Cunnamulla Burke & Wills Patrol
Based in Cunnamulla, South West Queensland, this combined Patrol is approx. 450,000 square kilometres. The northern boundary includes the township of Tambo and follows a westerly line that moves below Blackall and includes the township of Bedourie. Following the QLD/NT border down touching the borders of SA and NSW.
The major communities include Augathella, Adavale, Eromanga, Morven, Quilpie, Toompine, Windorah, Tambo, Bedourie, Birdsville, Cunnamulla, Eulo, Thargomindah, Yowah, Wyandra, Bollon and Hungerford. These areas are mainly characterised by marginal pastoral stations and Yowah is based on Opal field.
The patrol area is mostly arid pastoral country and in some areas harsh conditions are routinely experienced. In recent years there has been significant coal exploration. For some people living in the area, there is a sense of loneliness and isolation from community and Government services. Many pastoralists struggle with financial difficulties associated with fluctuating commodity prices, government regulation, drought & flood.
This region has many characters and a colourful history. Tourism is well established although there are many kilometres in between centres.
Thousands of people travel through this remote areas between April to October every year and patrol minister often visits the tourists and provides support if required.
The local Cunnamulla Congregation is a multi-cultural community including indigenous and non-indigenous members. Cunnamulla local people come together for worship in Uniting Church three Sundays in a month (which includes Bible Study and Holy Communion Services). The patrol minister also conducts regular worship and activities in Yowah, Wyandra and Thargomindah. Ecumenical cooperation is very important, especially during times when other traditions are not able to appoint ministry agents. The patrol minister provides pastoral care for all people irrespective of denominations, nationality, culture and language.
Patrol ministry is well supported in this Patrol because people receive the practical, moral and spiritual support especially in the midst of drought and financial crisis in the isolated area. The patrol minister is also involved in Police Chaplaincy in patrol area.