It’s been an emotional time for many people in Victoria, as their homes and livelihoods were affected by floods.
CAPTION: ADF members assist with the clean-up at St Joseph’s Primary School in Rochester during Operation Flood Assist 2022-2. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photo supplied.
Communities across regional Victoria appreciated the ADF’s efforts to help them during Operation Flood Assist 22-2.
At the request of the Victorian Government, the ADF supported areas heavily affected by the flooding event in places including Echuca, Swan Hill, Rochester, Seymour, Bendigo, Shepparton and Kerang, among others.
One of the many businesses affected was Anna and Brett Thomson’s café, Monkee and Co, in Echuca.
“The feeling of having the ADF here is a feeling of safety. You feel safer. You feel like even if something goes wrong now, we are going to be okay,” Mrs Thomson said.
“If we hadn’t had the wall and their help to build this sandbag levee, a lot of these businesses through here would have been the same as we would have been – out of business for a long time,” Mr Thomson said.
With the flood hitting Rochester, Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School, Elizabeth Trewick, put out a call to help clean up the school once floodwaters had receded.
“I put out a call that we would have a bit of a clean-up on Tuesday morning,” Ms Trewick said.
“I was telling people at the time that we had an army of people – then the Army literally just turned up.
“The kids that saw them working actually experienced that they’re real people, they are fun, they work really hard, and they don’t just give up their time to protect us, they give up their time to help us.
“Because of their help and the people, we were able to clean out the school in just that day – people said it would take a couple of weeks.”
During Operation Flood Assist 22-2 in Victoria, the ADF assisted with sandbags, building levee walls and flood preparation and relief activities.
Personnel also delivered essential medical supplies, including chemotherapy medication, to emergency services, and assisted with rescues and evacuations.