“Frontier Services connects skilled volunteers with people in remote Australia who could lend a helping hand”.
Frontier Services help anyone who lives in a remote part of Australia. These include indigenous communities, isolated properties, mining communities and other remote communities. In 1921, the young Rev John Flynn (commemorated on the $20 note) and the founder of Frontier Services, who had worked in rural Australia, was commissioned by the Presbyterian church to look after the needs of the outback people. The organisation’s history is vast. In 2012 – 100 years later, I travelled around the Pilbara, the Northwestern part of Australia, with my camera recording the team and what they did. My images were published in a centenary book. I’ll never forget this time in my life. I flew from Perth to Karratha, picked up a hire car, and headed for Point Samson, Roebourne, Port Headland, Karijini, Newman and Tom Price. I arrived clean, neat and tidy but left stained red from the earth, some of which seeped into my blood and stained my heart – the large dry ancient landscape, the indigenous people and the non-indigenous people helped me understand the history of this region. I drove to 500 km at a time. I met remote farmers. I reached the gate to the farm with relief but then had to go another 30 mins to the homestead and, to my surprise, greeted by a couple who originated from Yorkshire – if I’d have known, I’d have brought them some tea. I spent two days with an indigenous community worker talking, watching films about the area, eating and drinking. She broke my heart with stories about how the indigenous community were treated when the white fella arrived in the Pilbara. She now helps to build back that trust working in the remote communities. I met a family from Papaya New Guinea taking refuge and now settling into Pilbarra life.
It is a sacred place. Here are a few of the images I took.