In Response to: Catastrophic Flooding
Location: NSW
Active: 12th August to 26th September (Pending)

Get Involved

EOI’s are open for this operation between the dates of 12th August to 26th September.

Donating to this operation will support Disaster Relief Australia volunteers in real and practical ways.

Back to Northern Rivers August 2022

DRA responded to the March catastrophic flooding in QLD and NSW with our biggest operation commitment to date, Operation Kelliher.

After a break in operations allowing us to make repairs to and service our equipment, restock supplies and assess work completed to date, we are now planning to recommence further flood recovery operations in Northern NSW.

Area of Operations

The NSW Northern Rivers region experienced its worst flooding in history.  This centred on (but was not limited to) Lismore Council, Richmond Valley Council and Byron Shire Council areas. Heavy to extreme rainfall fell across various parts of the area with flooding of numerous rivers and creeks. Extensive damage occurred to farmland, towns, and villages across the area. Ongoing periods of rain hampered efforts to affect a quick recovery, and large areas are still struggling to find a way back.

Flood Recovery Taskings

Operation Kelliher focused on urgent flood recovery tasks like debris removal and ‘muck out’ activities.

It is expected that the new operation will have a greater focus on temporary home and property repairs in an effort to assist the community return to their homes.

Submit Your Interest to Volunteer

Expressions of interest are open for this operation between the dates of 12th August to 26th September. Some waves are to be confirmed and the operation status is pending.

If you want to get back out there, please get your EOI in now so we can finalise our planning.

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...