In Response to: Catastrophic Flooding
Phase 1: October – December 2022
Phase 2: 18 January – 2 March 2023
EOIs are now closed for this operation.
Not yet a volunteer with DRA and keen to help? Then join us now via the link below.
VIC Floods Recovery Operation
Following severe weather events across Victoria in October 2022, a number of communities in both regional and metropolitan areas of the state suffered extensive flood damage.
On Monday, 17 October 2022 the Premier of Victoria Dan Andrews announced that Disaster Relief Australia would be working with Emergency Management Victoria to manage the spontaneous volunteer ‘mud army’ from local communities who are expected to start arriving once flood waters recede to aid in the clean-up.
Phase 1 of Operation Mactier ran from October to December 2022, before volunteer teams returned on 18 January 2023 for six weeks.
Areas of Operation
Once flood waters started to recede the areas of operation included the communities of Maribyrnong, Rochester, Shepparton and Echuca.
Flood Recovery Taskings
As part of Operation Mactier Disaster Relief Australia was proud to be invited by Emergency Management Victoria to manage the spontaneous volunteers who helped the community.
Work included cleaning mud out of homes, mucking out and clearing debris, rubbish removal and general clean up.
DRA thanks those spontaneous volunteers in the Victorian community who assisted with the clean-up as well as our corporate volunteers and partners.
The story behind the name
Disaster Relief Australia has a proud military background, and as part of our respect to our veteran roots when we deploy a disaster relief operation we name it after a local veteran in honour of their service to the community, and in turn ours.
Operation Mactier is named in honour of Private Robert ‘Bob’ Mactier. Mactier enlisted in March 1917, deploying to the Western Front in late 1917, in time for the battle of Hamel and the August offensive of 1918. In his last letter home he wrote: ‘if our side only keep going I think the war [will] be over by next spring’.
Mactier won the only Victoria Cross awarded to his battalion, but made the ultimate sacrifice. Moving into position for the assault on Mont St Quentin, 23 Battalion was stopped by enemy machine-gun fire. As a company runner, Mactier was sent to investigate. Armed with a revolver and bombs, he attacked, throwing a bomb, climbing through the wire, and tossing the machine-gun out of the trench. When his comrades came forward, they found the crew dead and saw Mactier attacking the next post. He then charged a third post, killing the occupants. Finding yet another obstacle, he ran into the open for his fourth attack where he was killed by fire from his flank.
The recommendation for the award reads:
‘On the morning of 1st September, 1918, during the operation entailing capture of MT. ST. QUENTIN, this man stands out for the greatest bravery and devotion to duty.
Fifteen minutes before zero 2 bombing patrols were sent to clear up several enemy strong points close to our line, but they met with very stubborn resistance and no success, and the Battalion was unable to move on to its Jumping Off Trench. Mactier singlehanded and in daylight, then jumped out of the trench from the leading Company, rushed past the block, closed with and killed the machine-gun garrison of 8 men with his revolver and bombs, and threw the enemy machine gun over the parapet. He rushed forward another 20 yards and jumped into another strong point held by a garrison of 6 men who immediately surrendered. Continuing to the next block through the trench an enemy gun which had been enfilading our flank advancing troops, was swung onto him, but he jumped out of the trench into the open and disposed of this third post and gun crew by bombing them from the rear. Before he could get into this trench he was killed by enemy machine gun at close range. In the three posts which Mactier rushed 15 of the enemy were found killed and 30 taken prisoners.
It was entirely due to this man’s exceptional bravery and determination that the Battalion was able to move on to its Jumping Off Trench and carry out the successful operation of capturing the village of MT. ST. QUENTIN a few hours later.’
Mactier’s Victoria Cross is accompanied by two service medals for the First World War.