“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 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 DRA. Cheers, see ya when I get back.”
We are excited to announce that Disaster Relief Australia has been recognised for an Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2022. This is the third consecutive year that DRA has received an award in this category which recognises charitable organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes. The 2022 Outstanding Achievement was awarded to DRA for our plans to build our veteran-led volunteer base to create a fit-for-purpose model of continued service to the nation, while at the same time, establishing veterans as a much-needed national asset in disaster resilience and recovery. Our plans to build our volunteer workforce over the next three years will address a whole-of-nation resilience-based approach to disaster management, which recognises that a national, coordinated, and cooperative effort is needed to enhance Australia’s capacity to withstand and recover from emergencies and disasters. In partnership with the Australian Government’s announced funding, we will be significantly building our organisation, infrastructure and capability to always provide optimal support and relief for vulnerable communities affected by natural and #humanitarian disasters. We will further develop systems to connect with other emergency response and relief agencies and increase interoperability as well as to recruit more volunteers into DRA. Volunteering with DRA is a great way for anyone wishing to expand their skills set and either deploy into communities impacted by disaster to aid in their recovery or other #opportunities volunteering behind the scenes to support our recovery operations and daily non-profit activities. To learn more about our award submission visit: Australian Charity Awards – 2022 Winners
Lismore resident and owner of the Music Bizarre in Magellan Street Lismore, Debra Ray thought she was ready for future floods.
With lessons learned from 2017, Debra thought the upstairs of her store was well protected against rising waters. She was wrong. The 2022 Northern Rivers flood hit hard. Her premises, stock and irreplaceable collectables were significantly damaged. Under pressure and devastated, Debra attempted to repair the damage, run her business and manage the loss of her home in South Lismore. With overwhelming tasks piled high, DRA stepped in. They relocated damp and mouldy records, cleaned stock and cleared areas for use again. Debra said of the team: “I just couldn’t stop saying oh my god, oh my god because it had such a huge impact. To really see the progress is psychologically uplifting and amazing. For example, there was a team member who fixed my roller door. It had been damaged after the flood and was covered in mud. Just to see the blue paint on the door rather than the mud was phenomenally uplifting. I don’t know why I keep using the word uplifting, but it was just amazing.”