Welcome to Blue Shield Australia's website

Who we are

Blue Shield is the cultural equivalent of the Red Cross. It is an international committee, working to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by armed conflict and natural disasters.

Blue Shield Australia (BSA) is a member of both the Association of National Committees of the Blue Shield (ANCBS) and of the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS).

Blue Shield Australia run an annual MayDay Campaign, promoting disaster planning and awareness amongst archives, libraries, museums, galleries, local history groups and other cultural heritage organisations during the month of May.

May Day 2015

This Year, Make a Lasting Impact with your MayDay Activities!

Help Blue Shield Australia with its Lost and Damaged Cultural Heritage Register initiative to gather data that can be used to reinforce advocacy and lobbying for greater support in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation. After a disaster (from natural and man made disasters, conflict, accidents, to vandalism and theft) frequently there are few records, qualitative or quantitative, of what impacts disasters have had on our cultural heritage.

To address this gap in records Blue Shield Australia ask that your organisation respond to our short survey regarding the impact of disasters on collections. Please, pass the survey link on to your networks to help us build the case for greater support in this area. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6HZHZT5

Other Ideas for MayDay Activities

Identify Sources of Disaster Related Information on Social Media

Increasingly social media accelerates communication – so important during a disaster. Find updates on Twitter and Facebook.
Note: You don’t need to register to access Twitter but you do to re-tweet any information.

Twitter: @BlueShield Aust; AICCM: @HeritageRescue; Find your State or Territory Police, SES and Fire fighters handles online and follow them in an emergency.

Get to know your local fire fighters, police, and SES

Invite them to your organization to make them aware of your organisation’s needs regarding protection of your collection and get pointers from them on preparedness.

Create or Update Your Contact Lists

One of the most important elements of disaster response is being able to contact critical people – emergency responders, staff, and suppliers. Ensure your staff members have an up-to-date list that includes as much contact information as possible: work, home and mobile phone numbers, and work and home email addresses. Create or update a master list for key people to keep at home. Create or update a list of staff members that is small enough to be kept in a pocket or a wallet. Create or update a list of key services and suppliers.

Contact your local Federal MPs and Senators

Urge them to join the Parliamentary Friends of History and Heritage to make Members of Parliament aware of the issues and challenges facing heritage protection and promotion in Australia. This group was initiated by the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for Heritage, following a suggestion by the Federation of Australian Historical Societies, Inc.

Build Local Networks

Connecting with local organisations to build disaster support networks strengthens communities to help themselves and each other in preparing for and dealing with disasters. See what QDIS, Ballarat Collections Network and DisACT are doing.

Revise Your Existing Disaster Preparedness Plan

As bushfire and cyclone season pass, it is a good time to reflect on mishaps and changes to your building/ organization over the past year. Leaks, full gutters, renovations, and security issues should be looked into. And, of course, planning for natural or man-made disasters!

Suggested activities that were promoted last year

Remember: Extreme weather, accidents, database failure, theft, war, and vandalism to collections, heritage sites and buildings create disasters for cultural heritage. We can't always prevent disaster and damage but planning against such threats can reduce their impact and builds resilience for heritage in our institutions.


  • Blue Shield Australia sends our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all those effected by Cyclone Pam. [more]
  • 2014 International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). [more]
  • Iraq's heritage is facing a new wave of destruction. [more]
  • Blue Shield - Statement on Iraq. [more]
  • Blue Shield - Statement on Ukraine. [more]
  • Foreign Military Assets In Natural Disaster Response Operations. [more]
  • The Australian & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference will be held at the QT Gold Coast, 5 – 7 May 2014. [more]
  • Call for project proposals for Disaster relief for cultural heritage [more]
  • Blue Shield comes to New Zealand [more]
  • The BSA committee is following the tragic events in Japan with great concern. [ more ]
  • BSA committee is shocked to hear about the earthquake damage in Christchurch NZ. Our thoughts and support go to our colleagues in the affected earthquake area. We are gathering news and information from the NZ library, museum, archive, gallery and build heritage profession and posting it on the BSA facebook site as it becomes available.
  • Flood Affected Cultural Heritage Register 2011
  • For all the latest news, visit our Facebook page:
  • Follow us on twitter: @BlueShieldAust

Blue Shield Australia Events