ON 26 September, up to 2000 people will celebrate 100 years of continued support for the people of remote Australia in a celebration in Melbourne.
Moved by John Flynn's vision for the church to extend "a mantle of safety" across the outback, the Australian Inland Mission was established on that date in 1912.
A century on, Frontier Services continues to provide the services and care needed to build sustainable communities in remote areas of Australia.
Frontier Services Patron Tim Fischer AC will formally welcome those attending and Uniting Church President Rev Prof Andrew Dutney will deliver the message.
Songs specially written for the centenary will be sung on the night as part of a special liturgy led by Chair of the John Flynn Foundation and past Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson.
Ted Egan will perform a song by Rev David MacGregor.
The evening will be the high point for centenary celebrations throughout 2012.
Hundreds of Frontier Services staff will travel from remote parts of the country to attend, including Queensland staff from as far afield as Cape York, Georgetown, Hughenden, Longreach, Charters Towers, Charleville and Cunnamulla.
These include primary health-care nurses from remote communities, early childhood education specialists who provide mobile services for isolated families and patrol ministers who provide practical and spiritual care for people.
"Thousands of people have played a part in keeping the dream alive across the century," said Frontier Services National Director Rosemary Young.
"This year we celebrate all those people, their determination, their hard work and commitment. We also look to the challenges and opportunities ahead and remain determined to continue to support people, when and where they need us."
At the 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Adelaide, delegates of the church passed a resolution to "commit anew to the people of remote Australia".
Those gathered in Melbourne will give a rousing affirmation to this century-long commitment.
The service will be held at the Dallas Brooks Centre in East Melbourne. All are welcome.
If you are unable to attend, you can still tune in online. Go to the Frontier Services website www.frontierservices.org on 26th September and click on the Live Streaming link at 7pm to watch the celebration live from the Dallas Brooks Centre.
Photo : Frontier Services staff will travel across remote Australia to attend the centenary celebration in Melbourne. Photo courtesy of Frontier Services