Reginald Ramos l Palladium - Apr 17 2023
Palladium Team Supports Australian Response to Earthquake in Türkiye

Credit: Nathan Fulton

Three days after two devastating earthquakes struck Türkiye, members of Palladium’s Humanitarian Logistics Capabilities (HLC) team arrived to support the Australian Government’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). Team Australia was made up of Australian search and rescue workers from NSW, ACT and Queensland state agencies, three Australian Government liaison officers and two HLC members.

HLC’s In-Country Management Team (ICMT) got to work meeting the Response Team’s needs for transportation, translators, and provided support on security and risk assessments. Palladium Response Director Shelley Thomas explains “my primary focus was ensuring we had enough trucks, translators, and support personnel to move the Urban Search and Rescue cache of 22 tons of equipment, from the airport to where the team was living and working.”

The Base of Operations (BoO) served as the hub and home base for the DART and required infrastructure support to ensure that the team’s needs were met, while keeping everything mobile enough to be cleared out once the team departed without leaving a trace behind. “Leaving things the way we found them is critical for us when we come in for a response,” says Thomas. “We’re coming into fragile areas, and we want to have as light a footprint as possible.”

The ICMT, which returned home to Australia 15 days after their arrival in Türkiye, provided daily support to the DART on the ground. Most of that work focused on ensuring that Team Australia was operational in country including, providing communications and daily logistics activities.

“When the team arrived, our priority was to work out vehicles and ensure that the DART had safe transport to and from the recovery sites,” adds Thomas. One of the critical aspects was having vehicles available at all times to move the teams to and from the recovery sites as quickly as possible to safety in the case of an aftershock or another earthquake.

HLC recruited translators for the team, but not just any translator – they needed people who were mentally and emotionally prepared for what they may witness as part of the recovery process. Three locals offered their services to the DART on a daily basis, translating between recovery teams and families at the sites. In addition, a member of the DART was of Turkish background and was an enormous asset to the ICMT for interacting with other support agencies or locals.

“We are proud to partner with the Australian Government on a program that is so impactful; the value of the Humanitarian Logistics Capability is well and truly demonstrated in responses such as these,” says Fiona Gaske, HLC Contract Manager.

Palladium’s Humanitarian Logistics Capability facilitates the timely, effective, and flexible delivery of the Australian Government’s humanitarian assistance and emergency relief program around the world.