Helping Communities Recover from Disasters 

May 23, 2023 | Blog Articles

Help those who have experienced trauma access transformative care, recover from disasters, and find hope, healing and peace through Quest’s EOFY Appeal.

Over the last four years, the Quest for Life team has helped thousands of people in communities across NSW and Victoria recover from trauma brought on by the endless disasters Australia has experienced, including crippling drought, catastrophic bushfires, destructive floods, amplified by the impact of COVID-19, isolation, anxiety, and financial distress.

While the fires, floods and lockdowns have subsided, the physical, emotional, and financial impacts continue to be felt. When stress continues over weeks, months and years, as it has for many people, our alert systems are switched on all the time.

People experiencing ongoing trauma need compassion, encouragement, and inspiration, along with the tools and skills to care for their wellbeing. Read about how Quest has been helping communities to recover, and how you can help by donating to Quest’s EOFY Appeal.

Drought-affected communities

In 2019, the Quest team headed to areas affected by drought including Nyngan, Trangie, Collie, Coonamble, Walgett, and Warren. The team met farming families and communities living with a determination to push through the devastation of parched earth, failed crops, and starving animals.

Petrea King facilitated life-affirming workshops focused on building emotional resilience and peace of mind and living well in challenging circumstances. People are hungry for the practical tools of meditation and mindfulness. These practices provide such relief from the mental challenges of managing ‘life’ through the drought.

Feedback from participants reflected the relief the workshops brought:

“Brilliant – offered coping mechanisms.”

“Refreshing, breath-taking, positive and helpful.”

“So much common sense.”

Quest’s work with these communities is ongoing, with the team preparing to head out West again in June 2023 to revisit and encourage people doing it tough.

Bushfire recovery

The devasting impact of the 2019/20 bushfires continues to be felt today. Quest continues to provide residential programs and workshops for people and communities in fire-affected areas.

During the fires, which touched Bundanoon, Quest opened the doors of the Centre to people impacted by bushfires in Southern Highlands communities.

People enjoyed deep relaxation sessions, counselling, massage, support groups, and connection with our team and others from the community over a cuppa and freshly baked treats. Our wonderful Quest team donated their time and services.

Through a generous donation from the Blackmore Foundation, the Quest team travelled to areas most affected by bushfires including Balmoral, Cobargo, Batemans Bay, and Mallacoota to meet people and communities experiencing exhaustion.

The team delivered a series of workshops in 2020, 2021, and 2022 to communities who’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster, enduring shock, trauma, loss and grief, and whose mental and emotional resources were completely depleted.

It was a joy to see members of communities come together and share their experiences, and learn ways to relax, sleep better, and care for themselves, as they rebuilt their lives.

People said:

“The deep relaxation helped me sleep for the first time in a year.”

“The community was most impressed with the warmth, humour and professionalism of the facilitators, Petrea and Margie, and their sensitivity to the experience of those in attendance. The content was clear and relevant. People left feeling as though they had learnt things that they could take home with them and implement immediately into their lives.”

Ongoing work with flood-impacted communities

People living in north-eastern NSW experienced catastrophic flooding twice in 2022 with many living in a state of high anxiety around every report of impending rain.

Donations, fundraising, and grants allowed the Quest team to support flood-impacted Northern Rivers communities in the aftermath. Initiatives included employing trauma-informed massage therapists to provide free massage therapy for people impacted by the floods, community workshops to explore post-traumatic growth, and financial support for people to attend our residential programs.

Quest’s post-disaster support in the Northern Rivers touched the lives of around 800 people, bringing trauma relief and boosting local economies. A generous donation from Jaycar Electronics Group enabled Quest to provide 300 free massages for people affected by the floods.

People in these communities found immense benefit in these initiatives, with comments like:

“I wasn’t aware of how much grief and stress I was carrying, until my first treatment. It brought me to tears to realise I’ve neglected my self-care. Then attending the workshop helped me to connect with others who’ve been through similar or far worse situations than myself. Thank you so much for the care and respect you have shown.”

“Deeply insightful grassroots advice and much more, delivered with an open, loving heart. Exactly what our beautiful community needed.”

“I felt so grateful you came. Petrea was amazing, I love the approach to taking back our own power and responsibility for our wellbeing.”

Quest is about to head out to meet the residents of Eugowra, which was devastated by a flash flood in November 2022 and to revisit towns that continue to weather the challenges of living on the land.

To help more people and communities recover from trauma, please Donate to Quest’s EOFY Appeal.

Funding Options for Residential Programs


Quest subsidises all privately or self-funded places to ensure the cost of our programs remains affordable to individuals. This allows us to reduce the fee from $4,400 to $2,800.

$2,200 Shared room (Early bird* $2,100 – must be paid 30 days in advance)
$2,800 Single room (Early bird* $2,700 – must be paid 30 days in advance)

Fees effective 1 July 2023.

Subsidies and Financial Help

Through generous grants, donations and fundraising, additional subsidies and financial help is available for a range of circumstances and anyone experiencing financial stress will be considered. We review each case individually and we do not means test. All applications are conducted via phone with a friendly member of the Programs intake team.


Quest is a registered NDIS Provider. Residential Programs can be funded through plan-managed and self-managed NDIS plans.


We work with Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) White Card or Gold Card holders to make applications to the DVA Health Approvals Board.

Worker’s Comp Insurance

Residential programs can be covered by workers compensation insurance on a case-by-case basis.

Call our Programs Advisers Today
1300 941 488