Burketown Floods

Local School thanks Lions for Flood Relief Support

Not all heroes wear capes and for the isolated outback Burketown State School in Queensland, it was volunteers with Lions Clubs shirts that came to the rescue.

Last year when Burketown was devastated by flood waters, Lions Past District Governor Michael MacLaren and his partner Max Tavasci were the first on the scene to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the town’s needs.

PDG Michael MacLaren thanking Hawkins Transport for providing free freight containing donated Lions hampers into Burketown.

Michael and Max quickly mobilised the local Lions network of volunteers to distribute essential items and support.

The volunteers distributed hampers containing essential items to the hardest-hit members of the community, including station owners and the Indigenous communities.

After meeting with the Aboriginal Corporation to address their unique needs, Lions incorporated snake bite kits and first aid kits in the hampers.

Towels, sheets, blankets, and Lions Christmas Cakes and Puddings were also donated to the local health clinic.

Supplying tuck-shop equipment to the local school, including stainless steel shelving, a sandwich maker, slushie machine, barbecue and gas bottles, benefiting not only the students but also families displaced during the floods.

The emergency relief utilised funds raised by hard-working Clubs across the Lions Q2 District in North Queensland.

Lion Max Tavasci packing up essential supplies for the Burketown community.

The impact of these efforts goes beyond immediate relief, contributing to the long-term well-being of the Burketown community.

The local Lions will further demonstrate their commitment by returning to conduct a free eye health screening test for the children on 18th July 2024, during which Michael and Max will be honoured with an award by the school.

“Last year our school was devastated by floods. Local Lions volunteers came to our rescue,” says Burketown State School Principal Chris Ford.

“A special shout out to Lions Past District Governor Michael MacLaren and his partner Max who really took the time to understand what the community needed and mobilised the Lions network to make it happen.”

Burketown State School Principal Chris Ford pictured with his Australia Day Community Champion Award for his own outstanding performance during the 2023 floods.

“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support of Lions and it’s wonderful to see them setting such a great example and highlighting the importance of community service for our students, ” said Chris.

Lions’ flood relief continues…

As disasters continue to devastate parts of the country in 2024, Lions are there providing vital support to communities.

Members from the Marlin Coast Lions Club in Cairns preparing food for SES and emergency workers as they help residents affected by Cyclone Jasper.

Whether it’s cooking for emergency service personnel, setting up free laundry and shower vans or simply lending a helping hand to someone who has lost everything.

L: Q2 District Governor Jo Lynes presented Cairns school student with a laptop after her family’s belongings were destroyed in floods. R: Q3 District Governor Andy Fitzgerald shopping for new tools with QLD tradie who lost all in floods.

Lions continue to uplift the spirits of those who have lost so much in disaster-affected communities.

Well done to all our volunteers – where there is a need, there is a Lion!

Lions Receive International Acknowledgement For Overseas Aid

The Lions Club of Mooloolaba has earned the Model Club Award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation due to their impactful contributions and leadership in humanitarian efforts.

The club has been instrumental in extending the Foundation’s aid to disaster-stricken communities globally, including the resettlement of refugees in 17 countries.

Their fundraising initiatives, such as the sale of Christmas cakes and sausage sizzles, have been well-supported by the local community.

One of their primary fundraisers is the Fisherman’s Road Market, run by dedicated members of the club, including the former Mooloolaba Lioness club members.

Recently, their aid was directed locally with significant donations to various causes, including drought-affected farmers, bushfire victims, local families, and cyclone and flood victims in North Queensland.

Congratulations Mooloolaba Lions! You can read more about their prestigious award here.

Lions bring dignity to the homeless

The Bundaberg Hinkler Lions Club are celebrating the joyful news that Wayne, a regular user of their laundry and shower service for the homeless, has found a place to call home through public housing.

For over four years, Wayne had been living in his car, relying on their service.

His heartwarming transition to a stable home touched the Club so deeply that they also gifted him a bed, fridge, microwave, bed linen, and more to help him rebuild his life.

The Club’s mobile shower and washing machine trailer, a beacon of hope for many, has been functioning for more than eight years, extending its services every Wednesday at Barolin Street United Church and Thursday at Christ Church in Maryborough Street.

The trailer’s annual operation cost of $5,000 is covered by funds raised from Club activities, including their environmentally-conscious can and bottle recycling project.

The Club’s commitment to compassion and care for the homeless community continues to make a significant difference in the lives of people like Wayne.

You can find out more via their Facebook page here.

Past Tense Photography - Blackbutt Bands Together 5

Lions Band Together for Bushfire and Drought Benefit

When disaster strikes, Lions’ volunteers are always amongst the first to offer support.

Queensland Lions have sprung into action to support farmers and their families in the South Burnett who are struggling through Australia’s current drought conditions and the impact of recent fires.

Past Tense Photography - Blackbutt Bands Together 5

Image by Past Tense Photography.

Coming together to show their support, Q4 District Lions along with South Burnett Music Awards and South Burnett Regional Council organised and sponsored the Blackbutt Bands Together benefit held last Sunday on the 3rd of December.

Past Tense Photography - Blackbutt Bands Together 3

Image by Past Tense Photography.

Over 200 people attended the free event, which was held at Hotel Radnor in Blackbutt and boasted an exciting music line up including David Lynch, Lloyd Back, Ground Crew featuring Amos, Richie Arrowsmith, Paradox and headline act Rufus Jack.

Image by Past Tense Photography.

Raising more than $10,000 so far, all funds will be used to provide farmers with vouchers for essentials like groceries, rural supplies, fuel and other necessary items.

A further $6,000 has been raised by the Mooloolaba Lions Club to support communities impacted by bushfires in Queensland’s Western Downs region (including Tara and Millmerran).

Image by Past Tense Photography.

Chris Pullin, manager of Noosa Keys Resort and member of the Tewantin Noosa Lions Club, also donated 2 nights accommodation for 4 people which was auctioned off on Sunday.

Image by Past Tense Photography.

This was won by Lion Colleen Callaghan, member of Blackbutt Benarkin Lions Club, at a bid of $1,200. Colleen understands the impact of drought, having experienced a seven-year-long period of it during her time as a farmer.

Image by Past Tense Photography.

Well done to all involved – with the support of Lions and our communities, we can help our farmers and their families get through this tough time.

If you would like to show your support, the fundraiser will be active until the end of December. Click here to make a donation.

You can see more photos from the event on the Lions District 201 Q4 Facebook page.

Lions Bushfire Relief in Queensland

When disaster strikes, Lions quickly mobilise to help the community.

That was the case for Lions in Queensland, who jumped into action during the recent devastating bushfires in the Western Downs region.

The Lions Club of Dalby were at the Tara Evacuation Centre cooking meals for more than 250 evacuees from the surrounding areas.

Many local school children lost everything in the fires so Dalby President Julianne purchased backpacks, hats, water bottles, school pads, pencils, towels, socks and underwear and sent three large bags to the Tara Lioness Club Branch.

A young girl who lost her home in the fire was also given a Lions Bear and was ecstatic at receiving it.

Dalby President Julianne says she will continue to work with Tara Lions members to provide support where it is needed.

Tara Shire State College Principal, Lion Belinda Walker and club branch Secretary, Lion Judith Bridge with a few of the items they received for students.

As well as meals and school supplies, an Orange Sky van also arrived at the evacuation centre with washing machines and dryers for Dalby residents.

Dalby Lions Club has partnered with Orange Sky to provide washing and drying services free of charge for disadvantaged people at the Dalby Laundromat.

L to R: Lions Glenn Shipway, Lorraine Freeman and Brett Kruger (Lions Club of Dalby).

Furthermore, Lions in District Q4 are organising a much needed fundraiser for families who have been impacted by recent bushfires and drought in both the South Burnett and Western Downs regions.

The “Blackbutt Bands Together” fundraising event will take place at Hotel Radnor on Sunday the 3rd of December from 11.30am – 5pm for an afternoon of music and entertainment.

And the support doesn’t stop here. When the smoke clears, Lions will still be there doing whatever they can to help those in need and to support communities as they rebuild.

If you would like to help ensure Lions can continue doing their vital work, you can make a donation to our National Disaster Appeal via the Australian Lions Foundation here.

Lions Hay Run Helps Lift Spirits for Farmers

15 farming families had a reason to smile thanks to a generous donation of hay organised by the Murgon Lions Club.

The South Burnett, as like many other regions, has faced its fair share of agricultural challenges over the years, with extended droughts taking a toll on local farming communities.

Lion Peter Coombes was approached by residents concerned about the well-being of some of their neighbours, and Lions in District 201Q4 stepped in right away to help.

Farmer Bree Knopke with her young son, Teddy.

The project, which cost over $20,000, came together over just a short few hours with the Murgon Lions arranging a B-double load of oaten hay from NSW, delivered by local business Gleich Contracting.

A drop-off point was then organised in the Mt McEuen area for the morning of the 25th of October.

Lions Q4 District Governor Jackie Scott with some of the farmers’ children … Henry, Teddy and Sidney.

The farmers and their families were invited to collect the much-needed bales of hay, as well as talk to Graham House representatives who had information about the various support available to them.

The South Burnett Suicide Prevention Working Group also provided bags of goodies.

Alan Eagleson, who was helping to load the hay into farmers’ vehicles, with John Campbell (Lions).

We encourage other struggling farmers to apply for drought relief via Need for Feed Australia, another Lions project.

Thank you kindly to Torkit Business Solutions (Kingaroy) for producing the below video.

Wooroloo bushfire

Lions go above and beyond to help communities impacted by Wooroloo bushfire

When disaster strikes, Lions volunteers roll up their sleeves and take action – often sticking around long after the disaster to assist those left behind.

That’s exactly what has happened in Western Australia off the back of the devastating 2021 Wooroloo Bushfire.

Volunteers across the Lions’ W1 and W2 districts have now dispersed over $82,000 worth of support back to the community.

Wooroloo bushfire

Fire fighters combat the Wooroloo Bushfire. Credit: DFES/DFES / Incident Photographer Evan Collis

“In times of disaster Lions are focused on doing whatever we can to support the community and help it rebuild,” says Lions Past District Governor Mick Wainwright.

“It’s been a big couple of years for our members. The Wooroloo Bushfire in 2021 caused extensive damage to residential properties within the City of Swan and Shire of Mundaring. Over the six days it burned an area of more than 10,500 hectares inside a perimeter of 154km, with 86 properties lost and more than 100 damaged.”

“Local Lions Clubs, with the support of their communities and the Australian Lions Foundation, have been busy supporting those impacted and helping the community rebuild.”
“Most of those we have assisted could not applied for help under the normal disaster relief funding or insurance.”

“Support has ranged from replacing water tanks and providing welding equipment for the fence repair team to providing Christmas hampers and funding for 26 year six students to attend school camp.”

“The community has been so grateful for the support and highlights the importance of community service organisations like Lions. We are always there for the community and can get support quickly to those who need it most.”

With volunteers celebrating Lions Awareness Day this month, Mick says it’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in volunteering to get more information on how you can get involved or support Lions.

“If you are interested in making a difference, ask your local Lions how you can get involved. We know there are many people out there looking to make a difference in the community right now, and it’s a great time to join us,” adds Mick.

Since the first club was formed in Australia 75 years ago, Lions has grown dramatically in size and impact with over 1300 clubs and 25,000 members now giving back through an array of community-based programs and initiatives.

Some Lions are on a mission to cure childhood cancer and diabetes, others are committed to assisting those impacted by drought and floods and many are simply working together to help people in need in their local community. One thing all Lions have in common is together they are making an incredible difference.

Lions come together to help Elmore Village

Original story by Lee Walkington

When the floods tore through Rochester late last year, 90% of houses were affected.

In the nearby town of Elmore, temporary housing was set up to shelter the hundreds of displaced families.

Lion Lee from District V6’s Disaster Recovery Support Team and PDG Norm visited the make-shift village in Elmore to find out how the District could help.

Lion Lee said seeing the bare paddocks with rows of caravans and cabins for the first time was confronting.

Elmore Village’s new BBQ area. Image: Supplied.

“The people moving into this accommodation had their immediate needs met – food, shelter and clothing; it was their mental well-being that was our first concern,” she said.

During one visit, Lion Lee and PDG Norm raised concerns about the mental health of the residents. Soon after, a plan was put together which included ideas for a community garden, playground and BBQ area. The Disaster Recovery Support Team then needed to raise funds to bring the ideas to life.

Lions Clubs from across the District stepped up to help. The Cohuna Leo Club donated $500 worth of goods for children, including outdoor games, and library bags, as well as setting up a library area in the village; Echuca Lions Club purchased a large piece of play equipment for children; Elmore Lions Club donated a BBQ lunch; and Yarrawonga Lions Club are building ‘buddy benches’ to be placed by the playground.

Twelve Bunnings Warehouse staff members assembled the play equipment. Image: Supplied

Bunnings has also come to the party, donating and assembling BBQs, outdoor furniture, and equipment for a community garden area. And Cowra Men’s Shed is building two large outdoor BBQ tables and benches to complete the BBQ area.

These areas have been embraced by the residents of the village, with many getting involved in the community garden already.

“Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Lion Lee.

You can donate to the Australian Lions Foundation’s Emergency Disaster Appeal here.

Licola Wilderness Village

Lions sponsor camp for Victorian flood victims

In October 2022, Australians living in northern Victoria were some of the worst hit after flood waters tore through their towns and inundated houses like a tidal wave.

Many of these residents from towns like Rochester have been forced to live in caravans, sheds, and other temporary spaces much too small for a family.

As those who have been displaced are still coming to terms with the ferocity of the swollen river, Victorian Lions have come together to provide some much-needed relief by sponsoring a camp for flood victims at their Licola Wildnerness Village.

Licola Wilderness Village

Flood-affected families arrived at the retreat last Monday the 9th of January for a fabulous 4-night stay, where children and parents could enjoy swimming, kayaking or simply relaxing after having to live in close quarters for the past few months.


Lion Geoff Turnbull (2nd VDG V6) and his wife, Janice who came up with the idea, have helped to give families a very welcome break from the drudgery of their ‘normal’ day lives.

“The families at this camp have lost their homes and had significant material losses,” says Geoff Turnbull.

“Many of them don’t anticipate being able to move back to their houses for another 12 months or so, and some have no idea when.”


Guests were treated to a personal video message from Lions International President Brian Sheehan who welcomed them to the village, along with receiving vouchers from Bunnings and Kmart.


Each family was also given a new sheet set, pillow, pillowcase, blanket, bath and beach towel, bath mat, and toiletry kit to take home. Children aged 5-10 were also provided with a fully-loaded backpack for school.


Geoff says members of the public who would like to help make this possible again can contact a Victorian Lions Club or donate directly via the Australian Lions Foundation.

“Almost 40 people were unable to attend due to work or other commitments on their farms, so we would like to be able to do this again for other families who couldn’t make it this time.”

“A special mention to all the Lions volunteers who were here to assist with activities and provided meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also to Lions Australia’s Council Chairperson Steven Boyce and Australian Lions Foundation Chairperson Tony Benbow for all their support”.

Licola Wilderness Village (Steven Boyce)

Lions have been providing emergency support to Australian communities for decades. Over $4.6 million was raised and distributed in the recent Australian Lions Foundation National Bushfire Appeal and $1.9 million was raised and distributed to Flood Support last year.

Anyone looking to make a donation and support those affected by the floods can do so through their local Lions Club or through donating directly to Australian Lions Foundation.

Click here to make a donation (all donations over $2 are tax deductible).

Lions International President – Brian Sheehan – Message to Australian Lions about flood disaster.