Disaster Recovery Mentors is a mentoring program coordinated by Australian Red Cross, aimed at supporting disaster-affected communities, their leaders and the practitioners who support them in their recovery.

The aim of the Disaster Recovery Mentors program is to support community-led recovery. The goals of the network are to:

  • help community leaders avoid unnecessary pitfalls in recovery
  • normalise the recovery experience for people
  • provide an opportunity for people with experience in recovery to use their experience constructively.

The Disaster Recovery Mentors program has two primary offerings:

  • one-on-one mentoring
  • one-to-many advising, depending on the needs of the community or mentee.


The mentoring aspect of the Disaster Recovery Mentors program links trained, volunteer mentors who have previous personal and/or professional experience in disaster recovery, with mentees (community leaders and recovery practitioners) to discuss and address the opportunities and challenges posed by the recovery process.

What is the mentoring experience?

Mentoring is tailored to those requesting mentoring support. With the support of a Red Cross Senior Project Officer, mentees will be guided through the mentoring process that generally follows the below steps.

Mentoring request: Mentoring requests outline what supports you are interested in receiving and the goals you are hoping to achieve.

Matching: Red Cross matches the mentee with the most suitable mentors based on relevant experiences, skills and expertise.

Introduction: Red Cross will facilitate an introduction.

Mentoring: Each mentoring relationship is going to look slightly different – for example, it might be a combination of regular phone calls, face to face visits, coffee chats, co-hosting a podcast, co-designing education materials – the possibilities are endless. However, what all mentoring relationships have in common is regular contact with a mentor, working on achieving mentee-identified goals and consistent support.

Ongoing support: Red Cross will check in regularly to see how the mentoring relationship is going.

Exit: Once the mentees goals have been achieved and the support of the mentor is no longer required, the mentoring relationship may come to a natural end. See About the program for more details.

Interested in receiving mentoring?

If this sounds like something that you or someone you know would benefit from, you can begin the process by contacting us.

Email: recovery@redcross.org.au

Interested in becoming a mentor?

If you are interested in becoming a Disaster Recovery Mentor, please read the position description and follow the recruitment process below.

Recruitment process

  1. Express your interest in becoming a mentor by contacting recovery@redcross.org.au
  2. Complete an online Disaster Recovery Mentor application form.
  3. Your application will be reviewed and, if accepted, you may be invited to attend an interview with the Disaster Recovery Mentor Steering Committee.
  4. If you are successful, you will be required to complete a police check.
  5. Accept your offer to be a Disaster Recovery Mentor.
  6. Once you have accepted your offer, you will be required to complete an online induction.
  7. As requests for Disaster Recovery Mentors come through, you will be on call as a mentor at any time. Your journey as a Disaster Recovery Mentor will now begin.


There may be some circumstances where a member of the community, service provider or recovery practitioner is interested in one-off presentations for a group of people. The Disaster Recovery Mentors program has access to a comprehensive list of advisors or experts in the fields of recovery, psychosocial support etc., who can offer online or face to face workshops delivered to a group of people.

The areas of specialisation that we may be able to accommodate are:

  • Community-led recovery after disaster
  • Leadership during disaster
  • What to expect in the first 6 months of recovery
  • Psychosocial supports

Next steps
If you believe that a group of people in your community would benefit from an individualised session, or if you would simply like more information, please contact recovery@redcross.org.au.

About the program

Your mentor will be your main point of contact. Their role is to support you through the recovery process. They are likely to:

  • Chat with you to better understand your needs
  • Share their experience and expertise as appropriate
  • Connect you to information, resources and others who can help
  • Discuss options with you
  • Provide advice, guidance and constructive feedback where required.

It is up to you and your mentor to decide what your relationship will look like and what goals you want to set.

Along the mentoring journey you will be asked to fill in a number of surveys in order to evaluate and improve the program for future mentees.

When you commence receiving mentoring, you will discuss with your mentor how long you anticipate requiring support. Regardless of the length of time, the Disaster Recovery Mentors program follows a ‘no fault’ closure policy which means that the mentoring relationship can respectfully end at any stage decided upon by the mentee and mentor.

Mentors will listen and talk to better understand needs. They will share their experience, connect communities to relevant information, resources and others who may be able to help. They can provide advice, guidance and constructive feedback where required.

The program is open to any community or community leader currently in the midst of recovery and supporting their community after a disaster, whether immediately after a disaster or two years down the line.

This can be anyone from recovery officers, school principals, local councils, community service organisations, neighbourhood centres, residents, committees and so forth.

All the Disaster Recovery Mentors are community leaders who have experience of leading in disaster recovery in their own community. Community leaders will be matched up with a mentor who best suits their needs.

All the mentors in the program provide their support on a volunteer basis, so support is free!

If mentors are required to travel to a community to give group talks or sessions, costs to cover expenses involved will be discussed.


For more information about any of the information provided above, please contact recovery@redcross.org.au

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