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Newsletter 66 Farina Restoration Group. 17 January 2018

Hello Farina Supporters,

Attached is a letter from Tom Harding contemplating the past ten years at Farina.

Volunteers registrations are at a new level this year. As I write this we have had 110 registrations for 2018 comprising nearly 200 people!

There are still some places but not all weeks are available. It is a top priority to the committee that ALL our volunteers have a meaningful Farina experience. This cannot be achieved in overcrowded conditions.

Recently, there was a 2 minute segment about Farina on the ABC programme “Back Roads”. It is available through iview until January 29th. Here is the link to the segment:

I hope you enjoy Tom’s contemplation of what has been achieved at Farina since 2008. It could not have happened without the support of our Farina friends and volunteers.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year

Regards… Cathie

Contemplating Our First 10 Years

It is ten years since a “tag-along-tour” group of Harding’s Caravan Services (Vic.) customers arrived for an overnight stop at Farina and saw the prospects of the townships revival. It was sufficiently clear to inspire them to do a whip around and present the proceeds ($850) as a challenge to me, Tom Harding, to do something about it.

Fortunately, there was a Project Officer (Leith Yelland) at Outback Communities Authorities in Port Augusta who thought similarly and had been agitating his boss (Mark Sutton) accordingly for some time.

It required a $15,000 private guarantee to gain a matching grant (total $30,000) for each of two years to gain approval in addition to the original $850 stimulus money!!.

The rest is history – 897 volunteers have since contributed 62,541 direct labour hours to the site, with vast uncalculated administration hours per year off site.

Maps have previously bracketed Farina as (ruins) or (ghost town). This may have been appropriate in the year 2000, but not to the 9300 plus visitors who checked us out during the 2017 May – June – July work program.

We are achieving our aim of representing Farina as an Historic Inland Township of the 1850 to 1960 period.

Farina was an abandoned township. However, in its revitalised state it now represents many more such townships across the inland, which were also abandoned and are now just heaps of rubble.

Feel proud, all of you who have participated in any way. From the original Tag Along Group, to the bloke who dug the sullage holes for Kevin, or the “never been there before” folks who trusted us sufficiently to invest cash in the project and the Adelaide builder who transferred his business (four employees) from Adelaide to Farina for one week to do the special parts of Patterson’s house. PLUS>>PLUS>>PLUS>> so many others!

It is a special feeling for all to look around and say “I have been part of this”.

One visiting sponsor was overheard to say “It is great to see something I have contributed to actually happening !!!”

Farina is firmly embedded to continue into the future.

Our most recent outcomes to ensure this are:

The 2015/2016 establishment of our Operations centre.

This houses an admin centre, kitchen, medical centre , dry and frozen goods storage for the bakery, mechanical workshop, joinery shop , electrical and mechanics work cribs, a 12KVA power installation, underground water distribution from a 45,000 litre storage, planned storage for a vast amount of tools and equipment accumulated over 10 years to assist volunteer efficiency.

As well it provides an indoor meeting place to supplement our nightly campfire happy hour activity.

The Patterson House rebuild

Now at stage one lock-up level Patterson’s House clearly points the way to its future use as our Visitor Centre and Education Facility, for school trips, tourists and specialist trade training on heritage bakeries and masonry structures. Along with this, we will be demonstrating life in Inland Australian Townships of the 19th and 20th centuries, and their part in our history.

My function in all this to date has been very clear cut. As each task has been completed by a growing team of enthusiastic and competent volunteers, the next activity has become obvious to me and in turn progressed and developed – enabling the Farina rebirth you witness.

Today, my role is lessening, with key persons now leading each of several still growing and other quite new functions. But I am not quite redundant yet!

Your role as supporters and volunteers is still vital to us if we are to become self funding after the year 2020.

I am confident we have the people and skills on hand and in training to achieve this.

That will ensure Farina’s future is secure.

Thanks to you all for your support over this special decade of activity

Tom Harding