Honour roll

Past Award Finalists and Recipients

Senior Australian of the Year

State Finalist

Date of birth: 30 May 1951
Town: Warrnambool
State: Victoria

State Finalist Senior Australian of the Year 2011

Robert Handby

Disaster response supporter

Bob Handby has given 25 years of service to the Red Cross in water and sanitation. An expert in the field, Bob had a 23 year career working for various local governments to ensure community health, water and sanitation needs were met. Despite now being semi-retired, Bob still works three days a week for the Red Cross and is often deployed at a moment’s notice across the Asia– Pacific region to advise on water and sanitation issues following disasters. He has worked in many conflict areas and disaster zones from Uganda and Rwanda to Iraq and Papua New Guinea. Based on his experiences, Bob recognised the need for investment in post-disaster public health. With the Red Cross’ support, he established the Australian Disaster Response Team to deliver relief when needed. Since 2007, the team has been deployed on six occasions to areas affected by tsunamis, cyclones and flooding, helping to save lives and alleviate the suffering of thousands of vulnerable people. Bob also mentors new Red Cross staff and conducts regular training on providing clean water, sanitation, shelter, health and hygiene. Bob is dedicated to using the skills he acquired during his career to assist people in areas affected by disaster.

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