Thirty volunteers from around Australia pay tribute to John Flynn's Mantle of Safety by applying elbow grease to Adelaide House and Flynn Church in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PICTURED are volunteers Rachel Morgan from Victoria and Alice Springs local Keith Castle.
The river bed of the Todd is more stable than many assume. I have two photos taken from exactly the same vantage point on Meyers Hill (originally called Nannygoat Hill). The first was by John Flynn in 1926. I took the second this year. In my photo there is a prominent "island" covered in buffel grass on the eastern side of the riverbed. This island is also observable in Flynn's photograph, although it was devoid of vegetation at the time. ALEX NELSON comments.
At left: John Flynn's photograph, held by the National Library of Australia.
With one photograph or more on almost every one of its 250 plus pages, At The Very Heart – 100 Years in Remote Australia is a book to dip into for the stories or themes that catch your eye. Mine searched for the Alice Springs context and delighted in this band of assertive children. They don't seem to be very happy with the prospect of moving to St Philip's boarding facility – "a bigger jail"!
The book celebrates the centenary of Frontier Services, the organisation which grew out of John Flynn's Australian Inland Mission. Organised around the broad themes of Flynn's project and, in keeping with its focus on the photographic record, it offers 'snapshots' of information about that work rather than a narrative. Luckily the photographs are sufficiently rewarding, conveying a sense of the vastness of the country and its inherent challenges to which Flynn and all who worked in his spirit responded so well. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.