Operation Rankin

Disaster Relief Australia volunteers returned to Rochester, Victoria, to assist the community with flood recovery.

The area has been flooded three times in the past 15 years and the frequency of the floods has caused significant pressure and stress for residents, who often feel abandoned and continue to struggle daily.

Volunteers helped residents with continued clean up after the 2022 floods, and with damage caused by recent flooding in early 2024.

Work was focused primarily in Rochester and included townships such as Shepparton and Echuca.

The operation was run with the support of partner NAB Foundation and in collaboration with Rochester Community House, Emergency Recovery Victoria, and Campaspe Shire Council.

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In response to Flooding
Location Rochester, Echuca, Shepparton View map
Status Complete
Dates 26 Feb 2024 - 28 Mar 2024

The story behind the name

George James Rankin; farmer, soldier and politician, was born on 1 May 1887 at Bamawm, Victoria. George was educated at the local state school and later farmed at Nanneella.

He joined the military in 1907 and was commissioned in 1909 in the 9th Light Horse Regiment. On 20 August 1914 he was appointed lieutenant, Australian Imperial Force, and posted to the 4th L.H.R.

Rankin reached Gallipoli in May 1915 where he was wounded. He promoted to Captain in December, before being appointed Major in March 1916. He was present at the famous charge at Beersheba on 31 October 1917 and in 1918 he won the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry in action around Jerusalem.

Rankin returned to Australia in June 1919 where he gained steady advancement, commanding the 2nd Cavalry Division as a Brigadier from October 1936 and as a major general from July 1937.

Rankin developed an interest in politics and was elected to the seat of Bendigo in the House of Representative in 1937. In 1949 he was elected to the Senate where he served until 1955. Rankin died on 28 December 1957 at Rochester and was buried in the local cemetery.