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.

News and Field Ops Reports

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

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Melbourne Volunteers Out of Lockdown to Aid Devastated Dandenong

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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

The Most Change – Jason McNamee, Civilian

I joined DRA after the floods in NSW. I saw on LinkedIn what DRA was doing after the immediate fanfare and the media had left. I found the cleanup and how DRA aids in that recovery process really interesting. Seeing the little snapshots of what’s happening and what’s...

Time to Help Other People – Scott Whiley, Veteran

A mate put me onto DRA,  I have been looking for something different. I'm retired and spend a lot of time staying fit and traveling looking for something different. Now I have time to help other people. In the past I have been a bit selfish when I was always working...

Being on the Tools is Rewarding – Aaron Mangravati, Civilian

I first heard about DRA through a member that I met whilst doing some work with St John. She sold it to me as something that made a difference with a good group of people so I thought it was worth a try. Over the last couple of years I have done quite a few things...

Our People Are What it’s All About – Nick Backe-Hansen – Veteran, Current AFP

I first heard about DRA 3 years ago. Dean West and I worked together in the 5th/7th Battalion at Holsworthy in the 90’s. Opportunities for me at work had all but dried up and coincidentally I saw through Facebook that Westy was in the Virgin Islands, building a school...

Bringing Everyone Together – Andrew Cooke

In my normal life I work as a security consultant. I currently work for myself as a private contractor and cover all parts of security, mainly in sport. Prior to that I was in the Police Force. I heard about DRA while I was working at Invictus Games. It seemed...

Sense of Ownership – Aaron O’Toole, Ex Firefighter

I signed up to DRA because of my wife, she joined up first and it sounded like a good thing to do so I felt like I could have something to offer as well. Once I started deploying I found that the team had great camaraderie and that gave me the ability to feel at home....

Help Someone on Their Worst Day – Davina Pye, Veteran and Firefighter

I'm currently our Sydney DRT (disaster relief team) manager. Formerly I was a medic in the Australian Army for 11 years deploying to Papua New Guinea for tidal wave relief in 98, East Timor in 99, and Bougainville in 2002. I've now been a firefighter for 14 years with...

Something salvageable – veteran Kylie Baumback

Kylie Baumback: Front row, 3rd from left As a child my family home was totally destroyed by fire. The memories and details have never fully left me, the traumatic feeling of loss linger in the back of my mind popping up every now and again to remind me of the intense...

Damage assessor Rebecca Talbot

I'm a born and bred Perth Hills girl, previously in the Glen Forest volunteer brigade. The footage of the fires was heartbreaking, I wanted to give my time to support the community recover and rebuild. On this operation I spoke to a bloke to book a damage assessment....

A bit of hope and joy – Minderoo volunteer Leigh van der Merwe Reflection

My folks live on Kangaroo Island. My family and I got over there a couple of weeks after the fires. I got to see the devastation and hear the stories firsthand. I understand the amount of help these people need. When I heard about the call out for volunteers through...
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.