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Mark Korsten - 23 October 2018

Mark Korsten, Member - Team Rubicon Australia, gave a presentation outling the capabilities of Team Rubicon Australia at the Ordinary Council Meeting 23 October 2018.

Team Rubicon Australia (TRA) unites the skills and experiences of Australian Defence Force veterans and other with first responders, medical professionals and technology solutions to rapidly deploy emergency response teams within Australia and around the  globe.  Since  2013  we  have  deployed  in  support  of  a  number  of  disaster operations, including the 2018 Tathra bushfires. At this current moment we are supporting relief efforts for the Indonesian earthquake/tsunami disaster in Palu.

While TRA will consider most roles when requested, our main contributions in disaster operations tend to involve:

Capability Category


Detailed Description


Incident Management

Incident Management Assistance

ICS/AIIMS trained TRA leaders can plug in and complement a local community’s management of an emergency with incident management assistance as a tactical branch, single resource unit or task force.



Using Auspace, TRA can visualize data associated with a disaster. This can support planning, operational execution, and the dissemination of

information to required stakeholders.

Work Order


TRA provides a consistent and thorough approach to tracking work to be done. This helps to get resources to the right places and can support a local community in requesting disaster assistance.

Spontaneous Volunteer


Trained and experienced TRA members can complement a local community’s management of spontaneous (unaffiliated) volunteers or take responsibility for the overall management.

Disaster Assessment

Impact Assessment

Quick and thorough assessment of macro level impacts (geography, infrastructure,  livelihoods,  etc.)  of  the disaster on the affected community.


Damage Assessment

Based on established standards, TRA teams can support the assessment process for local government and/or other NGO assistance programs.

Debris Management

Home Debris Clearing and Removal

TRA teams can remove interior and exterior home debris.

Individual and/or Community

Muck/Gut Out

TRA teams can remove water, mud, and damaged interior construction

(like plasterboard,  flooring,  cabinetry, etc.) from homes.

Community Space Debris Clearing

Clearing of debris in community

space with the intent to restore the space for the community’s benefit as soon as possible.


Private Property Debris Clearing

Removal of downed trees, disaster related debris and dismantling of damaged structures.


Expedient Home Repair

Window Board Up

TRA teams can board up damaged windows to provide temporary protection until permanent repairs are made.


Downed Tree Removal

Removal  of  downed  trees  have  hung up or damaged property.

Additionally, two other important things occur during TRA operations. While we don’t advertise these outcomes too widely, we know they happen, we know they are important, and we know we are quite good at them:

Community Healing – TRA members understand the immense emotional and psychological impact major incidents can have on individuals and communities. Most of our work is done after first responders have left and before a new normal has been accepted. This is a critical time when hope and positivity can make a huge long-term difference. Our teams reach out with a handshake, maintain a smile, and close every job with a hug. By being present, caring, and remaining positive TRA helps reduce the depth and breadth of the long term community healing challenge.

*    Veteran’s(and others) Mental Health – Participation within TRA is open to all parts of the (adult) community and includes people with all backgrounds, genders and levels of mental health. While many of our members are high performing employees of the Defence Force, government and commercial organisations, others face a daily battle. TRA embraces this challenge - we understand the issues surrounding mental health, are sensitive to individual needs, and can always find a role for someone regardless of their capacity. By refusing  to  let  mental  health  get  in  the  way  of  helping  others with  more urgent needs, we demonstrate and practise our own strategies for raising awareness and building resilience. In many cases being operational in highly focussed teams is all it takes for our members move forward and build long- term resilience.

My presentation to ESC will expand on the background above and propose the development of an MOU between TRA and ESC.

An MOU between TRA and ESC will help build trust, introduce key players, assign roles and develop a game plan before an actual incident, and without the pressures and distraction of first response coordination. In the event of a major incident this will allow ESC to request TRA support early and confidently. It will also allow TRA to mobilise faster, in greater numbers to provide a larger impact without unnecessarily distracting authorities from urgent first response activities.