Vedran Drakulic joined RACV in a senior role in January 2008. As General Manager, Public Affairs, his portfolio of activities includes corporate and media communications, internal communications and national and international relations. He is also in charge of the RACV community engagement program which includes community partnerships, support for key charitable programs, Sir Edmund Herring Scholarship, heritage activities as well as the RACV Community Foundation, which provides philanthropic support to small community organisations.
Vedran is actively engaged in local community work. He is a regular supporter and/or member of various humanitarian organisations such as Australian Red Cross, Oxfam Australia and Scope. He has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2010.
Currently Vedran is a Director of International Social Service (ISS) Australia and a member of the Committee for Melbourne’s Community Engagement Working group. His past Board roles include positions with Volunteer West (Vice-President), the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) – Vic Chapter (Treasurer) and Community West (member). Vedran also provided pro-bono consulting work to Transparency International Australia, supporting the development of the organisation’s Strategic Plan.
Prior to joining RACV Vedran spent a long period of time in the not-for-profit sector, most recently as Communications Manager with Oxfam Australia. During 2006 and 2007 he was in charge of their media and external relations and helped build a very strong foundation for furthering Oxfam’s advocacy work – this included publishing 27 opinion articles in major metro papers in Australia during 2007. He also played a key role in generating extensive publicity for the major Indigenous health campaign,
Close the Gap, which subsequently led to the Labor’s change of policy on this matter. Close the Gap campaign was acknowledged as “Highly Commended” campaign at the 2008 PRIA Golden Target Awards.
Vedran worked for more than a decade in a variety of roles with the Red Cross Movement. His involvement started during the war in his home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, when he joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) firstly as logistics officer and then information officer. He worked with the ICRC throughout most of the war, from early 1993 to 1995.
In addition to his war-time work with the Red Cross, Vedran was also the Communications Manager for Australian Red Cross from 1996 to 2000 and from
2003 to 2006, managing both external and internal communications. He spent further two years at the headquarters of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (Federation) in Geneva, Switzerland (between 2001 and 2003), as Senior Humanitarian Advocacy Officer.
For his dedication and commitment to humanitarian work and causes, Vedran received the Meritorious Service Award medal in 2003 and the Distinguished Staff Medal in 2006 from Red Cross. His citation for the Distinguished Staff medal reads, among other things, “Committed, selfless and virtually always working well above and beyond the call of duty, Mr Drakulic has dedicated his working life to help improve the lives of vulnerable people around the world”, and “Vedran Drakulic embodies the spirit and principles of the Red Cross”.
Together with his wife Vedran lived through the war-time siege of Sarajevo. They subsequently resettled temporarily to Croatia and, after a 6-month application process, they arrived to Australia in November 1995 under the government’s refugee humanitarian program.
Shortly after arriving to Brisbane he got his first job, in February 1996, joining the then Public Affairs Department of the Australian Red Cross - National Office in Melbourne. He worked his way up from Public Affairs Assistant to become Public Affairs Manager, subsequently taking up his posting in Geneva in 2001. Vedran studied Economics at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and before the war in his home country built a successful career in the tourist industry. In 2008 he completed his Masters Degree in Public Advocacy and Action at the Victoria
Apart from dealing with internal and external communications in respective humanitarian organisations, Vedran managed and implemented several major public-awareness and advocacy campaigns and events for Red Cross (including “Landmines Must be Stopped” and “Even Wars Have Limits”), and launched major appeals for international crises and disasters, both with Red Cross and Oxfam (Kosovo, PNG, Turkey, East Timor, India, Iran and Pakistan quakes, Tsunami and the Sudan crisis). In his time with the Red Cross, Vedran helped raise millions of dollars for the organisation’s overseas operations – the Red Cross Tsunami Appeal alone raised over $120 million.