The Australian Red Cross was established in 1914 in response to World War I

Being part of the Red Cross gave ordinary Australians an opportunity to actively contribute to saving lives. Post war, the Red Cross turned its focus to peacetime work, including providing volunteers in hospitals.

In 1928, Dr Lucy Bryce was appointed as Melbourne Hospital’s first bacteriologist and clinical pathologist, analysing patients’ blood for disease and matching blood types of donors and patients undergoing a direct transfusion. After months of frantic donor matching in an emergency, Dr Bryce approached the Australian Red Cross to suggest they manage a panel of volunteer donors.

On 16 October 1929 the Australian Red Cross established a committee with Dr Bryce as Director to manage Australia’s first major Blood Transfusion Service one of the first in the world.


  • The Australian Red Cross was born in 1914 in response to WWI, giving everyday Australians the chance to become life savers
  • Australia became one of the first in the world to start a major Blood Transfusion Service in 1929
  • Dr Lucy Bryce was globally recognised for her outstanding work in blood donation. Her legacy lives on today, ensuring our blood supply as one of the safest in the world