Island trip was no holiday

A COFFS Harbour man has helped rebuild an entire island as part of an overseas trip with a difference.

In 2004, the Boxing Day tsunami devastated the Maldives, with more than 20,000 people losing their lives and 80,000 more their livelihoods.

A year later, RedR Australia, an emergency humanitarian organisation, stepped in to help by providing personnel and relief programs.

Coffs Harbour's Mark McKiernan is one such specialist, who left his role as an asset manager for Housing NSW to manage the reconstruction of a complete island to house 4500 people.

Mr McKiernan said the relief assignment was a chance to 'do some good' while at the same time live and work in another environment.

“This was an opportunity to 'spice it up' a bit and get out of my comfort zone,” he said.

RedR Australia welcomes inquires from specialists such as engineers, logisticians and protection officers who are seeking emergency relief assignments, for more information go to www.redr.org.au.



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