll spend another night here in the Death Zone and tomorrow descend to Camp Two, or maybe even Base Camp if possible. I still have ten fingers and toes and I'm safe. But it's not over yet.

9th March, 2006

Moving forward in Pakistan

Australian Aid International, an NGO that has been working in the earthquake affected areas of Kashmir, Pakistan since Oct 17 2005, has announced its program for the next 3 months.

Speaking on behalf of AAI, the CEO Marc Preston said that it is now time to consolidate our efforts in revitalising the healthcare system and to look at lasting projects including the repair of damaged health facilities and the construction of a clinic as a more permanent legacy to the communities served by the AAI teams.

Marc also expressed his appreciation for the fantastic effort from all volunteers, staff, donors and sponsors that have supported the projects of AAI in Pakistan since it first arrived.

“The AAI teams have been working tirelessly in the Bagh District of Kashmir since October 17 in very arduous conditions sometimes travelling by vehicle in mountainous terrain for 8-10 hours to reach remote destinations. Their results have been extraordinary”

AAI's achievements include:

•  Conducting search and recovery operations in the most remote and isolated regions of Azad Jammu Kashmir province
•  Undertaking definitive care and evacuations, sometimes trekking over 4 hours in rough terrain at altitudes of 10,000 feet
•  Treating over 2000 patients in AAI's initial six week response through remote mobile medical clinics
•  Evacuating over 100 patients to high levels of care from remote locations
•  Distributing and/or built over 1200 shelters that have been distributed to the most vulnerable families
•  In direct collaboration with the MoH and DHO, revitalising and strengthening the existing health infrastructure through the training and education of government health staff. This includes the supply and equipping of existing health facilities
•  Supporting 12 health care facilities in the AAI area of care which treat over 2100 patient visits per month
•  Distributing winterized tents to BHU's, RHC's and the THQ hospital in Haveli sub-district
•  Assisting in the distribution of a further 41 donated winterized tents
•  Providing water purification and hygiene education to 12 PHC facilities and THQ hospital
•  Conducting Clean Up campaigns to improve the environment and hygiene of the area.

Moving forward
AAI is now consolidating its successful revitalisation strategy and continuing with its “Community Health Initiatives” project until the end of May by which time it will have trained 200 Community Health Workers.

In addition, it is currently conducting an assessment on the state of Lady Health Houses in the Havelli sub-district for the purposes of undertaking repairs and restoration to improve their functionality.

Most significantly, AAI is examining the feasibility of constructing a small PHC clinic. Draft plans have now been completed and AAI will be meeting with the co-ordinating authorities this week to discuss this project.

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