A group of Suncoast community members were recently involved in our 4th annual Outback-Link Missions Trip. This year we had a great group of senior students sign up to partner with the extraordinary work of Care Outreach in a vast area in South Western Queensland approximately a hundred kilometres outside Charleville.
We sent teams out to seven properties where students worked hard completing a variety of projects. Our teams worked on fences, completed stock work with both cattle and sheep, fixed and repaired pumps, tanks and water pipes among many other tasks with our hosts. Whilst out on the properties we stayed in shearer’s quarters and swags and cooked on open fires. It is an extraordinary opportunity to experience an aspect of Australian life that is often forgotten by those of us who live on the Coast. The courage and resilience of the people in the bush was overwhelming for many of us who could not believe just how hard they have to work to make their properties profitable. Their love for their country and the manner in which they look after their stock is inspiring. We had the opportunity to hear some amazing stories from real characters who refuse to give up and are determined to make a meaningful life and provide Australians with the beef, lamb and wool that we enjoy each and every day.
We are so grateful to Bill and Melissa Close for partnering with us in this work and have been so heartened by the encouragement they have taken from our time together. This year we had the great opportunity to work at the Neebine Community Centre, which is a remote hall with limited facilities and resources in the middle of nowhere. It is an incredibly important place for the community as it is a place where they can gather and encourage one another in their work. The team gave the Centre a real lift by repairing the old seating and restoring the outdoor movie theatre to its former glory. The work done by the team will be a great encouragement to the property owners and will allow them to gather together for much needed connection in such an isolated environment. As leaders we were proud of the students and their willingness to serve people in the outback. This year for the first time, the team was asked to help with an Easter service for the community members. The students willingness to share their hearts was a real highlight of the experience.
A big thank you must go to our staff who gave up their time to be a part of the experience, Miss Lynda Shannon, Tiona McMenamin, Mr Daniel Prinsloo, Mr Edward Howell and Mr Brian Cook, our faithful bus driver and leader. It was also great to have two dads join in to help out, Daryl Green and Martin Brampton.