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Greg Wallace says he is proud to be part of the Community Recovery Ready Reserve because they make a meaningful difference to Queenslanders affected by disasters.
“It’s just knowing I am able to do something, even if it’s not much. I can play a little part in helping people recover.”
Greg is a Senior Cultural Heritage Officer with the Department of Transport and Main Roads in Roma. He volunteers for the Reserve during disaster season so he can give back to local communities.
“I moved to Roma in 2012 just before the big floods. They were just devastating, and I saw all these guys in Community Recovery shirts, and it made me want to join up.”
Greg has experienced his fair share of disasters in his nearly 10 years of service. In 2013 he was deployed to support recovery after Cyclone Oswald, which affected parts of Queensland including Bundaberg.
“I mainly go up north for cyclones. I also worked in Townsville and the Torres Straits during the 2019 flooding, in Aurukun in 2020 and in Cairns on a couple of occasions.”
Greg was deployed to the Gatton Hub for 10 days to support the 2022 South-east Queensland floods. He helped set up a Community Recovery Hub in Goodna and visited homes in Grantham in affected areas to check what support people needed.
One person’s story stayed with Greg.
“I met someone who had sheds and farming equipment covered in a foot of mud. He lost everything in his shed and the force of the water had knocked out the back door, gate and fencing. Thankfully he was covered by insurance, and we were able to speak to the council and let them know he was out there and needed help with cleaning up.”
“I also met a lot of seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands who lost their employment because of the floods. We were able to help them out with Community Recovery grants because this funding is open to all people affected by the event at the time.”
Greg said that through his recovery work, he also connects people to emotional support provided by Community Recovery partners.
“I like that we’re helping people. It may not seem like much, but I get gratification when somebody says thank you and you see the expression on their face. It makes you feel good inside.”
Greg has a message for anyone thinking of joining the Community Recovery Ready Reserve.
“I would encourage anyone and everyone to have a go. There are sights that are confronting, but at the end of the day you are there to help people and helping can give you great satisfaction.”