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No. 8

No. 8 - February 2011... Tom's message

Dear Farina Friends,

It is just three months to "action stations” at Farina. It is fascinating how all persons who have been involved in this program have come away excited - and with stories to tell. For instance, the excitement of Dianna and Lesley in 2010, delicately "pointing" (that’s replacing mortar between stones), in the kitchen of the old Police station, diverted their attention to clearing 80 years accumulation off the floor and discovered PATTERNED LINO shining at them.
The “Finn" girls, on the 2009 program, when shifting rubble at "Bells" store, unearthed an intact front door step, and a Bank of S.A. baked enamel sign, with its white background and blue letters shining like new. And of course playing cricket on the original sports ground, not to mention HOT bread and buns emerging from the old Bakery

YOU WERE ALL PART OF THIS (and much more)

2011 offers similar scope in further identifying and telling the Farina Story, which we have done so successfully to this stage. We will have some 8 different work projects offering scope for all types of skills and encouragement, blokes, girls, and of course our work experience groups.
R.D.O.'s are encouraged, the work sites are SHUT DOWN at weekends to allow cricket practice (we were runners-up only in 2010), flights over Lake Eyre, visiting the bright lights of adjacent townships, and one of the highlights of 2010, Kevin and Anne’s conducted tour of the Station property on Sunday, or just putting your feet up.

Thanks to the 30 early bird respondents to the "first call" nominations for attendance in 2011. It is now VITAL that others advise Tom A.S.A.P. of intentions to be with us to enable program and campsite planning to proceed in detail, either write to Tom's address or email Tom using the links on this site

A later newsletter will talk tools and other things to bring. Things to look at now are that your caravan fridge is working OK on gas as these overload our 230v power supply. Re-supply of foodstuff and other expendables is from Lyndhurst, Copley, and Leigh Creek. Plan 4 days food stocks. Remember we provide workday midday meals, morning and afternoon teas. There is usually reason to do pick-ups every 2nd day. Whilst Medical Services are available at Leigh Creek, ensure you have adequate supplies of your special medications as these would have to otherwise be sourced from Adelaide or Port Augusta.

The Caravan Industry Victoria, are pleased about the Farina activity having been initiated by Victorian Caravanners and through their CEO Peter Wright (on our mailing list), and their executive, are considering sponsorship for us. The first part of this will be to provide us with an information booth at the forthcoming Melbourne Caravan Show at Caulfield racecourse from Thurs 10th of March to Tuesday 15th March. Our staffing is in place and our display is being arranged. It will be a replica of our information booth panels at Farina - plus DVD's. Tom will make a "comeback" to the show main seminar stand with a one hour daily “Touring Inland Australia” presentation, which just might happen to have a Farina flavour interspersed with it.
No. 9

No. 9 - March 9, 2011... Rob Brownlee

2011 works season

It is just six weeks to "action stations” at Farina. The work program for 2011 will be for 3 weeks:
Week 1. Sunday 1st to Saturday 7th May,
Week 2. Sunday 8th to Saturday 14th
Week 3. Sunday 15th to Sunday 22nd.

Note that the “Farina Festival Weekend” is on Sat 21 and Sun 22 May, and includes cricket, wool-shed capers, food and fun.

We have currently 50 early bird respondents to the "first call" nominations for attendance in 2011. If you are tempted to join us it is now VITAL that you advise Tom A.S.A.P. of your intentions to enable program and campsite planning to proceed in detail. Either send the attached form (Volunteers Details for 2011.doc) by email to Tom.
A wide ranging works program from building stabilising, stage 1 of the rail precinct (there are multiple tasks there), tourist handling, including the "Historic Bakery Cafe", managing our own campground ( at the Shearers Quarters) and of course RDO's are permitted and encouraged. Remember the aim is to have a fun program!!!!

Camping/Caravan Equipment.
We will be sending out more detailed notes on preparing for your time at Farina and particularly regards tools and equipment in the next Newsletter. In the mean time consider the following items. Make sure your caravan fridge is working on Gas. There is limited power available for lighting and other low current items, but not fridges, compressors or any other high power items. There is water for drinking and washing, but it is advisable to always carry a supermarket 10 litre
container full of drinking water. Food re-stocking is easy --via Leigh Creek Copley or Lyndhurst by individuals or group excursion. It helps the program if the “early birds" arrive on or before the first Sunday.
The weather is usually mild and sunny, but be prepared for cold nights (they did not happen last year) and the possibility of rain.

Caravan and Camping Show. Melbourne March 2011
A team of volunteers were present at the “Farina restoration Group” stand throughout the show. The volunteer team of Lindsay (given medical leave after doing a masterly job of organising us there - right down to the last drawing pin !), Steve Coleman, Jim Payton, Syd and Gail Hulland, Bob Brownlee, Barry and Bron Jacquier, Marie and Tom Harding did a great job there in promoting us. The stand layout proved to be a public "stopper" and made our function as receptionists very straightforward. We were "blown" away by the Public response, both in generating new contacts - and revived interest, where they
had previously been there – both to Farina and in our project. A job very well done!

Part of the aim of the stand at the Caravan Show was to solicit finances for our
programs. We sold 29 Gibbers to Ghost Town books and 7 Postmarked Farina Books, which cost us $505. We "sold" walking trail marker posts to map the railway lines in the Railway Precinct ($15 each) and received donations - resulting in financial receipts of $1100. The net proceeds were $595. In addition the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (through their CEO Peter Wright) donated a very generous and valuable sponsorship of $5000.

Another issue that became clear at the show is the need to encourage the appropriate tourist authorities to promote Farina in their literature and list us a tourist attraction. Look forward to seeing you at Farina.
Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 10

No. 10 - April 4, 2011... Rob Brownlee - Special edition

Farina Quilt.
We will raffle the “Farina Quilt"as a fund raiser for our Farina Projects.  
The quilt will be raffled by The Farina Restoration Group Inc. with the winning ticket drawn at the woolshed function on Saturday 21 May 2011 at Farina Station SA.
Tickets are $2 each or $5 for 3 tickets can be purchased from Lyn by sending an email to her and requesting tickets. Tickets will also be sold at Farina during the work program in May 2011.

The quilt was made by Lynette and is approx 1.9 x 1.5 metres in size.
Tom advises that in this years program, there is an increase amount of metal work. He would like to know of volunteers with ARC welding skills - some medium steel plate and 2mm and 4mm RHS work.  Also we will need to make a number of "ground signs" - router cut on treated pine background. Are there any tools and skills available in that area?  We are establishing a metal and woodworking workshop in the shearing shed this year to minimise the need  to do it the hard way out in "the paddock"
Please advise Tom via email or 03 52613099
No. 11

No. 11 - April 16 2011... Bob Brownlee

Notes for members of the Farina Working Groups in May 2011.

Camping is at the shearers quarters near the wool shed after Sat 30th April in the afternoon. Drive through the public camping area in the creek and proceed 600M North of the creek. It may be quite cold at night. Recent temperatures are 6-25 degrees. Bring some wet weather gear in case of rain.
240V power is supplied from 8am to 10pm but you must not use high current appliances such as heaters, toasters or jugs. Your fridge must be powered by gas or solar. Gas refills can be arranged. The shearers quarters have hot showers, toilets, washing and laundry facilities. You are responsible for your breakfast and evening meals except that a camp oven roast meal is provided on Wednesdays. (Bring a camp oven if you have one). On weekdays morning and afternoon teas and lunch are provided. 5pm is happy hour!

Carry 3-4 days rations and long life milk. Resupply is at Leigh Creek approximately 1 hr to the south, but shops are closed Sat pm and Sun. Take all your medical prescriptions with you. Drinking water (tank water) is available, but most carry 10L of drinking water with them.
Carry work gloves, a lung sleeved shirt, hat, and fly net (the flies can be bad but they were not last year), a flashlight, working boots or sturdy shoes. If you have a hand held CB radio, also a 240V generator bring it with you if you have space.

If you can bring a spade, a hand chipper to clear weeds. Bring your own hand tools to support your personal skills.
Working at Farina is fun. You can take days off work, and no work is done on Saturdays and Sundays. Lake Eyre flights from Marree are recommended. A 4WD tour of the Farina Station property is usually available on one weekend and is rather special. Mobile phone (and text) reception is sometimes possible. Call the station homestead phone (voice recorder) after 28 April if you need to send us a message or use the station email (above). Advise Tom through the station phone if your previously stated arrival date changes.

The best priced fuel is usually at Peterborough at the Caltex station. Fuel is available at Hawker, Copley, Lyndhurst and Leigh Creek. Make sure you have a full tank. If you arrive before Sat 30th April advise Kevin or Anne at the station.

In a later newsletter we would like to acknowledge the generosity of all the donors to this years program, however we are very pleased to receive a direct funding support grant from The South Australian Outback Community Authority. They also acknowledge our work to this project, and our contribution to the history of South Australia.

More later. See you in Farina.
No. 12

No. 12 - Hello Farina Group Supporters,

June 12, 2011... Bob Brownlee

Farina 2011 has come and gone with so much to show. The clearest word picture of our outcomes of the past three programs, was delivered recently by Brenda Honan, Business Services Manager of Outback Communities Authority, Port Augusta.
She states –
The work completed at the Farina Heritage Site is a credit to all involved. The works have reinvigorated what was an abandoned piece of South Australia’s history, and created a positive symbol for the Lyndhurst Community and surrounding areas to be proud of
She goes on to say, “On behalf of OCA, I would like to congratulate the Farina Restoration Group for their committed efforts on the Farina Stabilisation Project".

I say thank you to Brenda for her succinct description of “what we are about”. Up till now, I have had great difficulty in explaining to strangers, in a brief statement, just what we ARE about. The 2011 program in May 2011 allowed us to:-
  • Complete the War Memorial precinct by installing a handrail and walking path up a rocky escarpment to the monument.
  • Change 100 hectares of grass and saltbush paddock back to a represent 1880’s and 1950’s narrow and standard gauge Railways Precinct.
  • Demonstrate through the skills of our S.A Bakery Industry team that bakery products from an 1890’s oven are equal to any similar 21st century gourmet creation.
  • Rescue one sandstone building that was vulnerable to instant collapse to a heap of rubble, and stabilise against it against further short-term decay.
  • Commence the preservation of another sandstone building also in a dangerous state; to allow longer term preservation to be implemented on future programs.
  • Recognize the contribution the role of the Farina Roman Catholic Community by 1) Locating the site of their Church, 2) by a pergola and storyboard describing its history. This was Blessed by Father EJ of the Bulloaroo District Parish on Sunday 22nd of May.
  • Be hosts to Tourists / Caravanners / campers through our reception centre and bakery café staffs.
  • Create a warm hospitable campsite environment through the skills of our Shearers Quarters Hostesses, and back up persons, with lunches morning teas and campfires. Even though the facilities were stretched to its limits.
  • Recognise the need to regularly “Housekeep” the facilities that we have upgraded with “gardening” work around buildings and at the War Memorial and Cemetery. It will be a basic function in our future programs.

  • Have generated $17,000. Gross (costs still coming to hand) in fundraising through the reception centre, donations, book sales, bakery cafe, Farina festival day proceeds and Lynn’s Quilt raffle. Special note: Daphne Shirley, a daughter of a former Farina Stationmaster, won The “Farina Quilt”. On Monday 16th May, when she visited with her son Mark Shirley (one of the cricket teams coordinators), – with her family inspected the ruins (Rubble) remnants of where she had lived.
  • Display the level of efficiency of our wood and metalworking teams – assisted by the added resource of the woolshed workshop - in building the various field structures that were needed.
  • Have had the involvement of work experience students from Marree Aboriginal School; Leigh Creek Area School and Ron Johnsons Aboriginal Adult Trainee Group from Copley, this was helpful and again, a great experience.
  • Bring together a widely spread outback community for our "Farina Festival" day involving the cricket match (I think we won), communal meal and great entertainment.

Finally thanks are due to Kevin and Anne for their substantial assistance and tolerance for the disruption to Station Life – which had to go on in spite of everything.
Each year we enter new territory, we had several pilot exercises this year. All worked to produce real “outcomes”. Sometimes there were varying opinions on “the process”. These are not lost, and will be considered in “how and what” we do in the next program.
Each and every participant should have a warm and fuzzy feeling about having given input and seen the results to this amazing place Farina.
To all our volunteers, you have the sincere thanks of the FRG committee.

Kind regards, Tom and Joan.

A final note from your news correspondent.
Progressive volunteer attendance and hours for each year of our project were as follows:
2009, 35 persons, 1300 volunteer hours; 2010, 61 persons, 3500 volunteer hours;
2011, 65 persons, 4440 volunteer hours. These totals do not include work experience and trainee groups.

Help!! Has anyone got an Old Ghan cattle wagon, steam train, and 3’6” track in their back yard.
No. 13

No. 13 - Hello Farina Group Supporters,

August 13, 2011... Bob Brownlee

The dust has almost settled on our 2011 endeavours. Syd and Gail passed through Farina on their way to 80- mile beach and assure us that all is “looking great”.

Lots of activity is happening at the committee level to set the 2012 program on a firm footing, with Tom working out at how to present the history of the town (see below) on the ground.

Near the town a totally new historic precinct (the Farina settlement 1860-1885) has been unearthed. Its centre is located 1km east of the War Memorial on the North bank of the Farina Creek. Lindsay Gould is delving deeply and finding a parallel story to the Canning Stock Route and a series of wells. Maybe we are
discovering the Great Northern Stock and people Route, also supported by a chain of wells of which the early Farina Settlement and Government Gums was central. See Lindsay Gould’s notes in "Citizen's stories".

Bill Collins has even found a bushranger to add to the “mix”, and Bob B (ancient Bob) is adding to his list of features to best represent the railway precinct.

The dates for 2012 are now firm with a 3-week program from Sunday 22 April to Sunday 13 May 2012, with the Anzac Day Dawn Service on Wednesday 25 April and the Farina Festival on Sat/Sun 12 and 13 May.

Volunteers will be able to nominate the days that they wish to stay in Farina. Those wishing to attend the special days at both ends of the program may wish to leave and do some travelling for some time in the middle weeks and return.

A 2012 questionnaire is attached to help you start your diary planning. Tom will be reminding you about it when it becomes urgent. Because of 2011 overloading of Shearers Quarters Services, we will be limiting that area to 15 campsites and reserving a selected area of the campground as an optional volunteers area, but with access to Shearers Quarters for laundry, showers, campfire, morning teas and lunches. I have a feeling happy hours and campfires will happen at either or both or rostered locations. That campground does have its own special appeal!

Regards, Tom
No. 14

No. 14 - November, 2011... Bob Brownlee

Hello Farina Group Supporters,

Toms message:
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our Supporters.

2012 Volunteer Participation at Farina
It is time to specifically request information from all volunteers of their intention to participate in the 2012 program at Farina.

Working group dates for 2012
Week 1 Sunday April 22 to Saturday April 28
Week 2 Sunday April 29 to Saturday May 5
Week 3 Sunday May 6 to Saturday May 13

ANZAC Day is on Wed 25 April and the Farina Festival Day on Sat/Sun 13/14 May.

The Dawn Service at the War Memorial on Anzac Day will be followed by a traditional "gunfire” breakfast. There will be a GOLF Competition on for an Anzac Day (ladies and gents). Please tell us if you can bring a 5 iron and a putter (or your Bag) and be part of it. There is a request for information on the questionnaire about golf.

Volunteers will be able to nominate the days that they wish to stay in Farina. Those wishing to attend the special days at both ends of the program may wish to leave and do some travelling for some time in the middle weeks and return.

Again there is scope for each person’s skills and energy. We stress that the input level and time must be regulated personally according to ones condition: it can be -hour on - hour off or half-day stints and lay days. (All the weekends are rest days) We can effectively use stays of any duration to fit your touring program.

Because of 2011 overloading of Shearers Quarters Services, we will be limiting that area to 15 campsites and reserving a selected area of the campground as an optional volunteers area, but with access to Shearers Quarters for laundry, showers, campfire, morning teas and lunches. I have a feeling happy hours and campfires will happen at either or both or rostered locations. That campground does have its own special appeal with shade and grass. (Limited power may be available).

2012 Works Program
  • A new precinct along the creek “the Early Settlement Precinct”. We have located wells, bores, and storages from the 1860-1870's and remnants of the original township pre dating Farina, which we will define and tell the story.
  • Exciting extension to railway precinct with Pichi Richi group at Quorn possibly providing sheep and cattle trucks (needing renovation) and teaching us to lay railway lines. This is currently under discussion.

  • Continuing to restore the iconic stone buildings in the town, which define the town of Farina including restoring the best-preserved residence “Moffatts House”.
  • Further activity with the bakery serving tourists, the Leigh Creek police, and the Bakery café.
  • Emphasis and need for hosting tourists (and Volunteers) as our township scope expands.
  • Renovating the GOLF Course for an Anzac Day Local and District and lay day Competition. Please tell us if you can bring a 5 iron and a putter (or your Bag) and be part of it.
  • Continuing works on the railway precinct to define the cattle yards and the sheep loading area.
  • Restore streets in the town to present some of the street grid system.
  • Planning and preliminary works for the Amenity block for the campground at Farina Station to provide facilities to encourage tourist busses to come to Farina.
  • The woolshed joinery and metalworking workshop will again be busy: more pergolas and signs, and also train rolling stock restoration.

Farina Promotion
We will be promoting Farina at both the Adelaide Feb 22nd to 26th inc (Adelaide Showgrounds) and Melbourne March 8th to 13th (Caulfield Racecourse) - Caravan Shows. . FRG greatly appreciates the extensive support being offered to our project from the Victorian and South Australian Caravan Industries Associations. Help is needed for people to be there on the show days. Peter Harris (08 8431 6030) will co-ordinate SA, Lindsay Gould (03 9729 1236) will coordinate Melbourne. Hours are likely to be 10am to 5pm and we need a minimum of 3 staff per day to provide relief. We have an effective Display Kit plus handouts and book sales. You will be surprised at the level of interest: it is a good volunteer recruitment opportunity also. Staff can be in half-day units to suit individuals. Ring your local co-ordinator and discuss.

2011 DVD
A DVD of 2011 program will be available shortly. This will be mailed free of charge to all 2011 participants. The Farina Supporters who did not participate in the program at Farina this year should send a cheque for $5 to Tom Harding (address above) to covering supply, packing and postage, It will also be available at the Caravan show stands.

Regards, Tom

News Items
The Farina Cemetry:
You can see the work that the Newson cemetery team accomplished in 2010 and additional name entries in November 2010 on the www. The Australian Cemetery Index have copied our boards at the cemetery. To see their entry click on australian cemetery index farina. search for Farina, They have acknowledged the work of the Farina Restoration Group.

SA History Story
Pauline Cockrill of South Australian History has written a story about us which can be seen at by clicking Here.
No. 16
No. 16 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

Tom’s message - April 2012

This is the final note before we "land" at Farina: and the "gibber" is green! There are fish in the creek.

Items to bring
  • Working/walking boots, mosquito net and repellent, hat, golf clubs and/or tennis racquet - for comp or social play, especially on ANZAC Day , - and your campfire entertainment gimmicks.
  • Hand held CB radio, (don't go out and buy one!)
  • Gardening tools - for chipping/clearing weeds, good gardening gloves, camp oven - if you have one and your normal work-skills kit of tools.
  • Food, gas, fuel resupply is quite routine (except at weekends) so don't overstock on perishables. Leave your chainsaw in your vehicle if you normally carry one, as there will be wood gathering trips to keep the bakery oven HOT.

  • Make personal nametags: emphasising your first name.

Expect it to be sunny during the day, cool to cold overnight (blanket).

On arrival
  • Call on channel 17, and or drive thru the old town to the campground and you will be "picked "up.
  • Emergency contact: Kevin and Anne Dawes Farina Station 08 8675 7790.
  • Email

We look forward to you joining us.

(I will also try to monitor the group email address.)
Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 17

No. 17 - June 2012... Toms message.

Twenty-one days of blue skies and sunshine (in May) provided a great backdrop for our 2012 work program at Farina.
Seventy-five Caravanners/Campers/Volunteers, two professional stonemasons and Leigh Creek Area School work experience students contributed 5,296 Volunteer hours to our stage four work program at Farina form April 22nd to May 14th 2012.

The special component to this years’ program as the ANZAC Dawn Service at our War Memorial honouring the Farina Service Men and Women who defended our Commonwealth in the two World Wars.
It was a very moving occasion with distinguished contributions both at the War Memorial and the Bakery Gunfire Breakfast, which followed.

In the three preceding days, the Farina Golf Course and tennis Courts were restored to excellent playing conditions, and tournaments were played as in earlier years thus restoring some of the early Farina traditions.
The Bakery and Historic Bakery café were again fully operational, to the gourmet delight of tourists and volunteers alike.
The 2012 Results.

  • Gardening and maintenance teams gave detailed care and attention to the War Memorial Precinct, the Cemetery (which is looking the way a Cemetery should), and the town buildings.
  • Our catering groups again contributed strongly to group morale, serving morning teas lunch and weekly camp oven roasts.
  • The Information Centre was very efficiently staffed with a wider range of Farina merchandise. The presence of volunteers in the Information Centre and the Bakery café is very important to the Farina Restoration Group. The committee think it would be sensible to combine these functions in the future.
  • Our fund raising activities through these groups and the Farina Fun day generated over $13,000: an excellent and necessary resource for our program.
  • The major construction components of the 2012 program were: -

  • Stabilisation and reconstruction of the Moffat House. Our stonemasons and volunteers have over the past two years programs converted a dangerous leaning structure and heaps of stones into a representation of a special domestic dwelling of the early 1800/1900 period: a quite remarkable achievement.

  • The rail two level sheep loading ramp and yard was reconstructed. This century old timber ramp was 90% destroyed and in bad repair, and now stands proudly awaiting the arrival of a two level sheep transporter rail carriage from the Pichi Richi group at Quorn to be placed in the loading position. A culvert crossing approach to the loading ramp, which was non-existent, has also been rebuilt. These projects reflect great credit on the shills of our group.

  • The Early Settlement Area consisting of the Gums Waterhole of the 1850 to 1870’s is being brought to life by identifying and describing the early sites. Early surveys highlight the struggle to provide water for stock, people and the rail system. In this area three pergola-mounted storyboards have been erected describing the role of the two wells, their pumping systems, and the (failed) Artesian bore. A one kilometre-walking trail is now in place, including trail markers, telling the amazing story of skill and endeavour used to provide water through the early years. Future work in this area will extend the walk to the creek; this will complete a very special part of the Farina Story.

Again in 2012 we were able to host schoolwork experience students and both give them experience in a series of skill areas and experience the pleasure of working with the older generation.

The final Saturday again was a highly successful district festivity with cricket match and a social get together. The Lyndhurst Progress Association catered for the evening meal and it was a pleasure to catch up with that group again. Kevin and Anne again did a fantastic job in facilitating the day and preparing the cricket trophies.

The 2013 Program. The outcomes of the 2012 Program at Farina again are a credit to all who shared in it. The Farina Story becomes more complete with each activity. A change in style of our program will need to progressively occur as the Precincts become more complete in the future. They will soon need only maintenance rather than development, carried out by smaller groups but spread over-say- 6 weeks, to give exposure to an increasing number of both volunteers and tourists.
Specific construction, stabilisation, and similar tasks would be allotted to teams for nominated weeks. More emphasis will be placed on the Bakery and Reception; these would operate across the whole period. We feel we should nominate 14 days as the longest continuous work exposure for us “oldies”. There would more be scope do split weeks with the extended program.

The Shearers Quarters are not available early as in 2012, as Easter and shearing are will be late April. With smaller Groups it is likely that we make a section of the Camp Ground our main base.

We will develop a program Outline for 2013 ASAP to assist in your planning. We have built a base for this ””Farina Experience” “ It has a real future, given that we nurture it carefully.

Regards to all Tom
No. 19
No. 19 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

The 2013 Farina work programs

Overview of the 2013 program
As outlined in the last newsletter (#18) we will use smaller groups in 2013 with more specialised tasks associated with construction, hosting, reception, bakery, maintenance and stabilisation.
This year there will be three smaller Program teams of volunteers, each team active over a 2 week period, giving a total of 6 weeks, with about 25 persons per period. There would be selected supervisors who would "overlap" the periods to ensure continuity of the programs. We believe that the smaller groups would be more manageable. All volunteers would camp in the campground so that groups would not be split up.
We will amalgamate the reception and the bakery Cafe area to a site near the bakery. This would use our volunteers more efficiently as the roles do overlap significantly.
We hope to acquire significant additional equipment over the near future to enable the maintenance, construction, bakery and living area to be more efficiently run.

2013 Schedule
Our work program will span six weeks and will be divided into 3 sub-programs each of two weeks commencing SUNDAY MAY 5th and concluding SATURDAY JUNE 15th.
Program 1 Sunday to Saturday May 5 to May 18
Program 2. Sunday to Saturday May 19 to June 1
Program 3. Sunday to Saturday June 2 to June 15
Sat/Sun June 8/9 District Cricket Challenge Days
Sat/Sun May 11/12 Golf and Tennis Tournaments.
Attached is an Volunteer Advice/Questionnaire sheet about your attendance at our 2013 program. Whilst it is still five months away, EARLY INDICATION THAT YOU WILL BE WITH US in May /June helps us greatly in our planning.

Recent Developments
In order for our work to be less labour intensive we will purchase or hope to have donated a range of equipment.
• Ride on mower
• Purpose built grounds maintenance trailer
• Camp kitchen trailer
• Bakery and café marquee
• Bakery kitchen caravan
The last item will be quite expensive, but it is considered essential for professional production of bakery items. The purchase of some of this equipment has been made possible through a successful grant application and the expert skills of our trailer building team, however we still need additional funds.
We are in close liaison with Oodnadatta Progress Association. At present it is likely that we will “sublet” Syd and a team to replicate at Oodnadatta our War Memorial Precinct during this program. This invitation to work at Oodnadatta reflects great credit on our Farina activity.
2013 Program
At this stage the proposed 2013 works are listed below.
• Our extended grounds / walking trails maintenance
• Rail carriage restoration
• Goods shed loading ramp rebuild
• Pergola and street sign builds
• Essential building stabilisation program (over 6 weeks)
• Bakery and visitor information activity
From past experience, a one to two week “stint” is about our durability; with the six week program this gives scope for those who choose to do so “go Walkabout” and return later for a few more days work or just rest. We reckon the ideal number on site at any one time is 25 to 30 volunteers.
Weekends will be “lay days” except for our Bakery and Reception, where rosters will be staggered to enable a weekend program to host tourists.
This is our first trial towards the time when our “development” activity will be reduced, and our energies will be directed to maintaining the Farina we are re-discovering and stabilising it for the long-term future, and presenting it to the public in an exciting and informative way.
There will be a co-ordinated program between Pichi Richi, Steamtpwn and Farina in early March 2013 to relocate the railway equipment and position it at Farina to enable restoration and fine tuning the work programs in May-June 2013.

Our work would be impossible without support listed below both financial and in kind.
• Laurie Kalms formally of Marree Hotel fame.
• Mike and Dot Griggs, of Griggs Caravan Sales and Services in Adelaide.
• Rod Francis of Australian RV Accessories, Ferntree Gully, Melbourne and Andrew Gallop, proprietor of Hardings/Swift Caravan Services, Kilsyth, Melbourne, for the joint donation of an INSTANTANEOUS GAS HOT WATER SERVICE as a facility to our Camp Kitchen.
• Steve Walsh, a former Ballarat Grammar School colleague of Rob Olsten, for to transfer of ownership of their Camp Kitchen (which we borrowed in 2009/2010) to us at a generous concessional price. Steve has done significant work at Farina, including the manufacture of the campground “donkey” HWS
• Pichi Richi Railway at Quorn for assisting us greatly with long-term loan of Rolling Stock (a double decker sheep wagon) and technical guidance as we move into another phase of activity.
• Steamtown at Peterborough for working with us on our Railway Precinct development.
• Geoff Fulwood of Quorn who brought the original Farina Road Train back to Farina on the Cricket Day 2010, for again assisting us generously with transport equipment to enable the transfer of the Rail Rolling stock to Farina for the 2013 program.
We thank all of our donors and sponsors: it is absolutely obvious that they are essential to the Farina restoration Project.

Farina on the www.
Look at
Thanks to Phil Lannan and family we now have an official web site.

Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 21
No. 21 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

Feb. 2013 Farina Work Program
As announced in Newsletter#19 the WORK schedule is shown again below.
Our work program will span six weeks and will be divided into 3 sub-programs each of two weeks commencing SUNDAY MAY 5th and concluding SATURDAY JUNE 15th.

Program 1 Sunday to Saturday May 5 to May 18
Program 2. Sunday to Saturday May 19 to June 1
Program 3. Sunday to Saturday June 2 to June 15

Volunteers should be aware that they don’t have to conform to the “program calendar” 14 days; they pick the arrival and departure days to suit them even if the program 14 days doesn’t fit. We would encourage them to go on their own “walkabout” and return even if just for the June 1/2nd Festival Cricket Fun day or two. Everybody is entitled to enjoy the program outcome.

The two sporting weekends announced in the Newsletter #19 were not practical due to clashes with other district activities. A modified “Volunteer form” is attached to this email to reflect the date changes. The Golf and tennis courts will be open during the whole program for volunteers use at weekends or on your chosen “lay “days.

The Cricket / Open day will be held on 1st June. We have the opportunity to make it a Glen/Jane McGrath PINK day. Mark Shirley in conjunction with the Port Augusta Cricket Club can provide the PINK KIT for use on occasions such as ours. It also means the local community can directly support the appeal.

The work Program
We will have upgraded bakery/cooking/servery/hostessing facilities. Tourists and visitors arrive over the whole 7days a week, so we will expand our rosters to appropriately service them.
We will be looking critically to developing the system of presenting, maintaining, promoting, and us enjoying the Historic Farina in years to come along with the Tourists on an extended season.

Of course this year we will be continuing the building stabilisation program. The stone buildings are iconic of Farina.
The development of the railway precinct will be greatly enhanced by the donation of Rail rolling stock which will be restored and positioned. We will also re-establish the Blacksmiths area as a Farina Relics location, Out of interest the blacksmiths area can be clearly be seen near the Post Office on Google Earth.

We be presenting the Farina Story and recruiting volunteers at Caravan Shows and we don’t want to overstock! Look for us at Adelaide and Melbourne Shows
Lindsay Gould
03 97291236 is Melbourne Show Organiser
Peter Harris
0418 818 838 is Adelaide show organiser
Please tell us if you are volunteering this year and fill out the Volunteer Form
As mentioned in the recent Newsletter#19 we will all be camping on the creek on the grass. We are working on a camp kitchen trailer, two portable toilets and additional mowing and generating equipment to simplify the works. We are also going to have a bakery kitchen caravan and a marquee to enable safe preparation and presentation of the bakery products and the information centre.

We need four 9kg Gas cylinders (in or out of 10 year date) as to have full spares available on site at all times.

Farina in the News
An article prepared by The National Archives of Australia with Peter Harris called “Your Memento”, on Farina restoration, has now been published:
Any questions call Tom on 03 5261 3099.
Finally please fill out the Volunteer Form!!!!
Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 23
No. 23 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

To the Farina Volunteers in May/June 2013

 A final “note” before we all arrive at Farina
Water is precious at Farina right now.    Bring your 2 x 10 litre Supermarket packs: also endeavour to arrive with full caravan tanks. Replenishment with non-drinking is available. 

Fly nets, gloves personal name tags emphasising Christian names, personal medications and first aid kit.

Hand held CB (if you already own one). 

Campfire entertainment, camp oven (we “pool” these for a weekly feast (we provide the meat).

Urgent communication is via Kevin and Anne Dawes. 
08 8675 7790

Prepare for the weather to be mild by day and cold by night.
We use channel 17 as a worksite communication.  On arrival call  - and some one will pick you up, but proceed through the old township – follow the campground signs.

We look forward to you joining us. 
Kind regards   Tom and the team!!!!

Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 24
No. 24 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

The two wagons were delivered and positioned at Farina on Monday 6 May 2013
Marking an historic day for the Farina Restoration Group. The wagons were made available to the FRG by Steamtown at Peterborough and The Pichi Richi railway at Quorn, both in South Australia. Geff Fulwood Transport of Quorn and Roger of Clare Cranes provided transport and crane work. The FRG gratefully acknowledges the generous help of these groups.

Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 26
No. 26 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

The following detail summarises the events of 5 May to 15th June, 2013 at Farina.

Bakery Cafe Marquee
A Pagoda style Marquee of high grade construction was sourced and purchased. This become necessary to provide of an appropriate work venue for our Volunteers. It is 6 metres square and stands on a concrete slab. The slab was laid (4cu.metres) on the 9th and 10th April by six volunteers with preliminary work carried out by Kevin and Ron Johnston.

Bakery Food Prep Van
Specification, funding and contracts for manufacture were put in place between programs. The Unit was not ready according to our required timeline, and whilst this was disappointing; it in no way impeded the Bakery activity and Sales. We now have a clear picture of how it will integrate with the new Marquee and Bakery for our next program.
The Bakery Caravan is now available and will be transported to Torquay for sign writing by 20th July approx. before being moved to Adelaide, where Martin will establish its hire potential during our “off” season.

Volunteer Numbers
Volunteer numbers on site for the respective fortnights of the program were:
  • Program 1: 32 volunteers

  • Program 2: 35 volunteers

  • Program 3: 24 volunteers.

A total of 80 volunteers attended, contributing 6,200 volunteer hours to the project. We now have contributed a cumulative total of just in excess of 21,000 volunteer hours over five programs.
In addition, we had Work Experience students from Leigh Creek Area School, and Whyalla High School and our two professional Stonemasons.

Equipment Additions
Equipment additions to the FRG this year were:

  • Camp Kitchen – We purchased the Ballarat Grammar School Unit we have added an awning and flyscreen walls and Café bar. It is proving to be an effective relocatable morning tea/ campfire amenity.

  • Pagoda Type Marquee – This now provides an excellent Reception / Café area. It will Integrate with our ‘Prep and Serve’ Food Caravan in the future to provide a controlled Hygienic food dispensing area.

  • Ride on Mower, Trailer and Sprayer Unit – for Walking Trail and grounds maintenance teams.

  • Trailer mounted Work Bench with fitted Drop Saw – for field construction jobs.

  • 6 KVA Diesel Generating Set – for lighting supply or fixed location usage.

  • Two Portable Chemical Toilets

Railway Rolling Stock
Following many months of Administrative and onsite liaison with Picchi Richi and Steamtown, our aim to have Original Old Ghan Railway units back in their original working site was achieved on day ONE of this years program. Aided by Jeff Fulwood and his Roadtrain expertise, and Roger Kennedy of Clare Cranes, Kevin with his Backhoe and Bookley on the Bobcat.
The restoration work that followed on the Sheep wagon, exceeded all expectation in both the quality of finish and time in which it was achieved.
The Loading Ramp which highlights the FLAT TOP Freight Wagon at the Goods Shed location, was another masterly reconstruction.
The placement of these original Old Ghan Rolling Stock units back in actual working locations adds significantly to the Farina story. Through promotional storyboards, we have also described the historic linkage and importance of Picchi Richi (Quorn) and Steamtown (Peterborough) with Farina to the Narrow Gauge Rail System of Nineteenth Century Period.

Blacksmiths Area

Phase one was implemented. This was careful use of a bobcat to help expose ‘buried’ treasure. Erecting a nine metre display bench for small items. Signage and front fencing. This will enable the development of the next stages of displaying many of the relics being discovered.

Wells Walking Trail
Commenced in 2012 – the trail has now been extended to the Railway Bridges, but also incorporating a ‘short’ trail of 1.5kms round trip, as well as a 2.5km trail and a further option to the Railway Precinct. The Trail is very effectively signposted.

Stabilisation Program
This concentrated on the Transcontinental Hotel, which although having significant attention previously, was in need of urgent attention. The Railways Guards Cottage likewise, was in need of urgent attention Substantial Volunteer hours were applied to both these buildings.

Bakery Program
We were able to support a program of servicing Tourists with the combined Bakery Café Reception Facility. We were handsomely serviced by four separate bakery leaders – each displaying ‘flair’ by adding their own special items to the menu – much to the surprise of our customers. (And we appreciated the special ‘sweets’ addition to our camp oven roast nights).

Grounds Maintenance
This was carried out in all areas as needed. The very dry conditions being experienced meant there was very little grass growth, and both the Cemetery and the War memorial precincts, barely needed attention.

End note
The FRG Committee says thanks to all participants, including several who work off-site, being unable to attend in May; others who work both off and on-site; and all those who turn up and put it all into effect during the program. We need you all, and each can claim part ownership of what is achieved on-site.
This year we have again received great financial support from Sponsors, and also in-kind support, with comments like “You do your thing up there I will do mine for you down here (quote Des Tebbs).
We thank the ABC “Landline” crew who spent a couple of days with us and produced a great program about our work.
The group was going to donate the “takings” from the cricket match to the McGrath Foundation. Since the cricket match was cancelled due to rain we donated the bakery takings ($300) for that day to the foundation.
The tentative dates for 2014 are May 4 to June 15, 2014, with the Bakery operating also in the SA school holidays in July.(6 to 20 July, 2014). It is also possible that there may be a “blitz” weekend with a large group of volunteers working on the stabilization of the buildings at a date to be decided.
Regards to all, Tom.
Bob Brownlee. Farina News Correspondent.
No. 28
No. 28 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

Welcome to our new “addressees”. Many of you have expressed interest in the Farina Restoration Group after seeing Landline on TV , which has told part of our story very well. There are other unfolding mysteries which we are uncovering, as you will discover as time goes on.

To those of you who have expressed intention of being working volunteers, please complete the attached Volunteer form and return as soon as possible.

Those of you who have expressed a particular interest in Stonework, should note that our Stonemason Leaders are on site only during weeks 5 and 6.

Forms can be returned by email either to Tom or to me.

  • Use our respective contact forms on this web site.

  • Or you could post by regular mail to Tom.

The volunteer form is attached in both PDF and Word form, but if you have difficulty please do not hesitate to contact Cathie by email.
All must be aware that we expect you to manage yourself, and work on and off the job according to your fitness and strength.
That may mean 2 hours on, 2 hours off, or half day stints! Our systems encourage this.

Weeks 7 and 8, are the S.A. School Holiday period. Our main emphasis there is maintaining the Farina image, and providing a very active Bakery, café and visitor reception and site maintenance. All this is important to our fundraising. It requires a team of about 20 persons and can be on a one or two week stay basis. We work on half day rosters.

Tom will give you a call with more information, after receiving your form.

Some of you may have received and responded to the call for volunteers already. I am hoping to improve my system but with the silly season upon us it will have to wait until next year.

No. 29
No. 29 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

Here are some of Tom’s notes made during his recent reconnaissance to Farina with Bob Brownlee and Peter Harris in November.

Replacing Ghosts With Real People:

  • Previous committee strategy in deciding the next component of Farina to develop or redevelop has been to refurbish the lost elements of the early township. In doing this, past history associated with structures is reappearing. The desire now is to add the “people factor” to these sites. For example, a story board sited between Bell’s Store and the Exchange Hotel will tell the store history of the town through the Bell and Mansfield family connections and of life at the Exchange Hotel through its people and happenings. This is a work in progress.

  • Progressively we plan to do this where ever we can gather material about blacksmiths, farriers/ saddlers, police - anybody who lived and worked in Farina.

  • This is done through pergolas and story boards at the relevant sites. Each of these cost $1500. Sponsorship from three FRG members and two supportive organisations have enabled five of our pergola/storyboards to be planned and built.

  • Amongst our 300 + supporters are a growing number of descendants – we invite you singly or as collective family groups, to talk to us about presenting and honouring your family’s heritage at Farina, by this method.

This is how we are removing the ghosts from a ghost town. We are replacing them with real people and their stories.


  • The priority of doing things in our programme is now greatly influenced by funding availability. Nominated sponsorship enables immediate action.

  • To this end we welcome” S. Kidman and Co” through their General Manager, Greg Campbell, as a major sponsor. They fit the above categories very obviously and are sponsoring the renovation of the 1880’s cattle wagon (arriving for the 2014 programme) and the re construction of the original cattle loading ramp. Welcome aboard Greg and Company.

The Farina Bakery:

Our present bakery/food preparation system does NOT meet 2014 Health and Food handling standards. If scrutinised officially, it would be closed down. The process to date has proven to us this an important part of the Farina story and our ongoing fundraising.

Positive decisions taken were:

  • We are going to continue to present Farina to the Australian community
  • We will upgrade our Food processing method to the benefit of volunteers and customers.

  • Under guidance of our Baker in Chief, Martin MacLennan, a purpose built Bakery Caravan has been designed and built.

  • In future, baking only will happen in the underground bakery. Preparation, storage and serving will be done in the Bakery Caravan, which integrates with our cafe marquee by means of a 4 metre long server wall opening into the cafe.

  • Tourists will be welcomed and managed in the bakery.

This will not be a cost factor to the existing Farina Restoration Group budget.

It has been enabled by a group of volunteers providing personal loans, forming a Funding Syndicate on a $5000 fixed deposit basis (reviewed annually). The base cost was $35000 with expected final costs of another $10000 approximately.

  • Without this facility our bakery/cafe has earned in excess of $10000 net for the previous 2 years.

  • In the off season, July to April, it will be available for public/commercial hire in Adelaide, managed by Martin MacLellan.

  • Without this facility we risk being closed down

  • We owe it to our volunteers to provide an optimum work place

  • We are in this for the long haul.

Tom and the committee wish all our wonderful supporters a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

No. 31
No. 31 - March 2014. Hello Farina Group Supporters

It is hard to believe that it is only eight weeks until the 2014 programme at Farina starts.
This year we are staffing very specific numbers for each week. Weeks 2 and 3 are fully staffed but there are still opportunities in weeks 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
If you would like a Volunteers Registration form please email me using the "Contacts" page on this site. If you are looking for specific dates please email Tom Harding using the relevant contacts form on this site.
I have attached a copy of the Farina Volunteer document for your information. Would those coming to Farina for this year’s programme please bring this with you. It will be discussed at the induction on your first day. There have been some important changes made to this document regarding access to fuel and supplies so please replace this if you have already received an earlier Volunteers Information Document.

The Festival/Sporting weekend will be held over the weekend of 31 May and 1 June 2014. Everyone is welcome to attend this. I believe it is a lot of fun!

Tom and the team have been working hard over the last three weeks staffing the Farina Restoration Group stand at the Adelaide Caravan Show - and, just in the last few days, at the Melbourne Caravan Show. There has been a lot of interest in what the Farina Restoration Group is doing - many people have seen the Landline programme on TV. It has been especially wonderful to have so many of our existing supporters making themselves known to those on the stand and terrific to welcome new supporters.

No. 32
No. 32 - Hello Farina Group Supporters

It is less than a month until May 4th when this year’s work at Farina begins. There are a few vacancies available now, in Weeks 1, 4, 6 and 8. Please ring Tom directly, to expedite communications, if you are interested in helping to make a difference to our favourite outback ghost town.
Tom’s number is: 03 5261 3099.
A reminder to everybody about the fuel service available in the area – there have been some changes:

  • The Lyndhurst Roadhouse is closed
  • Diesel is available from a self-service pump at the Lyndhurst Hotel, which accepts cash or card. Open from 7am – 10 pm.
  • Fuel is available (diesel and petrol) at Copley from Cooke’s Outback Motors. They are open Mon to Fri 8 am – 5 pm, Sat 8 am – 2 pm, Sun and public holidays 9 am – 1 pm
  • Gas cylinder refills can be obtained at Leigh Creek South Motors, “swap and go” or refill - $44.20 for 9kg
  • Leigh Creek South Motors also sells diesel, petrol and vehicle LPG.
  • Open Mon to Thurs 8am - 7pm Fri & Sat 8am - 8pm Sun 9am - 8pm PHONE (08) 8675 2016

On that note, could everyone going to Farina please fill all the gas bottles you have before leaving home. Places such as Bunnings in the city sell gas refills at a much cheaper price. If you can donate or lend filled gas bottles to the cause it would be much appreciated. You will be reimbursed for the gas by the Farina Restoration Group.
We need additional spare 9kg gas bottles at Farina. If you have a surplus and can help please bring them with you. Bunnings will exchange out of date bottles.

Tom and his committee are asking that couples and/or individuals “adopt” and nurture (maintain, present and protect) a feature at Farina, on a continuing timeline or basis. Leaders at Farina will have a list of suggestions.

Could those coming to Farina please bring a name tag with you, emphasizing your christian or preferred name.

Everyone should have a copy of the volunteer information. If you haven’t, please let me know and I will send you one. Remember to take a copy to Farina with you.

Don’t forget to check out our great new website, which has been created and maintained by Rob Fairweather, who has done/is doing an amazing job.

Tom’s Notes on Farina’s Development

We are at the “succession” stage, where we move from a predominantly find-fix-restore-present stage to a maintain-display-present phase, but still with an eye to progressively finding and fixing new discoveries as they are unearthed, and adding their stories to the Farina package.
Much planning has happened off season to provide a basis to enable four team leaderships to manage and implement separate stages of the 2014 programme.

The groupings are:
  • The Camp Leader Group managing two core roster groups
  • Bakery, café and reception
  • Handyman/ Workshop Team

Project Groups this year are implementing a toilet upgrade, cattle wagon restoration, cattle ramp rebuild, new pergolas and blacksmith area upgrade. These projects are spread across the total programme, managed by Project Leaders who have been pre planning projects and will apply their particular skill areas “on the ground”.

2014 Leadership Teams:

  • Weeks 1 & 2
    Camp Leaders - Barry and Bron Jacquier
    Leading Hostess – Lorraine Short
  • Weeks 3 & 4
    Camp Leaders – Michael Pinyon and Bob Moffatt
    Leading Hostess – Marie Harding
  • Weeks 5 & 6
    Camp Leaders - Geoff Holloway and Bob Brownlee
    Leading Hostess – Shirley Murray
  • Weeks 7 & 8
    Camp Leaders – David and Liz Linn
    Leading Hostess – Julie Bolton

All members of the leadership team are well experienced and competent to ensure good outcomes with their teams.

No. 33
No. 33 - Hello Farina Supporters and Volunteers

How you can “enable” our 2014 programme

In implementing our 2014 programme we are encountering some budget difficulties.

There are two elements to our cost structure:
  • What people recognise as Capital Works.
  • The general running costs to maintain and present Farina and implement those Capital Works

This has cost an average of $44,000 for the past three years. The Farina Restoration Group has done some significant fundraising each year and, due to reduced sponsorship and unplanned maintenance, we contributed $22,000 to the programme in 2013.

We expect to contribute to the budget each year but there are limits to our income. Accordingly, we have taken steps this year to slightly reduce our Capital Works programme. Over the past three years we have received a regular Government support grant of $5000 in recognition of, and to support, the Schools and Trainee Work Experience Programme which we offer to the local community. This year our budget has been hurt by a “change of rules” causing the withdrawal of this grant. Regardless, we will continue to provide the work experience opportunity to the local schools in 2014.

Significant support has been provided by Sydney Kidman and Co; and a spontaneous donation of $3000 from Dick Smith, who gave an earlier unsolicited donation of $2000 in 2010. Each of these donations will be appropriately recognised.

Over the last year we have applied extensive effort to preparing an OH&S Manual for Farina, based on new Government requirements. In order to implement the programme there is a list of required equipment which we deem applicable to the Farina situation to the quoted value of $3250. These are basic safety items such as first aid kits, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, signage, high visibility jackets and so on. In seeking Government funding only one authority shows any interest, and only providing it can be demonstrated to be an innovative OH&S venture – so we don’t fit!!

The time and travel which our volunteers donate is substantial. For South Australian family’s it is at least $600, and for interstate family’s up to $1200, depending on distance travelled and days spent on site.

The provision of our Preparation Caravan to the Bakery area has no effect on the Capital Works budget as it has been independently funded by a volunteer group funding syndicate.
Please consider where you can assist us with a financial contribution towards this miscellaneous list of items:
  • Petrol, diesel and LPG to keep our generating sets operating at the bakery, shearers quarters and workshop and field projects for 8 weeks. ($2250)
  • Freight – the transport cost of material from Port Augusta to Farina ($750)
  • OH&S items. There is a minimum selection of items we MUST purchase (Total quote $3250, minimum spend $1500)
  • Paint - 40 litres is required. A 100 year old cattle wagon with timber sides consumes a lot of paint at a cost of $40 for 2 litres ($800)
  • Extras – we want to progressively build “sleeper” seats at various rest points around the site, for example the cemetery, the bakery, and selected spots adjacent to pergola story boards.
  • Also two seats and a picnic table at the wells walking trail by the creek. Two sleepers to make a seat ($25) and six sleepers to build a table ($75)
  • Printing of 2000 Handout Visitor Guide Sheets ($550)

Donations can be direct deposited at any bank to:

Farina Restoration Group Inc
  • BSB 015 206
  • Account Number 5323 53675
Please forward your bank receipt by mail or copy by email so we can receipt and acknowledge your contribution (see email and postal addresses below)

Donations of $25 and over are tax deductible. This is made possible through the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal with whom we have tax deductible status.

Alternatively, please make a cheque out to:
FRRR a/c Farina Restoration Group Inc and forward to :
  • Bob Brownlee (Treasurer)
  • PO Box 2029,
  • Ivanhoe East
  • Victoria 3079

Email : See Rob's contact form

A recognition of all donations will be made in a later newsletter.
Contact me if you would like more specific detail,

Tom Harding (Programme Co-ordinator)
Phone: 03 5261 3099 or 0418 300 597
No. 34
No. 34 - Hello Farina Supporters and Volunteers


All the rain which has fallen in the Farina area has encouraged much new growth.
The walking paths are quite over grown and will require some work to get them back “up to scratch”.
Could volunteers please bring the following equipment if you have it:
  • Whipper snipper
  • Long handled secateurs
  • Metal tined rake

A fly net would also be a good idea as the flies will probably have hatched!

I have attached a copy of the poster for the Cricket Day. Among the fund raising activities there will be a “silent auction”. Any donations for this would be most acceptable.
Please email Anne and Kevin Dawes if you are able to contribute, or phone 08 86 757 790
No. 35 (Report on week 1 and 2)
No. 35 - Weeks 1 and 2)

For the early weeks of May the first fortnight’s group of over 30 enthusiastic seniors enjoyed the physical and social activities associated with restoring the history, stabilizing the buildings and maintaining the town of Farina for us and other travellers to enjoy.  We had the most wonderful team and it was great meeting up again with old friends and getting to know the many new volunteers interested in the Farina project.

This year we had a magnificent, new, custom designed mobile bakery caravan - 30’ of state-of-the-art calorie making machine.  Fear not, we haven’t compromised the authenticity of baking in the 103 year old underground bakery and scotch oven, but to satisfy health regulations and enable the bakers to meet the unbelievable demand, we needed a more efficient preparation setup and facility for baking smaller delicacies.  We had a timely visit from a South Australian Health Officer the first week and got a big tick of approval. 
Our bakers are volunteers who have retired from baking but love to come up and have ‘a play’.  Each baker comes for a week and bakes his own special preferences as well as the usual bread, buns, sausage rolls, pies and pasties.  Thus we are treated to croissants, custard tarts, hedgehog slice, bacon and egg pies, iced finger buns, muffins, scones etc.  Where else would you get a 15” fat pastie for $12?  The café and information desk was very busy in the two and a half weeks we were there.
Of equal importance was the wonderful effort put in by our construction team and maintenance people.  During this time, the construction crew renovated the toilet block in the campground with the station owner, Kevin Dawes.  More notice boards were erected near the walking trail and a large pergola and double notice board installed near the bakery.  The group is very fortunate to have the skills of volunteers who are welders, builders, electricians and plumbers just to mention a few trades.  The efforts of everyone who comes are put to good and varied uses and are very much valued.  The walking trail was cleared and 5 new sleeper seats and 2 picnic tables were installed along its path.  It is a very beautiful and easy walk.  The regular maintenance clearing around the police station and Transcontinental Hotel was also undertaken and much painting of notice boards was done. 
The site was prepared in the rail precinct, for the positioning of a cattle truck which arrived on the first Monday of the second fortnight.  Also, an updated inventory and stocktake of the group’s equipment and supplies was undertaken. 

During the first week we enjoyed the company and labours of 4 work experience students from the Leigh Creek Area School, who were brought up daily by their technical studies teacher, Colin.  The boys were involved in all areas of activity on the site and were a pleasure to have with us. 
We were also visited by Ben Boothby, the Project Officer for Flinders Ranges and Outback South Australia Tourism Commission.  Ben stayed overnight and left the following day having been actively involved in the erection of the bakery information pergola.  He spoke to our group at happy hour. He was very enthusiastic and positive and keen to widely promote the Farina project. 
Our stonemasons arrived week 2, so volunteers set about pointing for them.  Ron comes up daily from his home in Copley and Peter comes and stays in the shearers’ quarters.  Some of our volunteers love the stonework aspect of the project and try to time their stay for when the stonemasons are here.

Each Wednesday evening a camp roast was put on for the volunteers and the station owners, Kevin and Anne, join us.  They very kindly donated shoulders of lamb for our roast in the second week.  Apart from enjoying the eating, the smell of the cooking all afternoon wafting through the camp was wonderful.  
All volunteers were rostered around the different domestic, camp maintenance and bakery café and information desk duties.  It is a pleasure to have such positive and enthusiastic people.  There were lots of laughs and joking around, sharing of stories and experiences.  Everyone had plenty of spare time to do their own sightseeing of the area and visit the metropolises of Leigh Creek and Marree.

Volunteers were able to view Kevin cattle mustering on one day and to join with him on a 4WD station tour the next.  
A definite highlight of the stay was the emergence of some musicians among us. Newcomers, Noel and Virginia Robinson played the ukelele and lagerphone and accompanied Peter Cram playing his guitar.  We all sang along to old favourites during the daily 5pm happy hour around the fire.  Peter has been coming for some years and we didn’t know he was a closet entertainer.  He wrote the terrific song that is printed with this newsletter and which captures wonderfully what we are all about.

Bron and Barry Jacquier 
No. 36 (Cricket match)
No. 36 - (Report from Martin Maclennan, our Baker in Chief)

Ian Riches and Martin MacLennan have just returned from the North, and once again the spirit of Farina has woven its magic.
Martin would like to thank all those fellow volunteers that worked together to spread the load and create the wonderful memories.
This year (2014) has seen a large increase in turnover / profit that has proven the restoration program self-sustaining as we maximise the potential of the new food van and marquee.
It is important that the history of the real bakery remains the focal point of the visit, and Margaret Blackman worked tirelessly and with good humour to ensure that the history was passed on. The entries in the visitor book which have been copied and provided to the Secretary pay testament to the job that Margaret did.
Martin would like all the bakers out there to consider what, if any part they would like to play next year and advise accordingly so that he can begin work on the roster for 2015.

To avoid having to rise early every morning in 2015 we will implement a rotating roster where one baker starts with support at 5.00am and the other takes over at 10.00am and vice versa the following day. Where any baker wants to work for two weeks we will ensure there is a two day break over the middle weekend.            
We now also have a Facebook page! Farina Restoration Group Inc

Cricket Match
The now annual cricket match and social weekend celebrates the many years of cricket played at Farina against teams from Beltana, Copley and Marree, usually followed by a dance.
(See newspaper article at the bottom of Citizen stories)
Cricket matches at Farina have been noted by Rob Olston, in his book Farina – From Gibbers to Ghost Town, as early as 1887.
One of Farina’s visitors this year was Ian Bidstrup who was moved to write the following poem.

It was outback at Farina that a cricket match was played,
Where Farina V the World teams talents were displayed,
A record crowd attended, and under cool and cloudy skies,
Lunch was served before the game of home-made finger buns and pies.

The World team was a mixture of some who’d played a match or two,
The rest shanghaied or volunteered, to them the game was something new,
Umpires were selected, and with their counting stones in hand,
Staggered to the pitch to start the game, and at each end took a stand.

Farina’s team consisted of men and women off the land,
They took to the field undaunted by the pools of water, rocks, and sand,
Their casual reassurance was a worry, they carried with them cans of beer,
As their batsmen strode onto the pitch they gave a sort of leer.

Their opener was resplendent in moleskins and big bush hat,
Long and lean and confident, and a dab hand with the bat,
He hammered runs around the field, hit balls up to the sky,
His team mates followed nicely and set the run rate high.

When the World team finally went in to bat it, was clear they were outclassed,
Their days of playing winning cricket was a memory long past,
Some say it’s not the winning, but the way you play the game,
But losing to Farina’s lot, well somehow it’s just not  the same.

As wickets crashed around us we were stumped, run-out and caught,
Hit by balls in places that we never thought we aught,
We came off with cuts and bruises, but still with heads held high,
It wouldn’t do to let the locals see the World team cry.

Was it only 20 overs each, it seemed like much much more,
Today my body’s not the same, every muscle’s stiff and sore,
The game was played with passion, by no means were we disgraced,
Although we had the will to win, our talent was misplaced.

© 2014 Ian Bidstrup
No. 37 (Week 3 and 4)
No. 37 - (Week 3 and 4) reported July 22, 2014

Thanks firstly to Bron and Barrie for holding the fort when the arrival of Michael and Bob was delayed, and also for the systems they had put in place to ensure the camp and bakery operations ran smoothly, and make it easy for us to step into their shoes.
This was also helped by good humoured cooperation between a good mix of old friends and new recruits throughout our two weeks.
The bakery continued to do great business, although operations were disrupted for a few days by the failure of the gas oven in the new caravan. While this somewhat limited the range of products, the bakers were able to satisfy customer demands using only the 19th century technology of the wood oven.
A new unit was eventually trucked to Leigh Creek, picked up by two of our volunteers, and manhandled at near midnight into the caravan in time for preparation of the gourmet pies served on the cricket day.
In addition to cleaning and "woodman" duties and provision of morning teas, camp activities included very popular camp oven roasts on the two Wednesday nights. Happy hours were also popular, and while we were unable to unearth any musical talent, we were treated to a nightly joke from "Captain Kangaroo".
We suspect that the groans following some of his punch lines could have been clearly heard by Kevin and Anne at the homestead!

With a kick start from Sid Hulland before his departure, a dedicated crew of skilled people made great progress on renovation of the cattle truck which had been delivered during week 2. This included removal of rust and old paint, removal of the old roof, manufacture and installation of a new roof, repairs to a damaged door, and a good start on repainting of the unit.
Peter and Ron continued work on stabilising the third Police Station, supported by a number of volunteers who tried their hand at pointing. With help from Kevin and his front-end loader the stone fence shown in an old photo of the station was salvaged and rebuilt, and the stone building at the back was partly excavated to floor level.
A number of artefacts were found, including bottles and cattle tags. Finishing touches were put on the new information boards at the bakery and at the first Police Station on the Northern side of the creek. Repairs were carried out on the sheep ramp, and re-flooring which had commenced last year on the sheep truck was almost completed, limited by the supply of suitable timber.
Sump oiling of the narrow gauge loading platform was also finished.
The old skip which was originally used to feed coal to the pumps at the railway reservoirs a few kilometres up the line, and which had been restored by one of our volunteers in Adelaide, was delivered and installed in the railway precinct.
Efforts put into mowing, "de-stoning", and filling in of rabbit holes at the cricket ground seemed as though they may have been wasted when heavy rain fell during the afternoon and night prior to the match.
The next day dawned bright and sunny however, and the ground and surrounds dried out sufficiently to allow play to commence close to the scheduled time. While Farina ran out victors in a hard fought match, their celebrations were delayed by a fine rear guard action from the opposition's last pair.
Finally, thanks to Kevin and Anne for their hospitality, and their unstinting support for all our activities throughout the fortnight.

Marie Harding, Michael Pinyon, Bob Moffatt
No. 38 (Weeks 5 to 8)
Team Leaders report for weeks 5 & 6 at Farina

Leaders Shirley Murray, Bob Murray and Bob Brownlee.

The leaders took on the roles of Site Supervisor (BM), Café, Bakery and camp duties (SM) and project management (BB).
Of course there was overlap in these roles and the cooperation of the three leaders enabled the smooth running of the programs.


We had 48 volunteers for week 5 and 28 for week 6. We had an extremely harmonious and hardworking team. All members volunteered when needed for the roistered duties at the café, cleaning and cooking duties including the camp roasts. The volunteers had the skills needed for building, metal and woodwork, and painting (Michelangelo) as required. We had a great team of bakers who did a magnificent job. The groups that organized and prepared the two camp roasts were particularly appreciated.


  • Cemetery maintenance and weeding the graves
  • Police station: building up the corner stonework, building a dry stone wall, cleaning up and delineating the site with posts and wire boundary markers
  • Cleaning out and pointing the garage, stables and cells near the Police Station
  • Cattle wagon painting
  • Finished making and positioning the flooring in the sheep wagon.
  • Placing the ramps in the wagon
  • Strengthening the walkway on the sheep ramp
  • Cleaning up fallen rubble in the Transcontinental Hotel
  • Paving the entrance of the Marquee
  • Cleaning up the shearing shed, moving equipment to the shed and a stock take.
  • Providing maintenance and service to all of the equipment and generators.

We believe that the projects undertaken or completed in weeks 5 and 6 greatly enhance the attractiveness of Farina as a tourist destination and were a testament to the history of the town. The Cemetery looks fantastic. The cattle wagon stands out on the landscape. The works undertaken on the Police Station have enhanced the building greatly.

We have discovered and uncovered new buildings next to the police station. The cleaning up around the Transcontinental Hotel greatly enhances the appearance of that building. The new storyboards in the town and near the Farina Creek enable extra involvement of the visitors. The bakery has added a whole new dimension to Farina.
The bakery, café and information area was an outstanding success through the moneys raised, the enthusiasm of the bakery assistants, the serving personel and the operation of the information table. This would have not been possible without the professional bakers and the great new bakery van.
Of particular note was the volunteer imprisoned in the dungeon who did a fantastic job of entertaining the tourists with her stories and anecdotes. Well done!!!!!!
The bakery program would not have been possible without the support of the team leader (SM) and the rostered groups who did a fantastic job.


We continued the theme started last year of having final drinks and toasts at the Transcontinental Hotel as the sun set on the last Friday of the program. We all then moved to the marquee where the bakers prepared pizzas and the celebrations continued. Much fun was had by all.


The leaders of these weeks would like to acknowledge the fantastic work of this group of fantastic volunteers and the continued enthusiastic support of Kevin and Anne Dawes.
Volunteer activity weeks 7 AND 8; from July 5 to 19, 2014


As a first, and as a trial, a two week extra period of activity at Farina was programmed to coincide with school holiday times for several states. After the 6-week work period and a 3-week gap, a group of volunteers, fewer in number than usual, established camp with the express purpose of supporting bakers, selling from the café and providing information services. This was pre-planned and managed by David and Liz Linn, with Martin MacLennan as the master baker for the whole period. Tom Harding returned to manage the close down of the site for 2014.


The main focus of the volunteers was to maintain a camp for two weeks that would enable the bakery to function smoothly, support bakery and souvenir sales, and provide information services. It was intended to undertake maintenance that was observed that could be handled as labour availability allowed.


If the results are based on numbers of tourists during the period then the trial can be deemed a great success.

There were lots of travellers over the period, and especially during Week 7. The camping ground reflected the numbers travelling with over 40 rigs in camp one night, many with children.

On Saturday 05 July, while preparations were being made to open next day, many people arrived ready to buy; the result was a queue at the door at 8.00am the next morning. This represented the start of several days of almost frantic activity in the café, highlighted by a “Sold Out” sign being put up at 1 pm one day, and being sold out about the same time on another. Stock was all sold on many days, with almost nothing left on the others.

One special deal was with the backpackers working at the Marree Hotel who bought 3 large orders, two of which were delivered on visits to Maree by off-duty volunteers.

Margaret expressed the view that the old bakery must remain the focus for visitors (Weeks 7 and 8 would not have happened if the bakery did not exist) and so continued her role as “guide to Farina and its historic oven”. With the large number of visitors arriving, she was often kept continuously busy for up to 6 hours a day. A great job Margaret.

The range of products varied from day-to-day including changing colour of icing on the finger buns. One delight for the team was to have fresh (fabulous) croissants hand-delivered by a Frenchman in time for breakfast – who says we go without when camping?


While Bill and Jan were enjoying the walking tracks (and they walked everywhere), they observed holes, depressions and other potential tripping hazards. During Week 8, ALL the walking tracks were inspected and repaired to a “deemed safe” condition.

Bill and Jan also noted the presence of the plant known as “Deadly night shade” – a plant which is so dangerous that it can be fatal to humans and some stock. Bill recommended that it be removed from the walking track area and with help from Theo began the process of pulling out the plants (Bill says the weed should not be poisoned). Bill would propose that more pulling needs to be done ASAP – it can be done outside of work periods.

Bill is a horticulturalist, and considers the walking track area of significance to the area. He has undertaken to write a report on the area for FRG to consider.

Work parties collected wood for the bakery and, with Kevin, collected sleepers.

Martin secured an interview on ABC SA/western NSW Radio 639 talking on the phone from his favourite high spot. It was a very good session and effective as some customers referred to hearing it.

We thank Kevin and Anne for their welcome and great support

David and Liz Linn

See more related images by Bob Brownlee Here in the Final Weeks page.
Also - we now have a Facebook page! Catch up via THIS link.
No. 39 (Outback Odyssey)
Martin MacLennan (Head baker) reports...
The Farina bakery van has just been delivered to The Prairie Hotel at Parachilna after completing a catering job.
This means the van is not available for any events before the next volunteer program in 2015 at this stage scheduled from 25th May to 18th July.
 A small band of volunteers catered for 130 folk on the South Dubbo Rotary Club's 2014 Outback Odyssey providing dinner on Monday 11th and breakfast on Tuesday 12th August.
This was great fun and the van made the job very easy. (the van interior (food prep area) is shown below after the final clean-up before departing for Parachilna).
Kevin, Martin and Janine were asked to speak to the visitors with Janine having to explain the rather private anatomy of Marree Man.

(The visiting vehicle below is one that Martin would have liked to exchange for his own 4WD - Ed.)

To maintain the high standards established over many, many years by Margaret, Martin entertained the group in the bakery (although he had no book for them to right nice things about him).
We must publicly acknowledge the donation of $1,000 from the South Dubbo Rotary Club to the Farina Restoration Group Inc. This was presented along with a nice steel plaque which we will need to house during the next program.
I would like to thank my wife Jo, Janine, Kevin and Anne for helping make the job so easy.

No. 40 (End of 2014 season)
Dear Farina Restoration Group Members

We have had a most successful 2014 season at Farina, as you will have seen from the earlier newsletter.
It has been interesting to get feedback from visitors to Farina during this time, as most folk believe that the Farina Bakery has been the reason for the Farina Group’s activity when, in fact, it is a consequence of the restoration. There is no doubt that the bakery is a most successful outcome of the group’s efforts.

There have been many very appreciative comments in the Visitor’s Book which was kept at the information desk this year.

“Hello my name is Thomas. I am 12 years old (in five days).
A word of advice is to grab the Ned Kelly pie.”

“A great place to stop and talk. Good work by the vollies.”

“A real treasure in an unexpected place. Well done. Love the hard work.”

“Amazing to see the town looking well looked after and to see the bakery up and running. Thanks to the Restoration Team for bringing our history back to life.”

June 18th, 2015 is probably going to be a Farina highlight with reference to Flight Lieutenant Bell. A little of his story can be found in the history section of this website (article by Alan Hall)

Farina’s rate of redevelopment has been achieved through the enthusiasm and skill of its volunteers and with the support of ”behind the scenes” people that we acknowledge through previous and updated donor boards.   

Please see the two main donor boards below.
(click on the image to enlarge, Esc closes the enlargement)
All those listed can claim to be “shareholders” in our success story.

All of our volunteers and donors can be justifiably proud of what has been achieved at Farina.

Regards... Tom Harding
No. 41 (Letter from Tom)
Farina Restoration Group.  October 2014 Update

This newsletter is especially directed to our widespread Supporter Group.
Some faces we see regularly, some are quietly in the background; some have “come on board” by dropping in on their way “Down the Track” and filled in details on a donations envelope in the box at our Information centre; some through contact at Melbourne or Adelaide Caravan Shows; some inspired by Landline or other TV clips; or inspired by the Historic Bakery – high tin loaves and gourmet pasties and bush pies…some are coerced by one of the 250 enthusiasts who have served “time” as volunteers over six annual programs.

The Farina Restoration Group activity has contributed an added value of in excess of $1,000,000 through its successful endeavours, converting the abandoned site  – Farina (2000) – to be proudly proclaimed  (by us) as now being a  – Historic Inland Australian Township (2014).

Officialdom has not yet proclaimed it, but we use that title freely as do the media presentations.         

The $1,000,000 contribution to Farina represents 
  • Personal cash donations and Grants… $245,000
  • 27,000 volunteer Hours Govt notional value  $30 per hr… $710,000
  • In Kind support  - material, services, supplies admin… $75,000

Conservative total, (with no allowance for Volunteer costs). $1,030,000
After humble beginnings in 2009, with a working bee of 30 caravanners and campers, we recognized something of Farina’s potential and created a 5 year plan. This was progressively expanded and implemented, enabled, by an expanding volunteer force, which, in 2014 numbered 140 persons and a program extended to 8 weeks. In our next bulletin, we will be able to tell you of our plans for Farina through to 2020

Often referred to on maps as a “ghost town”, we have commenced displacing the ghosts with the names of the original residents on our storyboards at every opportunity.   We are intent on displaying the HISTORIC FARINA as we reclaim more elements of the old township and its precincts.

Program details and timings for 2015 will be advised shortly. 

Anticipate though that Farina will be very much alive between mid May and mid July 2015 with some special commemoration features included.

Not included in the above dates is Anzac Dawn Service - 24th to 26thApril…. which will be separate from our work program period.

All of this would not have been possible without our enthusiastic volunteers and supporters.

Thanks and we need your continuing help.
Kind regards   Tom Harding.

No. 42
Farina Restoration Group.  November 22, 2014

The Farina 2015 activity will be 4x2 week programmes spanning 8 weeks from Thursday, May 21st to Wednesday, July 15th inclusive.

Volunteer attendance can over lap two programmes.

Our base team comprises 30 persons on site at any one time. Whilst volunteers will be assigned to initial tasks, rotation of jobs will happen. Priorities are bound to change, which will cause temporary or permanent adjustments.

Set out below are the typical groupings:

  • Camp Leader Team… 3 persons plus work experience students as applicable.
  • Maintenance Team… 4 persons - workshop/fix it/move it/supplies/wood/water etc.
  • Bakery/Café Teams… 5 persons on each of two shifts, early and late, each comprising 1 experienced baker, 1 volunteer trainee baker and 3 café/bakery attendants.
  • Information Centre… 2 persons daily on self regulated timings.
  • Landscaping Team… 4 persons - signage construction, erection and maintenance. Creation of town precinct walking trail, build steel cattle ramp, rebuild drover’s hut.
  • Project Team… 7 persons – fit out new shed, build three pergolas, build steel cattle ramp and rebuild drover’s hut.
  • Stonemasons/Stabilisation… Part of the Project team. Finish police station, Exchange Hotel upgrade and Transcontinental Hotel structure.

Off roster volunteers can choose to join project teams, part time, in consultation with the Camp Leader.

Projected scheduling of projects and landscaping activities are as follows:

  • All Weeks… Walking trail creation, signage, maintenance
  • Weeks 1 & 2… Town precinct walking trail and numbering of all trails
  • Weeks 1 – 4… New shed fit out
  • Weeks 2 – 7… Stonemason teams (includes week 2 and week 7)
  • Weeks 5 & 6… Narrow gauge walking trail (flood plain)
  • Weeks 5 & 6… Angels Rest (pug and pine preparation)
  • Weeks 7 & 8… Steel cattle ramp and drover’s hut rebuild

As usual, there is scope for all or no skills. We have a mixture of tradies, professionals, enthusiasts and others who have trained in the “school of hard knocks”. In combination we have used all to create great outcomes.
You are welcome to be part of it. It is important that you pace yourself to work within your own limitations.

Make your bids early for a time slot to suit you. Specific spots are less available later.

After completing your volunteer form on this web site (open the form by clicking HERE), forward it to Cathie by clicking the SUBMIT button on the bottom of the form.
A confirmation email will be sent to you confirming your entry details. (The form is still under construction - expect it to be live by December 1st.)

Lots of detailed information will be provided in successive newsletters, but you can contact and discuss with Tom, at any time, for up to date information. (Send an eMail to Tom by clicking HERE).

In 2015 three special activities will happen:

April 24th and 25th Dawn Service on Anzac Day

June 18th Linked celebration with the French town of Ploudaniel,
commemorating Flight Lieutenant John Bell’s attempted rescue
of the De Gaulle family during WW2. This event will include a
flyover of Farina, by 10 Squadron (RAAF).

June 27th “International” cricket match and open day

Various plans are coming together, which will make 2015 an exciting year of growth at Farina. We look forward to you being part of it.