Australian Inland Mission

 The Australian Inland Mission in Tennant Creek is based on a booklet “Finding God in the Wilderness”  – A Short history of the Tennant Barkly PatrolCompiled by Rev. John Flaherty, Patrol Minister, Tennant Creek. This is a collection of some of the highlights from 1918 to 2006, to celebrate the centenary of the Uniting Church’s Frontier Service in remote Australia (2012) John acknowledged that were some gaps in the narrative, but left them to be added later. At that time I spoke to John and stated I would take up the challenge of filling the gaps, so John’s booklet is the base and inspiration for this page.


1914 – 1918
“tho the way be long, the road rough and lonely, the cost great – well, we must just go on until the remotest Inlanders know that they are a part of our life, and their lives part of ours.”
Written after an exhausting 4,000km, six month patrol with a string of camels, by Rev. Robert Bruce Plowman, also known as the “Man from Oodnadatta,” and the first Australian Inland Mission Patrol Padre 1912-1917. (He also wrote `Camel Pads’, `The Boundary Rider’, and `The Man from Oodnadatta’.)
 He had offered to work as a volunteer for the Rev. John Flynn of the Australian Inland Mission, asking for his expenses only. He loved his work and was ordained for the purposes of the Presbyterian Church and licensed to baptise, marry and bury. Plowman worked as itinerant minister in South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, as far north as the Tennant Creek Repeater Station. from sheer hard work Plowman collapsed from physical and nervous exhaustion, later succumbing to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
1918   Rev Kingsley F ‘Skipper’ Partridge patrols from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek.


1932 Skipper Partridge’s patrol, some of it with Alf Traeger, of pedal radio fame includes what is today the Tennant Barkly Patrol


1933 Partridge patrols with Alf Traeger


Australian Inland Mission’s Welfare Club, Tennant Creek

1934  From Alice Springs, Skipper took John Flynn on excursion. At a Tennant Creek meeting he, (John Flynn) said he was keen to see a Welfare Club established as soon as possible to give practical help and support to the men and women pioneering in the field.
Wednesday 13 March 1935
The quarterly meeting of the AIM was held in Sydney.
Among the many matters considered was a report from Rev K F Partridge, Patrol Padre for Central Australia. In his report he stressed the urgent need for something of a practical nature to be done in Tennant Creek, where there are approximately 400 men and also some women and children, on the scattered field, with no work of a religious or welfare type being done amongst them.
Prospects point to the Tennant Creek field being a very stable one for some years to come, and once the batteries are operating in earnest the population will increase very considerably.  a very strong recommendation was made to the board to provide a welfare centre of some kind. Rev. John Flynn presented his plans, specifications and quotations for a suitable building, and the Meeting agreed to the proposed building being erected at the earliest possible date.
In order that the AIM may be able to carry out this religious and social work at Tennant Creek, a special appeal is to be made for funds to carry on the work. (Meeting notes)
1935   While on “deputation work in New South Wales. He (Skipper Partridge) took the opportunity to challenge his listeners there … to help with his dream of establishing a welfare hut at Tennant Creek.”
Financial support was received, to such an extent that the AIM informed “Skipper” Partridge, when he set off for the bush again, that the AIM could proceed without delay to build at Tennant Creek.
march 1935 original block offered – half acre 500yards south of  hotel, west of line, opposite Thompson’s benzine depot
July 1935 – donation by R Schmidt,  Block 102 – a business block provided for under the Mining Act and measure 80 feet by 140 feet. (quarter acre) The block is situated in the centre portion of the township and adjacent to the ES&A Bank, directly opposite the new administration buildings which consist of Post Office, Police Station and Warden’s Office. (letters)
29 August 1935 … Letter AIM to Sidney Williams in reply to quote “we have pleasure in placing our order for this building at your quoted price of £463 plus sales tax, covering the building as specified, delivered to Alice Springs. NT and erected in Tennant creek. It is noted that we are responsible for cartage from Alice Springs and also for the sand, gravel and water for the foundations”
The  Sidney William’s Comet steel-framed prefabricated construction, was like what was ordered by the Government for the hospital, school, post office, police station and several residences.  When it arrived, the local tradespeople were not pleased that there was yet another building to work on, but because all the materials and fixings required to erect the building were on site, the building went ahead.  The civil servants at the time, were non too pleased that the Welfare Hut went up more quickly than their buildings.
The Sydney Morning Herald – Saturday, 21 September 1935
Welfare Building to be Erected
Early this year when prospectors were flocking to Tennant Creek goldfield,
the board of the Australian Inland Mission decided that a Welfare Club
building would be useful for recreational purposes. As soon as this became
known in Tennant Creek a landholder gave a block of land in the main
portion of the township. Plans and specifications of a suitable building were
prepared, and the building is being shipped from Sydney today by the “Westralia”
for Tennant Creek, via Port Augusta.The dimensions of the building will be 63 feet
by 35 feet over all. The total cost will be about £750. Mr John McKenzie who returned
in July after twelve months service with the Australian Inland Mission at Broome,
has undertaken the position of welfare officer at Tennant Creek for the first year.
14 October 1935   Mr. J. McKenzie, a lay Missionary (formally at Broome WA)  was appointed and instructed to travel to Tennant Creek with the first of the building material, which had arrived at Alice Springs.
Materials for the building came from Sydney by ship to Port Augusta, rail to Alice Springs and Mr J Barton’s truck to Tennant Creek.
photo bush shelter
26 October 1935 Report from  J McKenzie to AIM – “as you can see by the address I have arrived here on the goldfields. We have some 400 men right here on the spot and many more on the diggings with 6 to 8 miles, who come into town at week-ends only. We also have 37 married couples, 40 children, 27 being of school age and the school is just about completed. and may start before the end of next month. Our building has commenced, but at the moment I am only working from a bush shelter and have already calls for books etc.
The building, (Welfare Club) will contain a billiard room, reading room, library, living room,store and a hall to hold about 50 folk. so you see I’m going to be busy indeed. Gold has been got here daily but the cost of extraction is indeed high – some 80,000 ounces since the commencement of the field. Water is a severe drawback and costs 7/6 for 40 gallons and has to be drawn from a well 6 miles out of the township. foodstuffs are pretty high in price – bread 1/-; sugar 1/- per pound; jam 1/8 per tin; cabbage and cauliflower 3/- each;and potatoes 1/- per pound.”
The Sydney Office team has adopted the Tennant Creek children for Christmas and later for books etc. In response to the query regarding the numbers in November 1935, McKenzie sent a telegram – 35 girls, 30 boys; (17 girls and 23 boys between 8 and 14)
29 November 1935 McKenzie  moved into the living quarters in the new building, and added that the Ladies Committee have now in hand £42 for the Christmas fund.
Basic lighting was with Coleman lanterns with benzine at 4/2 per gallon at Tennant Creek. Electric light was also supplied from the Ice Works next door. It was expected that this would be more satisfactory when Mr Allen and Mr Jock Nelson, the new owners took over and overhauled the plant.
5 December 1935 McKenzie had paid for 200 gallons of water at 7/6 per 40 gallons for the mixing of the concrete. At present the Rev Beckett (FMIM) is at Tennant Creek and he may stop here until  the wet season is finished.ays that the Rev Harry Griffiths is on his way to Tennant creek and then i have the Rev Smith of the Church of England speaking here on Sunday 15th. The building, kitchen and store, private room and hall are complete ceiling being placed in recreation room and library; guttering and tanks in progress, also cupboard being erected in kitchen.
later in December he advised that there were 3 – 1,000 gallon tanks and that Ron Hughes-Jones who has the water lorry has donated 1,000 gallons of drinking water. (In 1935, Tennant Creek had only 365 points of rain)

group photo

1935 December Rev Arch Grant Arrives in Tennant Creek with his new wife Erla as the first resident Patrol Padre (Minister) in the Tennant Creek area.

group photo

7 January 1936 124 points of rain fell followed by a week later another shower of 145 points and the tanks are 3/4 full. the rain much heavier north and south of Tennant Creek and both north and south roads were cut.

flood photos

14 January 1936 McKenzie advised “building completed to original specifications”
When the building was complete, it was furnished with a small billiard table, library, reading and writing room, and facilities for the men to shower.  The central area was cemented and the entire building was surrounded by a wide verandah.
27 February 1936 McKenzie gave a months notice, stating that the weather was telling on him but would wait for his successor to arrive. His February reports told of his role in the forming of a sub-branch of RSSILA (later Returned Soldiers League RSL) and using the Welfare Club’s room for their club. This he said took the the men from the other end of town, where the only attraction was the hotel and gambling schools.
15 April 1936 H D Gibbs appointed, leaving Melbourne 21st. (arrived Tennant Creek 28 April 1936) – owner of Billy the fox terrier

1936   Barkly Patrol Federal Methodist Inland Mission  based in Tennant Creek
1936 A.I.M. Welfare Hut opened 12 July 1936 (or 11th??)
Official opening of the AIM Welfare Club Hall at Tennant Creek Goldfields NT by Mr A. MacAlastair Blain  MHR  on Saturday 11 July 1936 at 3.00pm.
Mr Blain arrived early in the afternoon, followed by representatives of all mining companies and business interests. the general public rallied in great force for the occasion. The building was beautifully decorated, and with the loan of a first class piano to augment the orchestra, Mr Maddison conducted the musical selections.. Musical items were rendered by Mrs Harold Williams, Mr Robert Reid and Miss Sybil Wohnert. Mr Cos Greig at the piano.
Refreshments were provided and afternoon was voted a great success.
Speakers: Mr Blain MHR, supported by Mr Harold Nelson, former MHR and Mr Herbert Owen, the Deputy Warden and Chairman Major E G Clerk DSO, President of the RSSILA.
Congratulations were offered to the AIM by Mr Alex Scott, Mr Vernon Thompson for the business community, Mrs Stuttard and Mrs Catalano on behalf of the ladies. The Rev Mr Beckett, Snr. Constable Reid and Mr R Ardill on behalf of the miners. Praise for Mr Gibbs
The Welfare Hut experienced struggles.  A Mr Doug Gibbs was the second Welfare Officer (there was no minister), the first a Mr McKenzie had had to leave because of health reasons.
The Welfare Hut faced an uphill battle with things not going smoothly in the first few years.  The mining field attracted all types, including men fleeing the law, their creditors, or their wives and the hotel was the most popular meeting place.  Apparently Mr Gibbs was a specialist in hobos.  The Hut was a rendezvous for them all and Skipper Partridge, the patrol minister, was concerned that people were making use of Mr Gibbs.  (This ministry of outreach to all and sundry has continued on down the years.)
1937 – 39   Mr Kenneth Charles Walter Beckett (ex Federal Methodist Inland Mission – FMIM)  – 16 Jun 1972
The Methodist Church in Tennant Creek had its share of problems.  There was a student minister appointed in 1937.  He was popular with the local folk and got on well with his Presbyterian friends at the AIM Welfare Hut.  But there was a crisis Mr Beckett’s ministry and he fell victim to unpleasant gossip amongst the church.  This was all very unpleasant for Mr Beckett.  But his skills were obvious to Skipper Partridge and the AIM and so he was asked to take over running the Welfare Hut.
The early years were a time of struggle, with staff for the Welfare Hut, people taking advantage of the good nature of staff and unpleasant behaviours of small town such as gossiping.  But there were many positive steps taken to offer a place of Practical Christianity.  The Welfare Hut’s billiard room, library and writing rooms and recreation room were well used.  A Sunday school was established with Christmas parties offered for the children of the town.  There were regular Church Services offered by the AIM and other denominations.

photo xmas tree

Through a co-operative arrangement with the Presbyterian Church (Australian Inland Mission) the Methodist Church accepted responsibility for Alice Springs and the A.I.M. at Tennant Greek after 1937
(See: conversation between John Flynn and Harry Griffith
An Australian Adventure p127.)
1931 Rev. H. Griffiths , Katherine & later Alice Springs.
1935 Mr. K.C. W. Beckett, Alice Springs & Tennant Creek.
1936 Rev E.A. Wells, Camooweal, QLD
1937 Rev. F.J. Johncock (from S.A.) Tennant Creek.

c. 1938 …


1939 – 45   Rev. A.W. Grant. (Padre service during war)

Group photo

(‘Skipper’ Partridge based in Alice Springs assisted Tennant Creek during the war years.)
In March 1942 Dr & Mrs Straede perished while on a mercy mission to Rockhampton Downs Station. ‘Skipper’ Partridge was concerned for the person he had participated in the search and “he went to Tennant Creek to give him support and comfort.”[1]

 See also the article by Alan Caust about this unfortunate tragedy.
1941 – 45   Rev. D. McTaggert
1944 – 51   Mr. J. Reynolds
1951           Rev. W.H. Stott. (Tennant Creek Patrol)
1951 – 54   Mr. J. Reynolds – Congregation
The ministry by patrol padres (ministers) began the church’s presence in Tennant Creek.  Tennant Creek’s ministry was led by lay and ordained from the beginning under the oversight of the AIM until 1956.  The ministry of the Patrol Padre was one of serving the outback that included Tennant Creek and much more.
Since the days of Rev Dr John Flynn, the mobile “padre” has been a byword for compassionate care, counselling, work and companionship to outback families.
Tennant Barkly Patrol
The base for the Patrol is Tennant Creek which is situated in the geographic centre of the Northern Territory (1000km south of Darwin, and 500km north of Alice Springs). The Patrol extends from Barrow Creek, 220 kilometres south of Tennant Creek, north to Dunmarra (380 km north of Tennant on the Stuart Hwy), west along the Buchannan Highway to Wave Hill on the edge of the Tanami Desert, north-east to near Cape Crawford (the corner of the Tablelands and Carpentaria Highways) and east to the Queensland border. This Patrol is said to be approximately 600,000 square kilometres, the equivalent to three times the size of Victoria or ten times the size of Tasmania.
There are about 120 pastoral homesteads, most stations producing beef cattle for the Asian markets. There are also a number of indigenous communities which own and manage their stations. It is estimated that pastoral companies own a majority of the pastoral stations and have appointed managers to run them. Many pastoral stations are struggling with financial difficulties as a result of variable seasons and government decisions.
The most recent pastoral contact list divides the patrol’s focus roughly equally between cattle properties, indigenous communities and roadhouses/tourism businesses. There are a couple of agricultural enterprises in the south of the patrol; one is an indigenous owned enterprise, growing watermelons, the other produces sorghum by centre-pivot irrigation.
Another focus of the patrol’s ministry is on the people who pass through the region – be it as tourists (including grey nomads and back-packers), itinerants (including the mentally ill and other marginalized people) or temporary workers. It would seem that, despite the cessation of gold mining, all sorts of people seek their fortune in this part of remote
Australia (prepared and un-prepared).

Australian Inland Mission

1956 Tennant Creek congregation became a part of United Church in North Australia when the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches formally began working as one church on Northern Australia
(21 years before the inauguration of the of the Uniting Church in Australia in 1977)
1956 – 60  Rev. W.J. Bates. (Presbyterian) – Congregation & Patrol

1961 – 62  Rev. Roy Cosier (Margaret) – Congregation and Patrol
Roy was the first Methodist minister to be appointed to the Patrol. He was supplied a Holden panel van which he fitted out with a camp stretcher and camping gear. He travelled the Barkly before the advent of sealed roads.
The aboriginal work was an almost unique outreach within the inland mission field and was very uplifting and presented many unique challenges and inspiring opportunities.
Tennant Creek which was a rough outback mining town, known locally as “Tin City” for almost every building had a concrete floor and corrugated galvanised iron walls and roof. Not ideal building materials for such a climate, but at least the infamous termites couldn’t eat us out of house and home within 2 to 3 months!
In our first year we were given a new Holden Station wagon as a patrol vehicle and the mission board wondered why it so quickly gave up the ghost in such rugged and barren country. In our 2nd year at Tennant Creek we were given a short wheel-base Land Rover. It was fitted out with long range petrol and water tanks, but it was far from comfortable.
In the outback, anything could happen anywhere at any time and usually did. For example more than 1/3rd of Tennant Creek was severely damaged and flattened by a tornado in late December 1961 and our church’s welfare centre (which was also our home and church) became the emergency shelter for the injured and the dislodged.
I was staying overnight at Avon Downs cattle station near the Queensland border when we were advised of a serious accident to a fencing contract worker. The team had travelled into Queensland near the village of Camooweal to gather suitable timber for fencing posts. The trip started as planned but nobody had allowed for the fact that they had to drive past the Camooweal pub, twice, and that was too much for any bushman to endure and stay focussed on the job. So on the way back they all got very, very, drunk and one man started to sing to his heart’s content and was threatened with all manner of violence if he continued on. One of his mates finally picked up a hardwood Gidgee post and hit him on the head to silence him, which it did. When they got back to the station he was unconscious. As I dined with the manager and his family, along with a couple of young travellers, word came to the boss that he was wanted down at the huts. Soon after one of the workers returned to get me to go and give the boss a hand. It turned out that one of the two travellers was a nursing sister so she went with me just in case she was needed. The injured singer was still unconscious and had a huge gash in his head. We cleaned, dressed and stitched his injuries and the boss started to organise a work truck to take the patient to the Camooweal Bush Hospital and contact was made with the Camooweal police station asking for the ambulance to be deployed and meet us. As it happened my Land Rover was fitted up with a foldable canvas stretcher so I was volunteered, at 1.00 am in the morning, to take him to meet the ambulance and the nurse came with me. We ended up being only about 2 or 3 miles from Camooweal before we met the ambulance, so we kept going without transferring him.
In 1961-62 there was a small aboriginal camp of working families living in primitive scrap iron shanties and shacks on the edge of Tennant Creek. They were the responsibility of the Northern Territory Welfare Branch Patrol Officers but there was no female staff member to supervise the health care and family hygiene needs of the mothers and their young children. We soon started to hold a week night camp service with them and they got to know our family well and gradually came into town for our Sunday service. Eventually the Aboriginal Welfare Branch District Office approached Margaret with the request that she be employed by the Branch as a part time camp matron. She was told that they were well aware of our “unauthorised” camp activities and unless Margaret became a paid staff member she would have to be prohibited from going out there. This was a classic case of red tape gone mad!
the only bitumen roads were the Stuart Highway (Alice Springs to Darwin),  and the Barkly Highway (Mt Isa to Tennant Creek).  The rest were badly eroded dirt roads and such things as your current network of sealed beef roads were non-existent still.  The so called “dirt” roads consisted of atrocious bulldust in the Borroloola area; extremely rugged rocky outcrops in the mining areas; and badly washed out tracks and dry riverbed crossing points.  Getting dry bogged was always on the cards.
The United Church in North Australia was still a new-born experimental infant church, unsure of its role in life and its relationship to the older and more widely respected AIM (Presbyterian) and the FMIM (Methodist) Inland Mission bodies. 
This too made life “interesting” for the local patrol padre who was frequently forced to work things out on the ground and on the spot.  Things like letters and phone calls to established mission board head offices and leaders were not encouraged to any great extent, and “guidance” was very much a relative term.  In my case for example, established patrol boundaries barely existed and had to be worked out between Katherine, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.  I suppose these can now be called “The good old days”. [1]
1963 No appointment. – Mr W.R. Harris. Methodist Local Preacher.
Bill Harris was working for the PMG (Post Master General’s Department) as a telephone technician. He was single and boarded with the Cosier’s in the minister’s quarters attached to the Welfare Hut. With the sudden departure of Roy and Margaret, Bill was asked by Roy to become a Local Preacher – and he began taking fortnightly services. This was the beginning of his road to ordination as a deacon in the Uniting Church later.
Sept.1963 – 64 Mr. R. Eason. QLD. Methodist Home Missionary. 6 months
 The manse was built on the block immediately south of the Welfare Hut.
Many of them (Aboriginal folk) used to worship in the Uniting Church and the children came to Sunday School and Religious Education in the schools. While I was there, the new manse was built for the UC but we met for worship in a “Sydney Williams” hut, one building being used for worship another alongside was the Pastor’s residence.
1964 – 67   Rev J. O’Reilly (Methodist) – Congregation & Patrol
In January 1964 the O’Reilly family – Rev. John, wife Shirley and sons Ian, aged 7 and Lindsay, aged 5 – were the first occupants of the brand new Manse – a prefab building set on 9’ high stilts – and reticulated water had just been turned on in ‘The Tennant’.  
Members of the Congregation were performing final welcoming tasks at the new Manse and also commented “The AIM has asked us to use funds in hand to furnish this house.   We were saving to build a Church. You are going to do that for us, aren’t you!”
Such a proposal was news to me!
At least every alternate week and sometimes each week, I would conduct Scripture classes at the School on Monday mornings and set out on Patrol in the Land Rover on Monday afternoon.   I would return on Friday or Saturday in order to maintain regular weekly worship in Tennant Creek itself.   The exception for this arrangement came when I needed to go beyond the Barkly Tableland to the Gulf Region, to Borroloola and beyond. 
In August 1964, Fred Soars, an engineer at Peko Mines, came to me with some drawings showing an A Frame Church.  “I believe you want to build a Church”, he said. “We could build this ourselves”.  Fred was persuasive, got me on side and then began the business of negotiating with the AIM (who owned the land [at that time]) and the United Church in North Australia Board (who had appointed me to Tennant Creek) and MIM (who were finally responsible for my upkeep).   We tangled and wrangled for 12 months and in August 1965 Fred brought a surveyor mate on to the spare block to take levels.[1]
Ian O’Reilly (John’s Son – a Child of the Manse)
I lived in Tennant Creek for 4 years, from when I was 7.
We were the first occupants of the brand new manse, one of the better houses in Tennant in 1964. It had a huge central air conditioner. On hot nights we used to throw mattresses on the hall floor and sleep under the aircon outlet. It was elevated, and Lindsay once fell off the front verandah when we were lying on our bellies dropping stuff onto the ground. I have a clear memory of seeing the soles of his feet getting smaller as he fell away from me. He fell on his head, and drew blood, but (somewhat miraculously it seems to me now) didn’t even need to be hospitalized.
In our first few months there, a 10 year drought broke. There were children in town older than me who had never seen rain. Needless to say, everyone went mad. Kids were running around, dancing in the streets. The water running down the gutters was red with Tennant dust, and Mum quickly learnt to keep some old shirts and shorts aside for us to wear when it rained – they were permanently stained ochre.
We had a gang of mates that rode pushbikes into the bush. One of our pastimes was hollowing out old anthills to make forts. The dreams were always bigger than the reality, but we did create some impressive edifices that included bough shelter verandahs added onto ant hill hubs.
Aboriginal friends always impressed, even at that young age, with their easy athleticism. One of the kids in my class could jump his height in high jump, and they could all run faster than me.
The old church, of corrugated iron construction, was built on a concrete slab that had a step down from the front vestibule. When it rained heavily (not very often) water used to run under the front door and into the body of the building, where it gathered in a broad, shallow pool that had nowhere to drain. I remember paddling in the church in bare feet.
In our time the new A frame church was built. Lindsay and I helped construct the foundations, and our names are in the commemorative book to prove it. He was braver than me and climbed up the frame, to Mum’s consternation. We used the channel iron for the roof as straight race tracks for Dinky cars.
Dad used to be away a fair bit on Patrol. Once I was recovering from mumps and couldn’t go to school, but was well enough to travel, so I went with him. I remember holding a thorny devil in my palm and meeting Aboriginal stockmen sitting on a fence at a cattle station.
 New manse built by AIM 1962
New Church built 1964-65 ($10,000 provided by AIM for cost)
1966 Present Tennant Creek Church building opened

New Uniting Church 1965 –

Welfare Officers, Congregation and Patrol Ministers

 Tennant Creek – AIM Welfare Club opened 11 July 1936
1935 –                Mr J McKenzie  – first Welfare Officer
1936-1937        Mr H D Gibbs – second Welfare Officer
1937-1939        Mr Kenneth  Charles Walter Beckett – third Welfare Officer (Ex Federal Methodist Inland Mission)
1939-1945     Rev. Arch W Grant – First AIM Minister (Padre service during the war)
1941-1945         Rev. D McTaggert Second AIM Minister
1944-1951           Mr J Reynolds Welfare Officer
1951                    Rev W H Stott ( Tennant Creek Patrol)
1951-1954       Mr J Reynolds – Welfare Officer and congregation
Tennant Creek – AIM  work integrated United Church in North Australia from 1956
1956-1960   Rev William J Bates  AIM Minister (1953-1958?)
1961-1962   Rev Roy Cosier
1963     No Appointment – temp Mr William R Harris (Methodist local Preacher)
1963-1964  ”      ”     temp Mr R Eason  Queensland Methodist Home Missionary
New Uniting Church opened 1966
1964-1967   Rev John O’Reilly (Methodist)
1968-1973  Rev Lloyd Shirley congregation (Methodist)
1974 – 1977 Rev N Place  congregation (Methodist)
1978   vacant
1979-1980  Mr William Harris
Official Name change – from AIM to Uniting Church National Mission Frontier Services
1980-1981 Mr Keith Hendry – congregation and Tennant Barkly Patrol
1982  Mr William Harris
1982-1987  Rev Richard Miller
1986 Welfare Co-coordinator Mr Trevor Zschech
1985-1991  Patrol – Rev Dr Fred Vanclay
1987  vacant –  congregation supply by retired Deaconess Lorna Stvenson)
1988     Rev Neville Clarke – congregation
1992- Patrol Rev Michael Ellemor
1996-2003  Rev Lena Perkins – Patrol and congregation
2006-2012  Rev Elizabeth Warschauer (Tennant Creek Uniting Church)
2006-2012  Rev John Flaherty   Patrol Minister
2012             Rev Peter Wait  (Tennant Creek Uniting Church)


Finding God in the Wilderness: A Short History of the Tennant Barkly Patrol
 Compiled by Rev John Flaherty Patrol Minister 2006 – 2012
 “Camel Train & Aeroplane” by Arch Grant  … patrol maps
The Sydney Morning Herald – Saturday 21 September 1935
Tennant & District Times
 Inlander at Heart:The Story of Arch Grant by Joy Grant Hicks
Personal communication with Roy Cosier
[1] Taken from a personal communication with John O’Reilly
[2] Taken from a personal communication with Ian O’Reilly
“A Summary of Ministry, Tennant Creek, NT. 1935-1982”  by Joan McLean (33 year resident of Tennant Creek)
Attribute to Australian Christians – Rev. Bruce Plowman
A Social and Structural History of Four Australian Inland Mission buildings in the Northern Territory, prepared by Barbara James for the National Trust NT 1989