The Centenary celebrations had a spectacular start today as 30 four-wheel-drive vehicles, and 50 Frontier Services staff from across the country, drove in a convoy from Ballarat to Geelong College.
This week, we celebrate 100 years of support for the people in remote Australia. By the end of the day, more than 200 staff had arrived in Geelong for the Frontier Services National Staff Conference.
Held only once every five years, this will be a rare but special time for almost a third of our 1000 staff to come together as we celebrate our rich history and the contribution made by many people over the 100 years.
Frontier Services is the successor in the Uniting Church, which grew out of the vision of John Flynn to extend a network of care to people in the outback.
The convoy set out from Ballarat after hearty lunch and a formal blessing from Bishop Garry Weatherill from the Ballarat Anglican Cathedral. The Bishop spoke generously about the contribution of Frontier Services staff who go to people in remote places and provide them with physical and spiritual care.
After being blessed with both Holy Water from the Bishop and rain from above, the convoy set out to Geelong led by a Series 1 Landrover, the same vehicle used by our Patrol Ministers in the 1950s.
Before reaching Geelong, the convoy pulled over to allow the Dodge, the same model of vehicle used by John Flynn on his travels outback, to take lead for the last 10km to the final destination – the Geelong College.
Staff in the convoy included mental health respite workers from the Pilbara and the Kimberley, mobile early childhood experts from Mt Isa, Longreach, Charleville and Emerald, family support staff from Charters Towers, a bush nurse from Bollon and Patrol Ministers from Broken Hill, Katherine, Gippsland and further afield.
More staff from Darwin, Mutitjulu, Alice Springs, Brisbane and further afield arrived for the dinner held at the Geelong RSL, which gave a warm welcome the Frontier Services family.