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The Victorian flood recovery is underway — here’s how you can help

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images supplied

Heavy rain has caused major flooding across Victoria in the last week, with large amounts of rainfall in the catchments of the Loddon, Goulburn, Campaspe and Avoca rivers, along with a number of creeks in the region.

Over 11,000 residents have already applied for emergency relief payments. While conditions appear to have stabilised in some parts of the state, residents in Echuca, Kerang, Shepparton and others are bracing for the Murray River to peak in the coming days, which is likely to cause more havoc in already flood-affected communities.

While the rain continues to fall, many communities are attempting a return to normal life, embarking on a massive cleanup process which the state government has said will cost a significant sum. Amongst the devastation, stories of communities coming together to help one another have raised spirits across the state — with many locals and non-locals now looking for avenues to assist.

Here’s our non-exhaustive list of options to help out:

Disaster Relief Australia

For those with the time and ability to help out on the ground, joining the colloquially termed ‘Mud Army’ is a great option. Disaster Relief Australia has been commissioned to coordinate the spontaneous volunteers from local communities who are expected to start arriving once flood waters recede to aid in the clean-up. These volunteers include neighbours and ordinary community members who are willing and ready to get stuck into jobs like cleaning mud out of homes, mucking out and clearing debris and rubbish removal.

All members of the Mud Army will be managed, onboarded, inducted and led by DRA to ensure they are working in a structured and safe manner. The initial areas of operation will be in Maribyrnong, Seymour, Rochester, Shepparton and Echuca.


Another hands-on option is joining the volunteer-led organisation BlazeAid which works with rural communities to restore fences and other structures damaged or destroyed by floods. Their efforts were well documented during the Black Summer bushfires, which saw volunteers save countless farm animals and replant charred forests.

The Red Cross

If you’re unable to physically lend a hand but still keen to help, there are also plenty of reputable not-for-profit organisations that have set up funds for affected communities. The Red Cross has set up a disaster relief and recovery fund that will power on-the-ground emergency response teams made up of experts in the field, staff and volunteers alike. Their focus is to help evacuations, relief centres and outreach services, and support people and communities to recover.

Wildlife Australia

Wildlife Australia is appealing for donations to help them continue their integral work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing flood-affected animals. The organisation provides free veterinary services to native wildlife and has a 24/7 phone assistance hotline for people who have found injured wildlife.

More ways to help:

Other fantastic organisations looking for support include The Victorian Farmers Federation which assists farmers affected by the floods; Bendigo Bank’s Victorian Flood Appeal is directing practical help to people impacted and to aid their recovery over the immediate, medium, and long-term; and Sikh Volunteers—who are already out in force delivering free hot meals to flood-affected communities—could do with your generous donations.

People wishing to support can do so online via the links provided. Monetary donations are encouraged as they are quicker, more effective, and logistically provide far more flexibility than donations of material items or pre-loved goods.


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