Wellbeing Project

Helping to support and grow our Tribe so we can help more people in their time of need.

DRA is driven by our desire to help people:

  • to help veterans grow beyond their service; and
  • to help communities in their time of need.

We want to help more people and the Wellbeing Project is a critical step in achieving our goal. 

Volunteer Wellbeing

Our disaster recovery work in Australian communities relies on the hard work and wellbeing of our people – our volunteers.

The DRA Tribe is made up of selfless individuals ready to serve vulnerable communities reeling from the impacts of overwhelming disasters. Your contribution of hard work, a friendly face and a helping hand is often the first time an impacted resident feels like there is hope.

We hear from our members that the volunteering experience is also giving them something back. It’s not the reason why you volunteer, but you know that somehow you are better for it. We want to understand this more.

Taking a Wellbeing Pulse Check

So that we can formally assess the benefits of volunteering with DRA, we’re going to take a “Wellbeing Pulse Check”

This will help us to:

1. Improve our volunteer program

  • Through data collection and subsequent high-level analysis of the volunteering program over a 12-month period.​
  • High-level data analysis of the program will identify any areas where additional support is required and positive elements to reinforce.​

2. Make your volunteer experience better

  • Implementation of recommendations that will impact members and their experience on a personal level.​

3. Support the growth of our Tribe

  • The Wellbeing Project will provide scientific rigor to validate the benefits of DRA’s volunteering program and will strengthen our ability to support more veterans and communities in their time of need, within a supportive culture that enables us to best act in service to each other and communities in need. ​

How we will prove our understanding academically

DRA has partnered with Movember (who has funded the project) and SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute) to allow us to conduct formal (academic) online short surveys and informal interviews. These will occur over 12 months during regular intervals (at deployment, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months). 

We need your help

We would greatly appreciate your participation in our Wellbeing Chat Sessions and by completing the Wellbeing Surveys. The Wellbeing Pulse Check consist of 3 main components.

1. Wellbeing Snapshot Surveys

The Wellbeing Snapshot Surveys will occur around deployment and training opportunities and will vary in length of between 7 and 14 days. You will automatically be enrolled in the Wellbeing Snapshot Survey when you complete an EOI for an operation, service project and / or training course but you can choose to opt out once you receive the first survey link.

These surveys are really quick and only take a few minutes to complete. The Wellbeing Project Manager, Mobilisation and your MC will help you to participate in these surveys.

2. Wellbeing Long-Term Surveys

In August 2022 every volunteer who is ‘engagement ready’ in Muster will receive an invitation to participate in the long-term Wellbeing Surveys. These surveys will take approximately 15 minutes and will be completed at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. The Wellbeing Project Manager, Memberships and DRT Managers can help you to participate in these surveys.

3. Wellbeing Chat Sessions and Focus Groups

In order to gain more in-depth insights into the impact of the volunteering program on volunteers, in person Wellbeing Chat Sessions and Focus Groups will be held with volunteers upon return from deployments. Invitations to these sessions will be sent to individuals following deployments.

For more information please contact Cindy Wadsworth, the Project Manager for the Wellbeing Project via email at  cindy.wadsworth@disasterreliefaus.org  or phone on 0421307641.

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Why does DRA want me to complete the Wellbeing Surveys and Wellbeing Chat Sessions?
DRA has a lot of feedback from volunteers to show that participating in our volunteering program is beneficial for volunteer wellbeing. We want to understand that more so we’re partnering with Movember (our funding partner) and SAHMRI (our research partner) to take further steps to better understand the benefits you get from participating in our program, so we can support future growth of our tribe and improve the program where needed.
Do all volunteers have to participate?
No. You can choose to opt-out of the Wellbeing Surveys when you receive your first email or SMS reminder; however, we strongly recommend that all invited members participate, so that we can get a sense of how they are feeling about their DRA participation and wellbeing.
How do I sign-up to the Wellbeing Surveys?

Long-Term Surveys – every DRA volunteer will be automatically enrolled into the 12-month Wellbeing Surveys, which will be sent at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. When you receive your first survey link you can choose to opt-out if you do not want to participate.

Snapshot Surveys – when you complete an EOI for deployment and/or some training opportunities you will automatically be enrolled into the Wellbeing Survey. When you receive your first survey link you can choose to opt-out if you do not want to participate.

How do I participate in the Wellbeing Chat Sessions and Focus Groups?
Invitations to participate in the Wellbeing Chat Sessions and Focus Groups will be sent to individuals following deployment. If you particularly want to take part in a Wellbeing Chat Session or Focus Group please register your interest with the Project Manager, Cindy Wadsworth via email at cindy.wadsworth@disasterreliefaus.org
Can all DRA Members participate in the Wellbeing Project?
Yes, all DRA member will be invited to participate in the Wellbeing Project.
What will happen to my responses and data?
Surveys are completed through SAHMRI’s Be Well Tracker and your responses will be sent directly to SAHMRI so they can assess the impact of DRA’s Volunteering Program on volunteer wellbeing.

SAHMRI will report deidentified data to DRA for the purpose of sharing their analysis of our volunteering program. SAHMRI will not provide DRA with the detail of any individual responses.

All information gathered via the Be Well Tracker will be stored on secured servers owned by Microsoft Azure Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud infrastructure. All exported data will be placed on password protected pc’s and laptops owed by either SAHMRI or Flinders (who are supporting the research team).

Who will be able to see my responses?
DRA will have details on who enrolled to participate in the Wellbeing Surveys but not who is actually completing the surveys nor their results.

Any data directly identifying survey participants is only available to the participant themselves and audited executives within SAHMRI’s research team.

How will the volunteering program be assessed?

The Wellbeing Pulse Check consists of three main elements being:

  1. Wellbeing Snapshot Surveys
  2. Wellbeing Long-Term Surveys
  3. Wellbeing Chat Sessions

SAHMRI will use standardised and substantiated questions, that have been used in a number of Australian wellbeing studies, as the basis for the Wellbeing Surveys and Chat Sessions.

Why should I get involved?
The benefits of the Wellbeing Pulse Check will impact all DRA members. Through our partnership with SAHMRI we seek to better understand the benefits that you get from DRA’s volunteering program and to improve it where needed.

We can only achieve our goal with your help.

What is the Most Tenacious Team Challenge?
The Most Tenacious Team Challenge is a team incentive offered to the team with the highest percentage participation in round one of the long-term Wellbeing Surveys. Each DRT Manager has nominated a prize for their team, based on their knowledge of their team and what will assist in boosting awareness of, and participation in completing the Wellbeing Surveys.
Why is a team incentive being offered?
We have ambitious targets for engagement of DRA Members into the project, in order to ensure the research team can draw accurate conclusions from the data collected. Creating a team challenge to incentivise participation is known to boost participation in surveys and help achieve better outcomes for research.
I’ve still got more questions – who do I talk to?
If you have further questions, please contact Cindy via email at cindy.wadsworth@disasterreliefaus.org or phone on 0421307641.