Rev Craig Mischewski will feel right at home when he takes up his new post with Frontier Services as the Flinders Patrol Minister tomorrow. The 50-year-old Minister says he was built for work in the bush.
“I’m hard wired for the west,” Mr Mischewski said ahead of his official induction on Wednesday. “The more I can see of the horizon, the happier I get. I feel more peaceful in the bush. It just makes sense to me.”
In his work as a Patrol Minister, Mr Mischewski will cover a large area of north Queensland. The Patrol is based out of Hughenden and sits on the Western edge of the Great Divide. It is bounded by the Shires of Flinders, Richmond and McKinlay.
Mr Mischewski will travel across the region in his four-wheel-drive providing both practical support and pastoral care to individuals and families who are faced with the realities of isolation as well as drought, floods and fire.
A large part of his role will be to simply spend time with people, offering a listening ear or lending a hand on the property when needed. This is a job description which suits Mr Mischewski just fine.
“I’m looking forward to having the space to be with people – having the opportunity to minister in a way where you are just there. Being with people is my passion.”
“I’m also ready to bring my fencing wire strainers to get out there and help where I can.”
Mr Mischewski, a grandfather of two, comes from a professional background in community services. Prior to his studies he spent time working on cattle stations in the NT and Queensland. He has also been an Army Chaplain.
His most recent role was Minister at the Townsville City Central Mission. The Church has a strong community focus, supporting people with disabilities, mental illness and those living on the street.
Mr Mischewski is returning to Hughenden for the second time. He worked with a family support service based there about 20 years ago and recalls the despair for families who were affected by the collapse of the wool industry at the time.
“We spent all of our time getting out there and sitting with people. So much of what happens in the bush you cannot control, but you can listen and be there to support people.”