Disaster Resilience and Recovery in Mallacoota (Two Years Post Black Summer)

Disaster Relief Australia | November 2021

Bushfire Recovery for Mallacoota 2 Years After Bearing the Brunt of Black Summer

It is difficult to forget the out-of-control bushfire engulfing the Gippsland township of Mallacoota on New Years Eve 2019. Apocalyptic images of thousands taking refuge on a beach under red angry skies became synonymous with the plight of Australian communities overwhelmed by the Black Summer bushfires. Nearly two years later, Mallacoota is still in need of post bushfire assistance. Scant recovery has taken place since the fires in part due to COVID preventive measures limiting disaster recovery activities.

With restrictions now easing, Disaster Relief Australia is launching an operation called ‘Operation Thorpe‘ on 27th of November. Real hands-on help will include dangerous tree felling, fence clearing/repairs and debris removal.

Disaster Relief Australia CEO Geoff Evans says “Disasters are more frequent and more intense and for those affected, deeply personal. We’re determined to bring help where it’s needed most in spite of the challenges of deploying our volunteer workforce nationally during COVID-19 restrictions.”

Getting Ready with Resiliency – Working with the Mallacoota Community

In tandem with Operation Thorpe, Disaster Relief Australia will also conduct their first resilience activity under the banner of Project Resilience. The goal is to serve at least 34 communities over four years; contributing to the Minderoo Foundation’s Resilient Communities Initiative which aims to lift Australia’s 50 most vulnerable communities to be on par with Australia’s 50 most resilient communities by 2025. DRA’s Victorian Disaster Relief Team is working directly with the Mallacoota community to raise their resilience and mitigate future disasters.

DRA team leaders and volunteers will attend the ‘Be Ready’ Coota Day held in Mallacoota on Sunday the 28th of November. Over the following weekend (4th and 5th December), a resilience engagement activity will involve community volunteers participating in a disaster mitigating activity.