Helen searched for her son for 50 years after they were separated during the Hungarian Revolution. Mrs Lu looked for her children for 23 years after they were torn apart during conflict in Cambodia. Then they found Red Cross’ International Tracing Service.
They are two of the thousands of people the tracing service has helped in Australia since it began 100 years ago. For all that time, it’s been working to reconnect families and clarify the fate of the missing when people are separated by war, conflict and disaster across the globe – from World War 1 to the current crises in the Middle East. Red Cross searches no matter how long it has been since a war ended or a disaster unfolded, and for many people is their last hope.
In 2015, the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service celebrates 100 years of reconnecting family members or clarifying the fate of those separated by war, conflict, disaster or migration. To mark this centenary, Australian Red Cross has created an exhibition that celebrates the work of this very special service.
From the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front of WWI, to WWII, through post-war migration, innumerable 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.
At the centre of these centenary celebrations is The Right to Know: 100 Years of the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service, a special exhibition that highlights the history of the service and shares the stories of some of those it has helped.
Understand the reasons why a family can become separated and how circumstances make it impossible for them to find one another. Discover how a young woman from Melbourne helps establish the Australian tracing service during World War I and learn how Red Cross works to reconnect people across the world today. Experience the emotion of those who have been separated from their loved ones and what the Red Cross tracing service has meant to them.
The Right to Know: 100 Years of the Australian Red Cross International Tracing Service
Immigration Museum, 400 Flinders Street, Melbourne
Exhibition: 1 July – 25 October 2015
Free entry (after general admission)
State Library of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
Exhibition: 5 January – March 2016
Image: courtesy of the Australian Red Cross