Gwen and Roy Shave; Central Coast, NSW

09 November 2011

“Retired and interested in the work of Frontier Services we volunteered to visit and photograph Frontier Services staff and their work. To tell the story as it were.

During two ‘round Australia’ trips, (1985 & 1987) including Tasmania, we visited and photographed every member of the staff at that time ‘ on the job’. Travelling from Woologoolga to every Frontier Services post, except Coen on Cape York where out vehicle was not strong enough to cope with the atrocious roads. A great number of transparencies were given to Frontier Services for the purpose of illustrating their publications. We came to appreciate the tough conditions and the joy of being part of Frontier Services.

In January 1988 Gray Birch invited us to take a field appointment in the Gregory Patrol in Western Australia. This appointment for 12 months, commenced in March.

The specific task was to assist Frontier Services in the establishment of the Gregory Patrol, travelling from Exmouth and covering an area similar to Victoria, with the hope of establishing the Gregory Patrol on a permanent basis. The aim was to visit people wherever they were, on stations, or in small communities, and a very transient number of people in out of way places.

We found people just waiting for someone who would listen, ready to share in their joys and concerns, mailing about land rights and oil and gas exploration. We shared ‘church’ around a kitchen table, or under a tress, baptisms and communion when asked – and where there appeared to be no hope to share with them, a wonderful opportunity to reassure these fold of God’s love for each of them.

Since that time we have taken many more photos, the last tour being of Western Australia in 2007 and also volunteered in Head Office to catalogue photos or in any way we could. We continue to spread the news of Frontier Services wherever we can, over many years they have done and continue to provide a great service to many, many people in remote areas of our great country”.