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100 Years of Aust Red Cross International Tracing Service
Imagine returning home from work to find your home destroyed by war and your family missing.
The State Library is hosting a fascinating exhibit, 'The Right to Know: 100 Years of the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service.'
Experience the raw emotion of those who have been separated from their loved ones, through video and storyboards and what help from the Red Cross tracing service has meant to them.
Commencing on the battlefields of Gallipoli, and helping war torn families through the World wars, through post-war migration, natural and man-made disasters and to current crises in Syria and Yemen, the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service has helped thousands of people reconnect or know the fate of their loved ones across the world over the last 100 years.
Every day, people all over the globe are torn from their loved ones, and in just seconds their lives are turned upside down,' Australian Red Cross' International Tracing Service spokesperson, Katherine Wright says. 'The International Tracing Service is a free service which helps families separated by war, conflict, disaster and migration to find their loved ones, and to clarify the fate of the missing.'
The Red Cross exhibition tells the stories of some of the people the organisation has helped. They are stories of joy, grief, heartbreaking decade-long separations, and hope in the darkest of times. No matter how long it has been since a war ended or a disaster unfolded, Red Cross searches, and for many people it is their last hope. Katherine continues, 'Using Red Cross' network in 189 countries, we can search for the missing worldwide and get messages to places where formal postal services don't operate, where telephones don't work and where others cannot go.'
Red Cross provide satellite phones for people in conflict zones to call home. Red Cross messages can travel across country borders when normal methods of communication are not working. The neutrality of Red Cross enables them to get into refugee camps, prisons and detention centres to access information.
This special exhibition will shed light on the reasons a family can become separated, how circumstances make it impossible for them to find one another and how the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service has come to their aid.
The Right to Know: 100 years of the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service exhibition is at the Institute Building at the State Library.
The exhibition will travel to other Australian cities later in 2016.