Operation Dunlop — Still in the mix
Our first rotation of greyshirts have been and gone from Proserpine or ‘prossie’ as it is fondly known as by the Far North Queensland residents.
To recap on the event that brought us here: On 28 March 2017 a category 4 cyclone named Debbie tore through the heart of the Whitsundays region in Far North Queensland. Homes and Businesses were destroyed, towns lost power and over 25,000 local residents were evacuated. To add to the devastation, Proserpine was cut off by floodwaters.
On the 03 April 2017 a bunch of strangers flew in from all over the country side with a common purpose — to kick disaster in the teeth. What they have received in return is so much more.
“People are walking through the doors of the Proserpine RSL with the courage to ask for help because this is where they have been told they will find it. It is an absolute privilege as a civilian to work a long incredibly experienced, passionate, motivated and like-minded people who want to help others and be a part of something great. In return, they are the ones who are receiving help and healing themselves.” Chantelle Bradford — Kick ass civilian
Caught up in the disaster was a family run business, Hoof and Horn. Their home was damaged, the dressage area flattened, produce destroyed and the road in and out was cut off by fallen trees. These local hero’s run equestrian programs for the local school at no charge, are involved in programs assisting in getting youth off the street, and are also apart of a local security company that has been working 12 hour shifts protecting local businesses from further looting which also enables a free will station to operate daily.
The TRibe identified the overwhelming task ahead of this small business was not something that they could tackle alone. We sent two strike teams with support from Pacific National, the largest rail operator in Australia and worked for three solid days.
“The strike teams had already been working for a few hours by the time I arrived, the emotional devastation was the first thing I noticed. The greyshirts were all giving hugs to the president of the Pony Club” — Team Rubicon veteran.
To date Team Rubicon Australia have completed over 80 Work orders, including in those work orders were other local businesses, such as Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation and Aldabra Nursery which also greatly impact the community.
With other volunteer agencies having already departed, our demobilisation date set for 16 April 2017.
The greyshirts that ‘Prossie’ have embraced will soon be returning to their families. As much as they would love to help everybody within the community, they simply cannot reach every person in need. They are continuing to reach out to those who are in greatest need and the work orders that will not be completed by the TRibe will be contacted, and their jobs shared with the local council and other aid organisations.
The hospitality that the community has shown our grey shirts is immeasurable and beyond words. Although the TRibe don’t have the privilege of calling themselves ‘North Queenslanders’ — they will leave the ‘Prossie’ community with a true understanding of ‘Australian Spirit’.
The community of Proserpine have allowed our greyshirts to serve on Operation Dunlop and have afforded our veterans the opportunity to regain Purpose, our first responders to feel Identity and our kick-arse civilians are breathing Community.
Thank you to all those who continue to support us. Both near and far it has been felt by every greyshirt involved, on the ground and back at home. “I personally believed that after leaving the Army that I had a brilliant career and could move on without missing it. I also believed that I had. Since joining Team Rubicon I now know that I was missing something all along. It was that feeling, that sense of serving again, the presence of relevance and meaning returning. That has turned from a sense into a positively overwhelming experience as being the Incident Commander on this, Team Rubicon Australia’s genesis operation. Not only is it like being back in the Operations tent again and getting shit done like the good old days with an awesome team, but it’s really the ‘feels’ I get at the end of day debrief when I hear how our grey shirts share their stories of themselves and that of the people they have helped that makes me proud to be a part of the TRibe.” Shane Durdin — Team Rubicon Australia’s first Incident Commander
If you want to be apart of our journey and can not get there this time. You can track us on our website. TeamRubiconAustralia-Donate Now