Learning and sharing together

25 September 2012


The second day at the Frontier Services National Staff Conference has been packed with sharing, learning and a lot of fun, as staff from across the country get to know each other.

Almost 200 staff are in Geelong for the Conference as Frontier Services celebrates 100 years in remote Australia this week. More staff arrive tomorrow in time for the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Australian Inland Mission.

The day began with morning devotion held in the Geelong College Chapel led by Sturt Patrol Minister Jenny Swanbury. It was a gentle reflection on the times in our lives and in our work that we experience a sense of new life and hope.

Staff then assembled together for a formal welcome from Geelong College Principal Dr Pauline Turner who spoke about the connection the school had with the Australian Inland Mission through Frank Rolland, the fifth Principal of the College who was a confidant and supporter of John Flynn and was previously stationed at the Smith of Dunesk Mission in Beltana.

The rest of the day was filled with learning as staff participated in three different workshops: Accidental Counsellor by Stephen Toon, which involved important training in mental health Empower Your Inner Leader by Di Adamson, a professional and personal development session and the third workshop, Introducing Leading Practice, by Ralph Pain, was all about best practice. This was completed by all community care coordinators.

The opportunity to be together and share stories and experiences has been a highlight.

Pilbara Mental Health Mobile Respite Coordinator Teki Prescott said coming together with all the staff, and driving together in a convoy to Geelong, was overwhelming but it had filled her with a sense of connection to the wider Frontier Services family.

“It has been lovely just to meet the rest of the Frontier Services staff. There has been a lot of exchanging and learning going on. We learn something different every time we take a break and talk to someone else.”

“We knew the history of the organisation before, but coming here, we really feel a part of it. Driving into Geelong, with David Buxton leading us in the Dodge, was emotional. We feel so much a part of Frontier Services.”

National In Home Care Coordinator Brad Case said he was delighted to meet up with some of the staff he met in his first year with Frontier Services, four years ago.

“It is great to see people are still working with Frontier Services and they are still passionate about what they do. It has also been about sharing stories about what’s been happening with people in the meantime.”

In a short time, all the staff will come together in the Chapel again as we welcome new Patrol Minister Bruce Slater into the Katherine Patrol. Bruce will be inducted alongside Mitch Fialkowski who is moving from Katherine to the Murchsion Patrol, based out of Meekatharra.