Father of the Flying Doctors
For Outback Australians the Reverend John Flynn is an iconic figure. Working as a church minister in Central Australia a century ago, Flynn gained an understanding of the vast distances and special needs that outback living entailed. Aspects of daily life that city people took for granted, such as communication and basic medical services, were often unavailable to residents of remote areas. Illnesses and injuries that would be quickly dealt with in a town, could prove fatal in the Outback. Flynn's tireless lobbying of church and government authorities brought about significant reform, including the establishment of what we now know as the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This pioneering service gave the men and women of the interior what Flynn called a 'Mantle of Safety', and, just as importantly, a firm sense that their needs mattered. Flynn's Grave therefore stands not just as a memorial to a man, but to the ideals of bridging the gap between urban and Outback Australians.
Flynn's Grave is found at the foot of Mount Gillen, 7kms to the west of Alice Springs. Mount Gillen was named after Francis J. Gillen, a prominent figure in the history of Central Australia. He worked closely with the anthropologist Baldwin Spencer to produce some of the most influential accounts of late-nineteenth, early twentieth century Aboriginal Australia.
- The memorial grave of John Flynn
- The brilliant views of Mount Gillen to the south
- The views of the West MacDonnells trailling off to the west.
Further links and information about the surrounding area:
Alice Springs was established by the early explorers and remains as the centre of activity in this region. From the early 1900s, the vast desert of Central Australia was explored for its promise of rubies and gold. Today, north of Alice is an adventure travel destination where visitors can still fossick for gems and explore the Australian desert while trekking, camping or four-wheel driving.