Free massage therapy for trauma-affected flood victims of Lismore

Aug 11, 2022 | Blog Articles

The Quest for Life Foundation has teamed up with Jaycar Electronics Group and a group of massage practitioners to provide free massage therapy for people affected by the devastating floods in Lismore and the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

The initiative – which will run from August to Christmas this year – provides free massage therapy to people impacted by the 2022 floods as well as paid work to local massage therapists from Lismore and the surrounding communities.

In early August, Quest Founder and CEO Petrea King travelled to Southern Cross University to meet with a group of seven massage therapists who will deliver the free massages for people impacted by the catastrophic floods, with more than 270 clients already booked and space available for more bookings in the months to come.

“We’re so grateful to have such experienced and talented therapists to deliver this heartfelt community work,” Petrea said.

Petrea launched the program with a full-day workshop to provide the participating therapists with skills for recovering from their own trauma and how to work effectively with traumatised clients.

“Through this generous donation from Jaycar Electronics Group we are now able to support therapists in Lismore and the Northern Rivers areas to provide massage to community members.

“People hold so much tension in their bodies when they’ve gone through a disaster, because our cortisol levels are very high. The relief you can experience through having a massage is often profound.”

Petrea said the inspiration for the project stemmed from the Quest for Life Foundation’s experience of working with people impacted by the 2019-20 Black Summer Australian bushfires, which saw at least 34 people’s lives lost, 2,779 homes destroyed, an estimated 14.3 million hectares of land burnt, and an unfathomable loss of wildlife.

“Quest’s experience after the Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20 was that people in communities that are deeply impacted by natural disaster have found that massages that Quest therapists provided previously were of profound benefit.

“Some of those people even said that they had their first night’s sleep after their massage.”

Sally Mathrick – a health educator, writer and naturopath and the current project’s local manager – encouraged anyone who has been impacted by the Northern Rivers floods to contact her by SMS (0413-230-780) or by email ( to organise a free massage. Clients can choose from several clinic locations including at Southern Cross University and Goonellabah.

“It’s a wonderful gift to help people access this service,” Sally said.

“It’s such a wonderful project to be involved in because the power of body work in trauma resolution is second to none. The other thing I’m really excited about is how we’re linking in with the Northern Rivers Healing Hub.”

Sally described the trauma-informed training received at the launch of the current Northern Rivers initiative as essential for massage therapists working with clients who have been impacted by trauma due to natural disaster.

“This program is an opportunity to experience helping people resolve their traumas effectively. I feel lucky to be part of the team evolving together, and providing this supportive, wholistic, life-centred approach. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to work alongside Petrea and remarkable healing practitioners.”

Petrea encouraged people living in Lismore and the surrounding areas who have been affected by the 2022 floods to contact Sally to book a free massage session.

“If you think a massage would work for you, please don’t let shyness or thoughts that other people might need this more stop you from reaching out. If you don’t attend to physical stress and tension you’re feeling in your body now, it can lead to chronic conditions that interfere with sleep and your overall sense of wellbeing,” Petrea said.

“The greatest gift you can give yourself, your family, and your community is the gift of your own physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing.”

Book a free massage session:

Practitioners available:

  • Cynamon Thomas Osteopath (also Naturopath)
  • Daniel Kesztler (Massage Therapist)
  • Ellen Scott (Osteopath, Cranio sacral)
  • Fiona Gray – Blessed Botanicals (Herbalist Massage Therapist)
  • Melissa Nathan (Naturopath and Massage Therapist)
  • Sophia Gerontakus (Naturopath and Massage Therapist)
  • Alison Millican (Naturopath and Massage Therapist)

The Quest for Life Foundation is based in Bundanoon NSW and provides services for people experiencing trauma. Quest conducts a variety of 5-day residential programs at its Quest for Life Centre each year and around 100 community-based workshops on recovery from trauma and living well in challenging circumstances. We also offer services in communities directly impacted by disasters.

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