Jorge takes flight over Outback New South Wales
Soon-to-be-pilot, the Uniting Church’s Rev. Jorge Rebolledo, is about to take off across Outback New South Wales.
The new Broken Hill Patrol Minister for Frontier Services will soon spend hours and days travelling across the west of the state from Broken Hill, north to Tibooburra, south almost as far as the Victorian border and east to Ivanhoe.
His job is simply to be there for people and communities in isolated locations.
Mr Rebolledo joins a team of 22 Patrol Ministers in the Frontier Services network that provides support to 15,000 families across Outback Australia. The Patrol Ministers visit remote locations offering spiritual support, a helping hand and a listening ear.
The Broken Hill patrol covers a vast 180,000 square kilometres. As a flying Patrol Minister, Mr Rebolledo will traverse the distances by plane and by road. He will visit pastoral properties, Aboriginal communities, roadhouses, mines and isolated schools.
The Broken Hill patrol previously came under the Board of Mission of the Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, with the Rev. John Blair. Frontier Services has now taken up the patrol, with some support from the Board of Mission.
Mr Rebolledo, who was born in Chile, said he was very excited about his new role.
He described Patrol Ministry as Christ’s call to be out in the community.
“The one thing that really attracted me to Patrol Ministry was working with people. I’m looking forward to sharing people’s journeys, the good and the bad.
“I’ve always loved helping people. That’s what’s pulling me out there.
“Christianity and faith is actually about relationships and the ways we conduct right relationships with one another. I hope I can help people be whole people.”
His role as patrol minister is varied. Mr Rebolledo may conduct services for isolated families and communities but mostly he will be there to offer support.
He may share a meal on a station or offer a hand on a farm. He will also be there to offer counselling when accidents occur at mines and properties as well as during times of drought and flood.
Mr Rebolledo, who comes from Sydney, admitted he had a lot to learn about life in the Outback.
“I’ll need a lot of help from locals and others. I’m sure I’ll get lost a couple of times.”
For now, he is learning to fly. Mr Rebolledo will soon receive his private pilot’s licence; and you might expect flying comes to him naturally.
Mr Rebolledo’s father was an aircraft mechanic for the national Chilean airline while his maternal grandfather was third person in the cockpit.
Mr Rebolledo was previously Ministry of Pastor Consultant for the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT. Prior to this, he was the Academic Registrar for the United Theological College for almost ten years.
He moves to Broken Hill with his wife Susan who will work at Broken Hill Base Hospital.
Mr Rebolledo will be formally inducted as the Broken Hill Patrol Minister on March 5, 2011, at the Royal Flying Doctor Service Visitor Centre, Broken Hill.