HomeArticlesLifestyleAussie Veterans Volunteer for Gold Coast’s Disaster Relief

Aussie Veterans Volunteer for Gold Coast’s Disaster Relief

Helen Stubbs | January 2021

Local volunteer Chris Perrin is surfing his favourite break at Rainbow Bay, catching a golden wave in his wetsuit at dawn, when the message pings his smart watch: DRA’s been asked to aid a community struck by a cyclone up north.

Perrin catches the next wave in, stows his board and prepares for departure according to dispatch instructions. Soon he’ll be on a Virgin flight to provide aid on the ground – one of hundreds of local volunteers who answer the call for help.

Like Perrin, 250 Gold Coast and South East Queensland-based Australian Veterans are volunteering to come to our aid if there’s a natural disaster this season, thanks to a new partnership between Disaster Relief Australia (DRA) and the Gold Coast Local Disaster Management Group. The Gold Coast’s Local Disaster Management Group consists of members from Emergency Service Agencies, non-government organisations and of course City of Gold Coast staff who work together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the impacts that disasters can bring to our city and our community.  The City of Gold Coast also maintain the capability and functioning of the City’s Local Disaster Coordination Centre (LDCC) through disaster training, exercises and technology enhancements to ensure the City is ready.

The Gold Coast Local Disaster Management Group Chairperson, Mayor Tom Tate, says the spirit of giving is alive and well on the Gold Coast.

“We have an extensive relief team ready to down tools and answer the call to aid at the drop of a hat,” says Mayor Tate.

This new partnership between the Gold Coast and DRA calls on military veterans, first responders (like fire fighters) and civilians, to offer disaster relief when and where it’s needed.  DRA’s Chief Development Officer, Anastasia Bougesis says a whopping 58 per cent of the veteran volunteer team is based in South East Queensland which makes the Gold Coast one of the most efficient disaster relief locations in the country.

“The Volunteers from DRA have a range of skills and work well in crisis situations. We follow direction closely and are disciplined volunteers,” says Anastasia.

For information on how to prepare your home, create an emergency plan, and pack an emergency kit, download a free copy of the Preparing for Natural Disasters and Emergency Events guide online at cityofgoldcoast.com.au/getready

If you’d like to volunteer or sponsor for DRA, the first port of call is their website.

We Are Gold Coast wishes a happy and safe holiday season to all of DRA’s volunteers and the community. While enjoying the holidays, it’s great to know that veterans, first responders and everyday folk in the community have our back, if we need help.

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