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O’Donnell Griffin volunteer to help flood stricken Brisbane

25/01/2011

The O’Donnell Griffin – QLD team brought much needed relief and help to the flooded Brisbane suburbs of Yeronga (approx. 6 km south of CBD) and Barellan Point (38 km southwest of CBD).

 
Queensland State Manager, Bob Waldie, and his management team organised the weekend volunteer relief effort on Saturday in Yeronga (15/1/11) and Sunday in Barellan Point (16/1/11). Approximately, 30 O’Donnell Griffin employees volunteered to help the residents of these two suburbs clean and repair their homes after they suffered considerable flood damage to their property. Many of the homes in these suburbs were completely submerged by the flood waters; with one property owner recording his house was “18 meters underwater”.

The QLD team came prepared to help: transport for all volunteers was organised; a BBQ lunch was served to the entire street; a mobile toilet was brought in (which brought much needed relief to one happy lady who kissed Bob on the cheek!); 8 trucks delivered drinking water, first aid kits, gumboots, electrical generators, pumps, wheelbarrows, and Personal Protection Equipment (gloves, masks, safety vests) to all relief workers.

The O’Donnell Griffin volunteers were joined by other spirited volunteers from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, prompting O’Donnell Griffin Estimator, George Kamensky, to comment, “The high spirit of the Australian Nation was demonstrated this weekend. The atmosphere was incredible...cars with volunteers kept arriving with their own tools and food for everyone”.

A planned approach to the relief effort was organised, with volunteers first helping residents remove damaged furniture and household items from their homes, as well as making essential home repairs. Then the dirty work began. Using high pressure water pumps, the volunteers cleaned dirt and smelly mud from external / internal walls, ceilings, interior floors, driveways, carports and streets.

One of the busiest volunteers during the weekend was Claire Bourke, O’Donnell Griffin HR Advisor, who was manning the First Aid station that the company set up in each suburb. “We tackled this like any other O’Donnell Griffin project”, said Bob Waldie. “A safety focus was priority number one, so we held project briefs and safety toolbox talks at the start of each day to ensure all volunteers understood the safety hazards and took precautions as they carried out their work. The ability to draw on company resources to supply the volunteers and residents with safety gear, equipment, tools, facilities and food demonstrates O’Donnell Griffin’s commitment to supporting the local community, especially in times of need.

The planned and organised approach to our relief efforts was critical, and as a result, the people of Yeronga and Barellan Point got a much better outcome”. A telling incident that indicated O’Donnell Griffin ‘was meant to be there’ was when a couple of volunteers removed a damaged lounge. A golf ball came rolling out from under it and across the floor....it was an O’Donnell Griffin golf ball!

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