“As everyone is soon to find out, from my BBC doco, I had a hard time after leaving the army, and becoming a B Grade celebrity. I have a lot of survival skills, and using this to help other people balances my inner demons. I’ve been very fortunate with Team Rubicon Australia (now DRA) to deploy overseas and domestically. At the moment, I am sitting in Palu, with Rich and Dion, and we’ve just been out to check some sites that we will be damage assessing tomorrow with our UAVs. The site we were standing on was impacted by a phenomenon known as liquefaction, where the earth is churned so much that it turns into a quicksand whirlpool. It’s now thought to be the gravesite of thousands of people. I feel extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be here and help the people of Indonesia and I feel incredible sorrow for their loss. But I know the team are here to do something for the Indonesian government that is needed and will help them move forward. Tonight when I go to sleep, I know that balance in the fight with my demons is topped up. Thanks to Team Rubicon (DRA). Cheers, see ya when I get back.”
Disaster Relief Australia has launched a flood recovery operation dubbed Operation ELLIOT to the Port Macquarie area. The operation will bring vital flood recovery to a community still recovering from the Black Summer bushfires of 2019. The operation will deploy for 8 weeks and is initially based in the North Haven area supporting local areas of North Haven, Dunbogan, Kendall and Kew. This initial posture will leverage strong support from both Club North Haven and the Laurieton United Services Club. Jobs include general flood clean-up activities such as damaged structure clearance of furniture and damaged walls, anti-mould operations, debris management and removal, chainsaw operations, fence line repairs, aerial damage assessments. DRA brings help and hope to communities devastated by natural disasters and at the same time provides veterans the opportunity to grow beyond their military service. Disaster Relief Australia CEO Geoff Evans says “DRA has received a warm welcome from the local community who have united together quickly after the recent floods to bring about a relative sense of normalcy. Still, hundreds of homes have been declared unlivable. Our volunteers will roll up their sleeves and provide real hands-on help where it is needed.” Operation Elliot is named after Major Alban Charles Elliot, a war hero awarded the Military Cross and who served as longest running mayor of Port Macquarie from 1925 until 1936.