6:30pm – Sunday, September 23 on ABC1
Today, the Australian Inland Mission goes by the name of ‘Frontier Services’ and John Flynn, the man on our $20 note, is an all but forgotten hero from the past. So, on the 100th anniversary of the unique frontier service he founded, Compass tells the extraordinary story of the man and his mission.
The Australian Inland Mission was established by the Presbyterian Church in 1912 to care for the needs of outback settlers. John Flynn, a young priest based in a bush parish, was appointed as its founder and remained its superintendent for nearly 40 years. In that time he worked tirelessly to bring medical assistance and spiritual solace to the people of the outback, or ‘the inlanders’ as he called them.
Rather than building churches, Flynn focused on providing nurses, clinics, hospitals and hostels. His life’s mission was to provide a ‘mantle of safety’ to the outback, and he was constantly on the road himself, personally assessing the changing needs of Australia’s inland pioneers.
Flynn went on to commission the invention of the Pedal Radio, which established a vital communication network throughout Australia’s remote interior. Significant as this was, for Flynn it was a means of realising his greater dream of launching the world’s first Flying Doctor Service which he did in 1928.
100 years after it all began, Compass tells the story of John Flynn and the work of his Australian Inland Mission.