Flynn’s great outback dream 100 years on

26 September 2012


One hundred years ago today, on 26 September 1912, one of Australia’s greatest pioneering ventures began. The man on the $20 note, John Flynn, embarked on his dream to build a network of care for people across the outback with the establishment of the Australian Inland Mission (AIM).

More than 1000 people from across the country will gather in Melbourne tonight to celebrate the remarkable work which Flynn began and the dedication of those who have continued to build on his dream for over a century.

Almost 230 staff have travelled from across remote Australia for the celebration this week and for the National Staff Conference being held in Geelong. Now, the staff are getting ready to leave Geelong and make their way to Melbourne for the centenary celebration at the Dallas Brooks Centre in Melbourne from 7pm.

For those who cannot be there, you can watch the event live on the website by clicking this link: http://mp163437.cdn.mediaplatform.com/163437/wc/mp/4000/18908/18909/18918/Lobby/default.htm

The event will bring together those who have been involved in the work over the past century alongside current staff from across remote Australia – as far afield as the Pilbara, Kimberley, Mt Isa, Cape York, Broken Hill, Alice Springs as well as the high country of Victoria and west coast and midlands of Tasmania.

The Centenary marks one hundred years since Flynn’s report on life in the outback was presented to the Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Melbourne. The AIM was established at this meeting with Flynn appointed Superintendent.

The visionary work of Flynn and the AIM led to the development of hospitals across the outback, the pedal radio and an aerial medical service, known today as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Frontier Services National Director Rosemary Young said the celebrations would also focus on the future.

“As people in remote Australia face rapid changes and increasing pressure, the need for services and care is even greater. We are determined to ensure Flynn’s dream is kept alive and people in remote places can find the support they need, when and where they need it.”