Red Cross welcomes Dasher the Qantas ‘plane-deer’ to deliver cheer to those in need this Christmas

20 December 2022

A QantasLink ‘Dasher’ 8 Q400 has touched down at Ballina Airport loaded with Christmas gifts in a bid to help sleigh the festive blues for flood impacted families this Christmas.

Red Cross volunteers took delivery of the haul of presents and gift cards donated by Qantas staff, as well as Trauma Teddies hand-knitted by Red Cross volunteers.

The gifts will be distributed to Northern Rivers locals who are still recovering having been hit hard by flooding earlier in the year.

Celeste Hartmann, Regional Manager Red Cross, said volunteers are especially looking forward to helping parents and carers in the local community cross off a few items on their kids Festive wish lists.

“With the support of our wonderful volunteers and kind-hearted Qantas staff members, we can hopefully bring some festive cheer to the children and families in these communities who have shown such tremendous resilience in the face of the flood crises,” Ms Hartmann said.

QantasLink Pilot First Officer Mitchell Anderson flew Dasher to Ballina and was also one of the Qantas staff members who took part in a mega shopping spree to personally select some of the gifts.

“Every week, I fly across regional New South Wales and Queensland and I’ve seen first-hand the devastating impacts of the floods across the eastern states, especially here in the Northern Rivers. We really wanted to throw our support behind the Red Cross Festive Drive and hopefully we can bring a few smiles on Christmas Day.”

Following a tarmac present handover, Red Cross volunteers will set off on their Christmas Convoy to deliver presents and Red Cross Trauma Teddies right across the region.

To donate to the Red Cross Festive Appeal visit

Note to media

Images from Ballina Airport available here. For social media use please credit @jamesmorganphoto/Getty Images and otherwise, photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images.

B-roll footage is available on request.

To learn more about our work supporting communities impacted by and recovering from floods see our recent Qld & NSW Floods Report.

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