“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.”
Operation Joynt is named for Melbourne born William Donovan Joynt. For his ‘most conspicuous bravery’ he won the Victoria Cross.
Following a wave of destruction left by a storm front across the state of Victoria, both regional and metropolitan areas have suffered extensive damage. The Dandenong Ranges have been the subject of disastrous weather causing extensive treefall resulting in property damage, significant impact on power supply and multiple road closures. Fallen trees and collapsed power lines have restricted mobility and services providing impediment to freedom of movement while cutting off basic communication platforms and hampering the overall recovery effort. Veteran led volunteer organisation, Disaster Relief Australia has announced an initiative to provide crucial assistance to devastated Dandenong residents. Operation Joynt (named for Lieutenant Colonel William Donovan Joynt), will commence 3rd July and roll over a series of weekends in July. DRA frequently deploys a nationwide volunteer workforce to aid disaster impacted Australian communities. COVID-19 continues to roadblock the organisation’s desire to help Australian’s when they need it most. Melbourne Disaster Relief Team Manager, Kyran Byrne says his team is determined to bring real hands-on help where it’s needed most. “Our teammates in the Melbourne DRT (disaster relief team) have endured a tough 18 months with COVID-19 lockdowns. We have been separated from friends, families and the communities we assist by virtue of the fact of where we live. All of us in DRA are motivated by helping others, putting others before self, and demonstrating the true Australian virtue of mateship. When others are doing it tough – we come to help. That internal passion to help burns deep in our members, they are always willing to go that bit further for others. It is hard to extinguish the flame once it’s lit and in the Melbourne DRT, we have taken all that adversity and used it as fuel to motivate ourselves and our teammates. We have an opportunity to get out and do what we do best, tough it out, give of ourselves, and show what Disaster Relief Australia, Victorians and Australians are made of… time to get amongst it.” As disaster seasons intensify and overlap, DRA can only deploy crucial recovery services like Operation Joynt with strong links from the local community. For Operation Joynt, DRA will collaborate with Rotary – Emerald & District and their Dandenong Ranges task force called “Help the Hills”. Full operation information: Operation Joynt
Due to the recent COVID-19 complications in NSW, we are unfortunately required to put Operation Corkhill Phase 2 on hold until further notice. This is the second pause we have been forced to endure in the region due to COVID-19. Our commitment to providing help and hope to Bega Valley Shire LGA residents has not wavered and we remain committed to returning as soon as possible to pick up where we left off.