Rev Bruce Gallacher has traded in the green secluded valleys and fresh water rivers of the Snowy River country in south-east Victoria to take up his new post in the hot, vast, rugged country of the Kimberley.
This week, Bruce was formally inducted as the new Frontier Services Kimberley Patrol Minister, based out of Kununurra.
Travelling across the Kimberley region in his four-wheel-drive, Mr Gallacher will provide practical and emotional support to families and communities, spending time listening to those who face the challenges of isolation every day.
Mr Gallacher said he was very excited to be in the Kimberley having first begun his ministry in Broome more than 20 years ago.
“When I left Broome in 1991, I was told ‘the Kimberley is not done with you yet’,” he said. “It is a complete circle to return here now – it is very appropriate.”
It is a huge contrast from Mr Gallacher’s previous patrol – he was working with Frontier Services as the Snowy River Patrol Minister in Gippsland, Victoria.
“The locations are totally different. Far East Gippsland is one of the most beautiful areas in Australia, but so is the Kimberley in a way that is so different. Here, it’s a rugged beauty that is dangerous and challenging. It’s a place which you just love or hate, I love it.”
Mr Gallacher, who grew up in rural Victoria, said he always felt a calling to work with people living in remote areas and was “at home” in the Kimberley.
“I feel in my own skin here,” he said. “The people are real – what you see is what you get. One of the amazing things with people in remote areas, their faith maybe more simple but often it’s a lot deeper.”
Mr Gallacher will spend much of his time visiting people across the Kimberley. The Patrol extends from Kununurra across to Derby, including Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, and north to the coast.
He will also support the Frontier Services staff providing aged and community care services in the Kimberley and provide ministry support to the Uniting Church community in Kununurra who currently worship in the Anglican Church.
His wife Kaye, a community nurse, has also begun work part time at Frontier Services Kununurra Community Care.
Mr Gallacher was formally inducted as the Frontier Services Kimberley Patrol Minister on Thursday, 9 February, at Frontier Services Kununurra Community Care.