OPERATION GORDON

In Response to: Flooding
Location: Townsville, QLD
Active: Jan 30, 2019 to Mar 9, 2019
disaster relief townsville flooding statistics

Objective

Disaster Relief Australia (formerly Team Rubicon Australia) launched Operation Gordon in response to unprecedented flooding that occurred across northern parts of Queensland, inundating over 3000 homes and businesses in and around the city of Townsville. The purpose of Operation Gordon, named after Townsville based Victoria Cross winner Sidney Gordon, was to provide disaster relief and recovery assistance to the most vulnerable elements of the population.

Over a five week period, DRA deployed 124 members delivering a broad range of assistance to a devastated community. Operation Gordon logged over 10,000 volunteer hours while responding to 350 requests for assistance, some of which took up to 4 days to complete. The community costs saved totaled well over 3 million dollars. 

For many overwhelmed homeowners, DRA brought back hope. Throughout the Operation, DRA’s volunteers managed 341 local volunteers, allowing members of the Townsville community to help each other, and in the process, help themselves.

Operation Gordon was enabled through the generous support of Clubs QLD, and its member clubs, including the North Queensland Cowboys Leagues Club, whose staff and members worked alongside DRA in the wake of the disaster.

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News and Field Ops Reports

Mobilising veteran and Defence community to support major flood recovery efforts across Queensland and NSW

Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) is deploying a veteran-led volunteer workforce to Queensland and New South Wales in response to the recent major flood event. The announcement provides a timely reminder of the urgent need to bolster Australia’s disaster recovery...

Disaster Relief Australia welcomes Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants announcement

Disaster Relief Australia has welcomed an announcement they will receive $478,669 under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants program. The funding will enable DRA to continue vital work supporting communities in the Bega Valley after the destruction of the 19/20...

Disaster Relief Teams put down chainsaws and pick up food boxes for ACT communities in lockdown

 With ACT in lockdown until at least October 15th, the need to distribute food and hygiene boxes to ACT residents in isolation is critical. In response, an innovative solution has developed between Disaster Relief Australia and the Canberra Relief Network. Small...

Melbourne Volunteers Out of Lockdown to Aid Devastated Dandenong

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...

Melbourne DRA Volunteers Band Together to Aid Horse Therapy Charity

Gippsland residents have been hit hard over recent years. Below average rainfalls, the Black Summer Bushfires of 2019-20 summer, the COVID-19 pandemic and most recently catastrophic flooding. The floods caused mass evacuations, downed trees, and collapsed power lines,...

DRA returns to Bega Valley Shire for Critical Bushfire Recovery

Disaster Relief Australia deployed a six week bushfire recovery operation to the Bega Valley Shire on 29th May, 2021. The veteran led volunteer organisation will bring vital bushfire recovery to Bega residents still suffering the destructive effects of the Black...

DRA Launches Vital Flood Recovery to Port Macquarie and Surrounds

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...

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

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...

Disaster Relief Australia Ramps up to Bring Urgent Recovery to Bushfire Survivors in Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and East Gippsland

Disaster Relief Australia, (DRA) is launching our first major operation for 2021, returning to bring urgent recovery to 2019/20 Black Summer bushfire survivors in Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and East Gippsland.

Community & Volunteer Reflections

All the Reward I Need, Veteran Phil Wharton

A veteran friend suggested I look at Disaster Relief Australia when I was looking for an opportunity to give back after many years of paid work. I was immediately impressed by DRA’s focus on getting things done and helping others in their hour of need. Thinking about...

Take a Leap, Volunteer, Alasdair McLachlan

I come from a military family. My father is an Officer in the Army Reserve and so I spent much time in my childhood surrounded by the ADF community. Whether through attending a family barbeque in Keswick Barracks or doing my homework on my dad’s Army Reserve office...

Use Any of Your Life Skills, Nurse Michelle

Everybody will be able to make a contribution in some way. They will bring their own life experiences and be able to make a purposeful impact on other people – and that’s such a wonderful thing to be able to do to people in our community who may not have that access to those resources in another way.

Put My Skills to Use Helping Australians, Veteran Spot Swales

I was drawn to volunteer with Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) due to its focus on supporting veterans. After service in the Royal Australian Navy in the 1960s and 1970s, I wanted to put my skills to use in helping Australians, especially with the recent floods in New...

Passion to Give up Time for Community, Veteran, Alan Ashman

I first heard about Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) by following the journey of another member who has been with DRA for a few years and seeing the operations that he had deployed on. Seeing the great work he's done as a member of DRA led me to think "this is an...

Positive Support Through Empowerment – Veteran, Josh Bailey 

My military service began at age 17 as an Army reservist, with the 2/17 Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment. Based in Blacktown, Sydney. Not long prior, I completed year ten and had an apprenticeship fall through. It was a friend in the reserves who drew my...

True Heroes – Veteran, Wayne Larson

In the 80’s I was a writer in the Navy. My grandfather, my great uncle, cousins, myself and now my son, all joined the Navy. It was generational. After 5 years of service, I left and headed down a pathway in training and development, training in First Aid and...

Dirty Hard Yakka – Liam Rabone

In the wake of the 2020 fires which ravaged our beautiful bushlands and devastated communities, I was transfixed by the awful scenes and was almost overcome with a sense of helplessness. I desperately wanted to do something to help and knew that I would run out of...

Constant Push to Improve and Expand – Ben Abbott, Veteran, Fire Fighter

I found Disaster Relief Australia when I was searching for ways to get more involved with humanitarian aid. I had been involved with medical volunteering agencies, but when the focus shifted from international travel to domestic only, I thought DRA sounded great for...

Craig Barber – A Difference Made

Joining up with and volunteering for Disaster Relief Australia is something I was very strongly drawn towards after the Cuddlee Creek bushfire went through the local area. I felt it was an excellent way for me to give back to my community and help out those in a time...
Caught Everybody by Surprise, Tony Carusi Thanks

Caught Everybody by Surprise, Tony Carusi Thanks

The floods caught us. They caught everybody by surprise. The magnitude and the speed with which the flood came up; the hundred-year flood is nothing compared to this one. We were awake all night. We’d put our heads down for ten minutes and then jump up to see where...

Really Rewarding, Health Care Australia Volunteers

Really Rewarding, Health Care Australia Volunteers

Today was really rewarding and a big eye-opener seeing how much was destroyed in the floods. It’s one thing hearing about it - but seeing it is completely different! When we first arrived at a homeowner's house, we thought "this is a huge job, how are we going to do...

Never seen anything like this ever – Steve Baker Community Reflection

Never seen anything like this ever – Steve Baker Community Reflection

I’ve lived here for 12 months but I've never seen anything like this ever. About a metre of water came barrelling down the stairs and ramps. The water pressure has blown the heavy fire doors off their hinges and ripped them in half. It’s come through the carpark and...

Positive About the Future – David

Positive About the Future – David

Before moving to Gipsy Point in 2009, I was living in Melbourne and just felt like a tree and sea change, I've been here about 12 years now with my partner and our dog Trixie. The day the fire came through was pretty heavy, we had been watching it on the internet for...

I Have Hope Again – Takeshi

I Have Hope Again – Takeshi

The day the fires came into Mallacoota a farmer friend told me it is really coming. My house is on the outskirts of Mallacoota, my driveway is quite long, so I thought, if I stay, I won't know if the fire comes to us, so decided to go to the shop. I planned to camp...

Afghan Refugees Rolling up Sleeves for Disaster Relief

Afghan Refugees Rolling up Sleeves for Disaster Relief

In December 2019, devastating bushfires ripped through the Adelaide Hills, destroying 86 houses and damaging around 160 more as well as burning through hundreds of hectares of farmland and vineyards. Following these unprecedented Black Summer bushfires, Disaster...

Motivated Us to Action – Don and Jane

Motivated Us to Action – Don and Jane

One of our biggest concerns, when the bushfires were coming, were our cattle. We wanted them to be safe, and despite everything, they all survived. No burnt hooves, none needed to be put down. The rest of the property didn’t fare so well. Our house narrowly survived...

Part of My Life Forever – Esther

Part of My Life Forever – Esther

It was all a bit surreal when the fires came through. It may have been 18 months ago but the feelings are all still there and quite upsetting. I remember that when I drove out of here with a few things in my caravan I didn’t realise how close it was, or how serious...

Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Pinson Volunteers for Flood Recovery

Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor Pinson Volunteers for Flood Recovery

Peta Pinson is the first woman elected to the role of Mayor in the region of Port Macquarie-Hastings, NSW. For her first term in office, she has witnessed two fires, an ongoing pandemic and is now overseeing the recovery of her community after the devastating...

Done So Much in Just One Day – Flood Impacted Homeowner Matt

Done So Much in Just One Day – Flood Impacted Homeowner Matt

The NSW floods have been a total disaster for us. We are usually up at 3am each day doing the milking and then we milk again later in the day. It is so exhausting keeping things going when you live on a farm. We don’t get weekends and holidays, the work is constant....

Really good seeing you guys here – David Massie

Really good seeing you guys here – David Massie

It’s really good seeing you guys here, it’s been 7 weeks since the fire came through and did an awful lot of damage to the property and you guys have been the first people to actually arrive on the property and start helping with the clean up. Just your response has...

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel – Janene Love

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel – Janene Love

I am 75 and had a knee replacement last year. I live here with my mother who is 96, but she will tell you she is 96 and three quarters as it is her birthday in July! My family, which included me and my two brothers, bought the property and we have lived here for 47...

Good to share a story – Andy Frantz

Good to share a story – Andy Frantz

My father bought the Malula Bay property in 1976. He was in the Austrian Navy but has since passed. He was brought up in Pula which is a seafront city on the tip of Croatia’s Istrian Peninusla. In 1979, my father planted several pine trees along the driveway to the...

Shared stories – Stephanie Batlow bushfire recovery

Shared stories – Stephanie Batlow bushfire recovery

My daughter and I own Bonza Organics apple orchard just west of Batlow, bearing the brunt of the firefront in January 2020 which destroyed all our buildings and belongings, all fences and nearly 3,000 apple trees, half our orchard. Most of the dead trees were pulled...

Community Story: Aaron Nimmo

Community Story: Aaron Nimmo

Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) responded in the community of Rosedale left devastated by bushfires in 2019. Many residents lost houses, sheds, stables, fences, stock and the clean up efforts are ongoing. There are stories that pull on your heart strings and bring you...

Community Story: Brendan and Deb Clarke

Community Story: Brendan and Deb Clarke

Brendan Clarke and his wife Deb are one of the few District Coast locals who lost everything, including their home in the Deepwater Bushfires that swept through the region in late 2018, early 2019. They had initially stayed to protect their property and thinking it...

I can’t thank you enough

I can’t thank you enough

I can’t thank you enough for the fast and friendly response to our situation. I thank all involved for their efforts, a great organisation to support.