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Congratulations to Act for Peace staff members

Geoff and Tracey Robinson awarded Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal

   Geoff and Tracey Robinson   

 The NCCA congratulates Geoff and Tracey on being recognised by the Australian Government for their wonderful work with Act for Peace. They were awarded the honour for their service in Vanuatu in response to Tropical Cyclone Pam, which hit the island nation in March 2015. The cyclone is considered to be the second worst to hit the Pacific and the worst ever rapid onset natural disaster to hit Vanuatu. 

At the time Cyclone Pam hit, Geoff and Tracey were living in Vanuatu, working for Act for Peace on climate change and disaster preparedness with the Vanuatu Christian Council (VCC). The next year of their life involved much blood, sweat and tears as they assisted Act for Peace's partner and the broader community to respond to this disaster. Over 80% of the population was directly affected by Cyclone Pam.

Geoff and Tracey assisted the VCC to design and deliver emergency response and recovery programs, often in collaboration with other agencies. They participated in the UN Cluster system, saw the establishment of the first ever church cluster and then went on to design programs to increase preparedness based on lessons learnt during this crisis.

Geoff and Tracey were supported in their service by the Act for Peace (AfP) team back in Sydney, who should also be commended for their involvement.

      
Tracey far left with Churches of Christ community members after TC Pam. Vanuatu Council of Church’s General Secretary, Pastor Shem Tema, is pictured to the right of Tracey (also in blue AfP T-Shirt).  

Tracey (third left) with other community members. Pastor Shem third to the right.  

 

 
     
  All images are courtesy of Act for Peace.

Tropical Cyclone Pam was AfP's first (and only) direct response. They raised over $1.3m in donations from the public and institutions, coordinated the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand (PANZ) ACT Alliance Response, and worked with VCC to bolster their capacity. They are now recognised as playing a significant lead role in response and current preparedness across the country. 

The Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal (HOSM) is a non-Defence award that is awarded to members of recognised charitable or humanitarian groups who provide humanitarian service in designated areas of the world.

We congratulate both Geoff and Tracey on this well deserved honour.

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