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Hello Farina Supporters,

Another year’s volunteer work has been completed at Farina.

It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since the Farina Restoration Group was formed.

Following is an overview of the works program for 2018, from our chairperson, Tom Harding.



Overview of the 2018 Farina Restoration Group works program

Over the 9 week period, consisting of 1 preliminary and 8 program weeks, we had the assistance of 205 volunteers from 152 families. 18,138 volunteer hours were spent this year at Farina. During the 10 years that the Farina Restoration Group has been active volunteers have contributed an enormous 82,138 hours!

There were five main work teams this year, all of equal importance.

1 The service team, which supported the campsite, managing power, fuel, water, toilets, supplies, also fetching and fixing, allowing the other teams to get on with their jobs.

2 The stonemasons and their able assistants who worked on three special buildings, desperately needing maintenance – the Transcontinental Hotel, the Post Office and the “new” Police Station. Ron Johnstone’s team spent time making the slate front porch on Patterson’s house. More volunteer hours were spent on stonework this year than in previous programs. This will be a likely trend in the future as drought increases the rate of decay.

3 The bakery, café and merchandising. An all time record of production and sales in each area meant that Laurie Gray’s system was stretched to new limits, with great customer satisfaction and baker and staff fatigue.

Our retail sector provides a wonderful exit point for visitors who have ventured through Farina.

4 Several teams of builders and labourers brought Patterson’s House to lock up stage ahead of schedule. Steve and Pat Harding must be commended for 3 years of work negotiating legal and technical matters, obtaining funding, then managing the erection of Patterson’s House. An amazing range of technical and structural skills continue to arrive at Farina at the right moment enabling the seemingly impossible to become possible. Special mention must be made of Ivan Schmocker, who has transferred his Adelaide team of builders to Farina for a week on each of two years, handling important parts of construction. This is a very generous and timely contribution supporting the work our volunteers have done.

5 Visitor management. As visitor numbers grow we offer a welcome and limited guide around Farina.

Our future challenge is to offer visitors the opportunity to explore Farina independently, in guided groups or through small chat sessions, giving them an experience of Farina as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Our work programs this year were led by 4 new leadership teams. Weeks 1 and 2 by John and Jenny Tuckwell, weeks 3 and 4 by Bill Mackintosh and Deb Amos, weeks 5 and 6 by Tim and Leanne Paine and weeks 7 and 8 by Bill Brock and Janet Jones.

The success of the program brings great credit to all involved, in particular the first time leaders. Their task was made more demanding by having a significant number of first time volunteers in their teams.

Completing Stage 2 (to lock up stage) on Patterson’s house without the benefit of a 2nd grant is a real achievement. The inside of the building is now clear space.

Careful research and planning is now possible to enable a fit out which will support our aim of displaying and educating visitors, hopefully including school groups, about life in this historic town.

The last 10 years have developed and put in place a strong base to enable volunteer efficiency. It has also made the old township more capable of telling its own story.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved.

Our next five year program, the detail of which is still to be finalised by the FRG committee, will develop more aspects of the life style of the early residents and further a climate in which visitors can maintain and extend their present enthusiasm for this corner of Australian history.

Our volunteers are uplifted by the interest and support shown by visitors and campers towards them and the program during their short time at Farina. It is very reassuring.

2019 is well and truly on the drawing board. We look forward to sharing it with you!

Tom Harding

FRG Chairperson