Location: QLD & NSW
In response to: Catastrophic Flooding

5th Mar – 8 May 2022

flood recovery statistics 2022

Flood Recovery in QLD and NSW

Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) committed to deploying a veteran-led volunteer workforce to Queensland and New South Wales in response to catastrophic flooding. Operation Kelliher is DRA’s biggest operation commitment to date. A mass call-out to the general public saw DRA’s highly trained veteran lead a mud army of volunteers.

Working alongside locals, our skilled volunteers undertook hands-on help including debris removal, rubbish removal, mould treatment, clearing key access points and general mud clean-up to affected communities.

Area of Operations

DRA conducted the largest disaster response activity since the inception of the organisation 5 years ago. Skilled volunteers got down to dirty flood recovery work in both QLD and NSW. The veteran led volunteers worked alongside locals from the Moreton Bay region in QLD and then Coraki, NSW just a short drive from Lismore.


Disaster Relief Australia concluded the current flood recovery activity, Operation Kelliher based in Coraki NSW on Sunday, 8 May 2022. DRA are taking a break to allow staff and volunteers, who have been working tirelessly in the Northern Rivers community since the beginning of March, to take a well-deserved rest.

During this time, we will be making repairs to and servicing our equipment, restocking supplies and assessing work completed to date to start planning for further flood recovery operations in Northern NSW. The road back to recovery after the catastrophic flooding events earlier this year will continue for months, and we aim to redeploy our disaster relief teams to continue assisting these flood-impacted communities.

DRA would like to sincerely thank everyone involved for their selfless contribution and service. To all our partners, supporters, and donors who have and are continuing to contribute funding, donations or in-kind support, thank you so much for your generosity.

To the Northern Rivers NSW Community and the Coraki Golf Club, thank you for being so welcoming and accommodating to our volunteers. You truly are an amazing and humbling group of people, and it has been a privilege to work side by side with you.

As of 8th May 2022, Operation Kelliher deployed  714 volunteers, contributing over 25,767 volunteer hours, completing 526 requests for assistance which have saved the community over 1.4 million dollars.

News and Field Ops Reports

Operation Kelliher Flood Recovery Summary

Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) recently conducted its largest disaster response activity since the organisation’s inception in 2016. In response to the catastrophic flooding that impacted communities in Queensland and New South Wales, our skilled veteran-led volunteers got down and dirty helping with flood recovery as part of Operation Kelliher.

Mid Op Update | Operation Kelliher

Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) is underway with a large disaster relief operation in response to the catastrophic flooding of Queensland and New South Wales. DRA members and volunteers initially worked alongside locals from the Moreton Bay region in QLD and have...

Richard Kelliher | The Story Behind the Name

Richard Kelliher (1910-1963) Served: 1941-1946Unit: 2/25th Second Australian Imperial ForceRank: PrivateEnlistment: New Farm, Queensland [electorate of Brisbane]Awarded: Victoria CrossOperation Kelliher is named for Richard Kelliher, a courageous soldier awarded the...

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...

Community & Volunteer Reflections

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.

See the Impact of DRA, Veteran Tory

Joining DRA has given me more meaning to fill in the spare time that I’ve had and come down and help the community. The self-worth it gives you and the interaction with other veterans’ emergency service is just great to see the smiles and the community starting to recover from this tragedy.

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...

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

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...

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...

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...