Lifting the Mission to new heights
On Australia Day 2017, Parramatta Mission volunteers, including faithful staff, congregation members and other volunteers, made their way to the Parramatta Park Ariel field for the tethered hot air balloons event.
Despite the 5am start, volunteers beamed with enthusiasm, ready to guide passengers to their hot air after the pilots set up the balloons.
The weather conditions were perfect for the tethered balloons and as the sun rose, the passengers, a collection of adults and children, eagerly lined up.
The atmosphere in and around the balloon area was electric and onlookers watched in awe as the six balloons hovered above the ground. The balloons gave passengers a fantastic view of Parramatta Park, Parramatta City and other Australia Day activities.
Parramatta Mission first partnered with Parramatta City Council for the Australia Day tethered hot air balloons 20 years ago. The aim of this partnership was to collaborate on the running of the balloons activity. The proceeds of the tickets sold being donated to Parramatta Mission in support of all the vital services and programs provided by Parramatta Mission.
This annual event raises the public image of Parramatta Mission and gives us the opportunity to engage with the community about the essential services provided. This is event also gives the opportunity to offer an amazing experience that passengers and onlookers will never forget.
Initially rides were the cost of a gold coin donation. As the years progressed Parramatta City Council teamed up with Riverside Theatre who administered the ticketing system. This saw a larger donation extended to Parramatta Mission, thus helping more people across Greater Western Sydney.
Parramatta Mission proudly works in partnership with Parramatta City Council, Riverside Theatre and the hot air balloon pilots and coordinators to make this event magical and memorable. Parramatta Mission embraces the people that make up its community and walk alongside them on their journey of transforming their lives. This can include people facing mental health issues, homelessness or crisis.
Parramatta Mission is grateful for the ongoing support and commitment of all its staff, volunteers and congregational members on Australia Day and every day. It is this Australian spirit of mate-ship that enables Parramatta Mission to be a community transforming lives.
Parramatta Mission is not-for-profit social service and part of the Uniting Church in Australia.
Donna Kelly is the Executive Assistant & Administration Manager at Parramatta Mission.