We visited Australia in the summer of 2011 with a small group of college students as we prepared to do mission work within Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Moree. Due to the nature of our visit, this blog post is focused more on our mission work rather than typical tourist attractions and sites.
Arriving in Brisbane we had a nice breakfast at our missionaries house, meeting him and his family for the first time. We then met our host families which was a unique experience in itself because we were actually able to live with a family rather than staying in a typical hotel room. Our missionary work in the city of Brisbane varied from gathering with the local church and having a “barbie,” to spending time at West End, a project in the downtown area to help feed the homeless and teach them the gospel.
Gold Coast, Queensland
The following week we drove to Gold Coast to participate in a Christian youth camp in which young adults from all over Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia came to visit. During the day we typically played outdoor games on the nearby beaches and at night had devotionals, singing, and indoor games.
We also were able to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary which was one of the most hands on zoos we have ever been to. Many of the animals walk freely around the park.
Moree, New South Wales
Moree was different than any other experience we’ve had. First of all, Moree is a more rural area of Australia and a large population of Aboriginal Australians reside there. Before you can truly understand the nature of Mission Moree you must understand some of the background information on the Aboriginal people. We were told that in the late 1880s Aborigines joined white communities due to forced assimilation. Because of these, the Aboriginal people were exposed to many new diseases and the Aboriginal population began to drastically decline. After, Aborigines went through a long period of abuse and began speaking for rights in the 1970s but things really didn’t begin to change for them until 1976-1990. More recently, the Australian government began to increase wages and welfare benefits to the Aboriginal population but that didn’t solve all of their pain. We also were told that because of the assimilation act and long periods of abuse, the people in Moree began suffering from depression, drug addictions, and alcoholism. Many people also had children that they were unable to properly care for because of their depression. Our mission while in Moree became to educate the people there and the children in hopes that the cycle does not continue.
Someday we hope to be back to Australia to visit the friends we made their and to see more of what this amazing continent has to offer.
Logan & Kallsy
Pages of Travel