Project Resilience

It’s time to prepare Australian communities for disaster

Project Resilience is Disaster Relief Australia’s contribution to the Minderoo Foundation’s Resilient Communities Initiative. Resilient Communities aims to lift Australia’s 50 most vulnerable communities to be on par with Australia’s most resilient communities by 2025.

big map project resilience mogo

‘Big Map’ resilience exercise

Project Resilience is a nationwide multiple-phase community engagement project aimed at increasing Australian communities’ resilience to natural disasters. One of the resilience activities is a ‘Big Map’ exercise. This plays a pivotal role in identifying potential risks and hazards and providing solutions to help improve the resilience of local communities.

A ‘Big Map’ is created by deploying a fleet of aircraft drones piloted by trained specialists into the field to safely conduct post-disaster aerial operations of an impacted area. This coupled with teams of image analysts turns aerial imagery into maps/aerial intelligence to highlight to the community how to prepare for natural disasters in the future.

Benefits of a strong community resilience plan

Backed by the skills and experience of military veterans, emergency services specialists and an army of dedicated volunteers, Disaster Relief Australia aim to empower communities with projects that build resilience to disasters and foster a sense of community pride.

Mitigates disaster

Reduce exposure to hazards, lessen the vulnerability of people and property and manage the local natural environment. 

Community connections

Foster community connections to improve social and mental health outcomes and community cohesion in times of need. 

Foster leadership

Empowers local leaders to make effective and informed decisions that prioritise community safety and infrastructure.  

Resilience plan

Builds a strong coping capacity to prepare for and bounce back from natural disasters that disrupt the communities way of life.

How we raise community resilience

Disaster Relief Australia as part of Project Resilience can offer communities: 

  • Aerial imagery and data mapping with our fleet of remotely piloted aircraft and trained specialists 
  • Specialist assessment of infrastructure, assets, vulnerabilities and preparation priorities  
  • Scenario modelling and disaster planning workshops to collect community feedback 
  • Creation, management and execution of local community projects, with community collaboration encouraged 
  • Training and management of local community volunteers 
  • Dedicated volunteers skilled in chainsaw work, route clearance and property access, debris removal, fencing repair, expedient home repairs and more 

Supporting local communities

DRA operates nine Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs):

  • DRT Queensland North
  • DRT Queensland South
  • DRT New South Wales
  • DRT Australian Capital Territory
  • DRT Victoria
  • DRT South Australia
  • DRT Western Australia
  • DRT Northern Territory (launched March 2022)
  • DRT Tasmania (launched April 2022)

Each DRT has the capability to conduct disaster relief and community support operations. Under Project Resilience, each DRT will adopt a community and work through a nationally led program to help that community build its resilience to natural disasters.


nine disaster relief teams