Disaster Relief Australia, whom we support through the Lions Disaster Relief Australia Project recently won the Outstanding Achievement category at the 2021 Australian Charity Awards. The Australian Charity awards recognise charitable organisations achieving outstanding results through initiatives significantly benefiting communities.
DRA’s nomination highlighted the impact of their spontaneous volunteer program, specifically during their time assisting the Adelaide Hills community after the devastating Cudlee Creek bushfires during the 2019/20 Black Summer. During their 8 weeklong recovery operation, the team at DRA coordinated more than 250 spontaneous volunteers, all keen to help out their community, neighbors, family and friends.
Spontaneous Volunteer is a term used to describe people exhibiting incredibly old and typical prosocial behaviours. People with no formal association with the emergency management system who put their hands up to help when a disaster happens. It encapsulates the Australian spirit of helping others, and mateship – one of DRA’s core values.
DRA can be called upon to manage and lead those wanting to volunteer to assist within their community in the wake of a natural disaster. By onboarding, inducting, leading and supporting SponVols, DRA is able to significantly increase the assistance provided to disaster-affected communities. The SponVols are employed in a structured, gainful and safe manner. The well-considered approach empowers the communities we serve.
DRA CEO Geoff Evans is immensely proud of his veteran-led organisations’ award. “Volunteerism is an Australian way of life and deeply rewarding to those who take up the challenge. There have previously been few avenues for the community to spontaneously volunteer after a disaster. By providing communities with a way in which to do this, we can help them cope better with the impact of disasters and bounce back faster. With almost half of the Australian population living in communities that have a low-to-moderate level of disaster resilience, there is much work to be done. DRA is proud to be part of this leading effort.”
Lions will continue to support Disaster Relief Australia in their efforts to provide Australian communities help where it’s needed most!
If you’re interested in assisting with this initiative, or their disaster relief efforts, you can find more information here.