A family finding their feet in the bush
We recently partnered with our National Mobility Partner NRMA on a trip out to Western NSW, helping a family find their feet. Brian and Corrie-Lyn count themselves blessed to have found their home, almost an hour’s drive from their nearest town in western NSW. This gratitude comes despite the immense challenges the family continues to face after arriving from Victoria four years ago, as the region dealt with severe drought, a damaging cyclone and a devastating mouse plague.
They still have a tough road ahead of them and any support means a lot.
Setting up the farm while caring for their five children has been an overwhelming task for the couple and money remains a constant concern. Even a drive to Parkes to service their Toyota Prado is something that needs to be weighed up carefully.
Lacking time or the skills needed, Brian and Corrie-Lyn have no choice but to put many jobs onto the backburner.
Getting help from our National Mobility Partner NRMA
So it was action stations when two volunteers from our National Mobility Partner NRMA arrived, who are both mechanics, along with an additional volunteer supporting our Outback Links project.
They found an endless list of jobs waiting for them, from a paddock bashing Magna that hasn’t started for 10 years to a broken cow milking machine and an old sawmill that cuts planks of timber unevenly. Undaunted, Chris and Pete got to work and what they accomplished over three days is astonishing.
Helping a family through mentoring and mateship
As they serviced the family’s Prado and repaired the Magna, the two oldest boys Christian and Isaac watched on keenly. Offering their thoughts, asking questions and tightening screws, they were both totally absorbed in how the mechanics were weaving their magic.
For Isaac in particular, whose passion is anything with gears, the experience is one he’ll never forget.
Not expecting this kind of connection, dad Brian was noticeably touched, “By the end of the first day they had built great friendships with our four kids here at home. They were all so excited when they arrived on the second day.”
A family helping others find their feet
Having their work well and truly cut out for them at home hasn’t stopped Brian and Corrie-Lyn from turning their thoughts and efforts to others. Ahead of the trip, Corrie-Lyn checked to make sure the volunteers weren’t personally affected by the flood along the country’s east coast.
The same compassionate, selfless spirit underlies the couple’s commitment to foster care. Two of their five children are adopted, one remaining with the family full time while the other visits on weekends. At four years old, the youngest of these two has been shuffled between numerous homes, and Brian and Corrie-Lyn are determined to make theirs his final stop.
A bundle of energy, he wandered around from person to person, as the volunteers worked on, seeking attention and affection, entertained by all the new, friendly faces. As the volunteers continued to attend to the many jobs on the property, Nicole, a third volunteer, regularly spent time with him to read him stories from the books they brought along as gifts and created rare moments of calm while connecting with Brian and Corrie-Lyn’s teenage daughter, Faith.
Getting the farm up and running
As the visit drew to an end, Brian pointed to a broken trampoline.
“Chris jumped at the challenge, and before I even knew he was working on it, he had welded it up and fixed it. My kids were so full of joy it was unbelievable.”
The farm was visibly transformed and the whole group was happy with the progress made.
As the volunteers packed their things up to leave, there was a sense that no one wanted to say goodbye. Corrie-Lyn’s eyes welled up as she embraced Nicole, and Brian expressed his gratitude and deep appreciation at everything that had been achieved.
“They were like troopers, charging in and conquering problems left, right and
centre,” he says.
“They involved us and the kids, we connected with the team, and very quickly made new friends.”
“Chris, Peter, and Nicole, you guys were so generous to us, giving your time, your holidays, to volunteer at our place. We will never forget you all. You will be blessed abundantly for the kindness you have shown us, for this is how our world works.”
We’re just so happy we could be involved in helping a family find their feet, with the help and support of our incredible NRMA volunteers!