Beyond the furthest fences: the Australian Inland Mission collection
In 1912 the Reverend John Flynn and the Presbyterian Church established the Australian Inland Mission (AIM), a much-needed ‘mantle of safety’ for the isolated outback. Sustained by the tireless work of many nurses, volunteers and roving ministers, the AIM cared for an area of over three million square kilometres. Flynn’s aim to ease the isolation of inland Australians led to the development of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the pedal-powered radio. A century later, the work of the AIM is sustained by Frontier Services and continues to provide physical, medical and spiritual support to isolated inland communities.
An avid amateur photographer, Flynn extensively documented the early work of the AIM, using his photographs to promote the organisation in lectures and publications. This display of photographs, drawn from over 4,400 images presented by the Board of Frontier Services to the National Library of Australia in 1977, is testament to the dedication of the pioneering missionaries and the hardships they endured.