NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell hosted a reception for the volunteers and supporters of Frontier Services today honouring a centenary of support in remote Australia.
Mr O’Farrell commended the work of Frontier Services and the dedication of the 60 supporters who were there at Parliament House this morning, highlighting the importance of Frontier Services being there in remote Australia and identifying the needs of people.
Chair of Frontier Services Board Jan Trengove responded to the Premier, sharing the things that inspired her about Frontier Services, including the commitment of the staff and the
many supporters across the country. She presented the Premier with a copy of the book At the Very Heart, written by Storry Walton AM, which celebrates the past 100 years in remote Australia.
Frontier Services National Director Rosemary Young thanked the Premier for hosting the reception.
“Thousands of supporters and volunteers give their time and resources to
make it possible to do what we do,” she said. “Because of this, we can be there for people living in some of the country’s most remote places.”
One of the supporters who attended was great grandmother Isobel Vessey, 78, from Thornleigh, who has been a volunteer with the NSW Frontier Services Supporters Group for 25 years.
Mrs Vessey dedicates hundreds of hours each year helping in the Frontier Services National Office in Sydney, folding and collating mail to send to supporters and packing up orders of Christmas Cards which raise funds for the organisation’s work.
When she first joined the group in the 1980s, Mrs Vessey recalls sewing bed sheets together for a Student Group Home – a home for isolated students to be closer to school while they are studying. Frontier Services continues to provide this service in Atherton,
“I just like helping people and I grew up in the country (in Kandos, 230km north-west of Sydney), so I know what isolation can be like,” Mrs Vessey said. “We didn’t have a car and there was just one train to Sydney at night time and one train up in the morning. We made our own fun.”
“I like coming in to help and talking to people from other churches and getting to know what goes on around the place.”
Later this evening, the Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, will host a reception at Government House for the national leaders of the Uniting Church, members of the Frontier Services Board and some of the major business supporters of Frontier Services.