On Sunday 18 March 2018, a bushfire began in the locality of Reedy Swamp, near Tarraganda which swept through the town of Tathra on the New South Wales South Coast destroying homes and blocking one of only two roads out of the town. More than 200 people evacuated their homes not knowing if their houses would make it through the afternoon and spent the night at the Bega evacuation centre.

With the fire burning through to the next morning estimates of the area burned ranged between 150 to 1,000 hectares of residential areas, farmland and forest reserves in that 70 buildings were believed to have been lost.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) later confirmed that 69
homes were destroyed and 39 were damaged. Many people have been displaced from their homes and may have to spend many months in alternative accommodation. After the area was assessed and deemed safe some residents revisited the remains of their homes.

In came Team Rubicon Australia’s – Operation Dawes, named after the SS. William Dawes – a US Liberty Ship sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of Tathra in 1942. Their purpose was to provide disaster relief and recovery assistance to vulnerable elements of the local population.

83 Volunteers from Team Rubicon Australia logged over 5300 hours helping the community and its residents identify and locate items in damaged/ destroyed properties, conducting expedient home repair and working on debris management.

“Blacktown Workers Club was the single largest contributor to our relief operations in Tathra. The Club’s generous support enabled us to purchase additional equipment and extend the operation for a third week.” Geoff Evans – CEO, Team Rubicon Australia.

Of the $20,000 donated to Team Rubicon $15,825 was used to buy much- needed equipment and $4,175 was used to buy food and water for those in need.

To find out more about Team Rubicon and the Tathra Bushfires please visit: