A Partnership Forged in Fire: Disaster Relief Australia and Minderoo Foundation Join Forces

Disaster Relief Australia | February 2021

dra minderoo partnership

Disaster Relief Australia, a veteran-led disaster relief organisation, is collaborating with Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience initiative to increase the deployment of volunteers to more operations in fire-affected parts of Australia as part of a $2.4 million dollar partnership established during the Black Summer bushfires.

This collaboration has already seen more than 2,000 specialist volunteers deployed by Minderoo Fire Fund in 2019/2020, to work on the ground with Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) volunteers, in Cobargo, NSW and in the Adelaide Hills, SA.

Minderoo Foundation CEO Andrew Hagger, and Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) CEO Geoff Evans have announced a collaboration that will ensure disaster affected communities are matched with skilled and experienced volunteers to help them rebuild.

DRA and the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience Fund have now also stepped up in preparation to help with recovery efforts for the Perth Hills Bushfire. Together with partners, and building on our joint experience with the Black Summer Bushfires around Australia, DRA will be managing a database of specialist volunteers who will be deployed to areas that have been identified as needing assistance.

These volunteers will include Fortescue and Western Force employees, as well as Minderoo Foundation staff who will be helping coordinate logistics and communications with affected residents.

As part of this new initiative, DRA is coordinating deployment and providing on the ground support for recovery efforts, and the Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience Fund is meeting travel and accommodation costs for volunteers. This new collaboration ensures fire-affected communities are matched with skilled and experienced volunteers, to help them rebuild and recover from what has been the most devastating fire season in Australian history.

Disaster Relief Australia boasts a 2,000-strong, highly skilled veteran volunteer force combined with emergency service specialists to help communities stabilise and recover after a devastating natural disaster. The addition of Minderoo Fire and Flood Resilience volunteers to this pool allows a new level of response to emerging natural disasters.

DRA CEO, Geoff Evans said “This partnership with Minderoo Foundation provides a significant boost to our on-the-ground resources. Bushfire recovery is a marathon, not a sprint, our disaster relief team bolstered by Minderoo Foundation volunteers will deploy once our mission planning is completed. We won’t give up until the job is done.”

Lee Goddard, Partner Ecosystem and Ground Operations Leader Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience says of the collaboration “We are proud to be partnering with Disaster Relief Australia to significantly boost on the ground resources to assist with community recovery. Our experience since the Black Summer bushfires has involved listening to people in communities and understanding their needs, as well as monitoring and assessing where we are best placed to help so that well co-ordinated teams of volunteers can be sent in to help and fast track recovery.

It is fantastic to see our fellow Australians assist others in times of need made possible through this partnership.”

About Disaster Relief Australia

Disaster Relief Australia unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams in Australia and around the world. Disaster Relief Australia is a not for profit organisation offering veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. Programs and services are made possible by the support of individual donors, corporate partners, and the dedication of volunteers across the country.

About Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience initiative

In the aftermath of the Black Summer fires, Minderoo Foundation committed AU$70 million to establish the Fire and Flood Resilience initiative. Minderoo Foundation’s Fire and Flood Resilience initiative aims to reduce harm caused by fire and floods by harnessing the collective power of communities, industry, government, philanthropy and the research sector to lift Australia to be the global leader in fire and flood resilience by 2025. It is working with more than 60 partners to lift national resilience by delivering on the Fire and Flood Resilience Blueprint which outlines the following missions:

  • Fire Shield: to reduce the scale and impact of bushfires by developing the capability to extinguish dangerous fires within an hour by 2025.
  • Resilient Communities: to lift Australia’s 50 most vulnerable communities to be on par with Australia’s 50 most resilient communities by 2025.
  • Healthy Landscapes: to halve hazard exposure in Australia’s 50 most fire and flood prone regions by 2025.