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Thursday, 15 August 2002

New outback patrol minister appointed to Soouth West Queensland

Uniting Church Frontier Services has appointed Rev John Case as Patrol Minister to provide a ministry of physical and spiritual support to people living in remote parts of South West Queensland.

Mr Case took over the Burke and Wills Patrol from retiring Patrol Minister, Brian Henman, in July.

The Charleville-based patrol covers an area of some 320,000 square kilometers that stretches west to Birdsville and includes part of the north-east corner of South Australia.

Although a minister of the Uniting Church, Mr Case will undertake an ecumenical ministry
to people from a wide range of Christian traditions. He's expecting to conduct baptisms, weddings, funerals and ecumenical worship services. In addition to this, Mr Case expects to be spending a great deal of time on the road visiting individuals and families in remote stations and settlements and lending a hand wherever he can.

"The role of a Uniting Church Patrol Minister is very hands on", said Mr Case. "My role is to be available to support people in whatever way I can - to share their joys and concerns and provide emotional and spiritual counsel as it is needed. No matter whether the needs are great or small, one thing I hope to achieve with all I meet, is to simply extend the hand of care and friendship. That's the vision that Rev John Flynn (Flynn of the Inland) had when he set out on his first outback patrols in 1912. If I can earn people's trust and be a help in some small way, then I will feel I am making a difference and my ministry is worthwhile."

Frontier Services has 18 Patrol Padres throughout the country, who together travel a combined distance of over 1 million kilometres each year. They reach more than 80% of the Australian continent and provide care and support to more than 15,000 isolated families and individuals. The patrol regions reach from Cape York to Central Australia and the West Coast of Tasmania.

Media Contact: David Sullivan - National Development Manager
Phone: 0407 276 796 or (02) 8267 4247
Interviews can be arranged upon request.