Quest’s ongoing work with flood-impacted communities

Nov 16, 2022 | Blog Articles

A collaboration of donations, community fundraising, grants and generosity of spirit has enabled Quest for Life and a team of trauma-informed massage therapists to deliver much-needed support to the flood-impacted Northern Rivers communities through a series of initiatives: Northern Rivers Massage Therapy Initiative; Your Life Matters trauma recovery and resilience community workshops; and financial support to attend a residential program at Quest.

Quest’s ongoing support – post-disaster – has touched the lives of around 500 people, bringing much needed relief to the trauma they’ve experienced, while boosting the local economy at the same time.

People living in north-eastern NSW have experienced catastrophic flooding – twice! – with many living in a state of high anxiety around further flood emergencies, since February.

The power of body work in trauma resolution

Quest’s involvement with these flood-impacted communities started with a massage therapy initiative. Jaycar Electronics Group wanted to assist the Northern Rivers community and, through their generous donation, enabled Quest to provide 300 massages for people affected by the devastating floods in Lismore and the Northern Rivers region of NSW.

People hold so much tension in their bodies when they’ve gone through a disaster because cortisol and adrenalin levels remain high. This results in tension, irritability, insomnia and anxiety. Quest’s experience is that people in communities deeply impacted by a natural disaster have found that massages provide the most profound benefit. Some people have said their anxiety was eased and they had their first night’s sleep after a massage.

This massage therapy began in August and will run until the end of the year – with huge thanks to the generosity of Jaycar Electronics Group. If you know an organisation that would like to provide similar help, please email our General Manager.

Understanding the impact of stress and trauma

Petrea facilitated two Your Life Matters workshops for flood-affected communities in the Northern Rivers in October and November.

The workshops help participants understand the impact of stress and trauma on minds and bodies by exploring pathways to post-traumatic growth and by providing tools and strategies to empower people and communities to heal from their trauma.

Participants received evidenced-based information about the impact of stress and trauma on our mind and body based on the latest research into neuroplasticity and epigenetics, as well an insights from Petrea’s 38 years of working with individuals and communities experiencing trauma. She hopes to return early next year for more workshops.

The Quest team would like to thank everyone who attended these events and to the Northern Rivers community organisers who helped get the workshops off the ground and provide support, including Helen Quinlan, Sally Mathrick, Peta Wright and Rebekah Russell. Special thanks to everyone who helped set up and pack down the events including Luciana, Claire, and many others, and to The Channon Resilience wellbeing event organisers, and Healthy North Coast.

Feedback from Northern Rivers residents who attended the workshops has touched the hearts of the Quest team.

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 have been through similar and in some cases far worse situations than myself. Thank you all so much for the care and respect you have shown our community. – Brenda

It’s given me truthful direction and hope after such a time of devastation. – Rebecca

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

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

Help Australian communities heal from trauma

The Quest for Life Foundation helps people living with the consequences of trauma, illness and natural disasters to find hope, healing and peace.

We provide educational self-help programs in Bundanoon and community-based workshops around Australia that encourage, educate and empower people to improve their resilience and peace of mind during difficult times. People reach out to us for help during their most challenging times, whether that hardship is caused by physical or mental illness, domestic or family violence, financial strain, grief, trauma or natural disaster.

As a charity, we rely on income from donations from people like you to subsidise the cost of attendance at our residential programs and to facilitate our free community outreach workshops in regional communities.

By donating to Quest, you’re helping other people grow through their biggest challenges. This, in turn, ripples out to create a more compassionate society that supports and encourages each of its members.

Your donation will help people on limited incomes or people in need of respite after a natural disaster by helping to cover the cost of their attendance at one of our programs. Donations will also be used to deliver more community workshops in regional areas for those who can’t travel to Bundanoon.

Thank you for your consideration and support.