Tony  Annette at the Sunday morning presentationWould you like to add a touch of the outback to your upcoming celebration? Thinking of creative ways to host a Great Outback BBQ? Well, here is a great example of how a significant birthday celebration was turned into an outback-themed event while raising money to support the work of Frontier Services.

Rev Tony Winter, a retired Uniting Church Minister, marked his 75th birthday celebration with a weekend of celebrations and thanksgivings.

Tony worked for the Federal Methodist Inland Mission from 1971 to 1973, serving in the Pilbara Patrol, stationed in Port Hedland, Western Australia. For Tony, those times are firmly etched in his memory, and he holds the   experiences and the people he served close to his heart.

After Tony and his wife Annette attended the 

All friends from the 1960s

Centenary celebrations last year, they decided to celebrate his 75th birthday by organising a Frontier Services fundraiser.

More than 50 family and friends gathered for a birthday party held at the Tamworth City Uniting Church.

“We set about organising how we could bring the “outback” inside,” recalls Annette.

“We gathered up a 5 foot high windmill (recalling memories of the magnificent windmill and water tank setting on stage at the Centenary celebrations in Melbourne) wagon wheels, 

Tony explaining images on the 50 note

miner’s lamps, kerosene lamps and other memorabilia. Friends who have a magnificent garden cut many bunches of roses and grevillea, while my sister from the Guyra area stripped branches of gum leaves from the trees growing on their property. Add the Australian flag to all of the above and we had a wonderful mixture of rustic Australiana, combining beautifully with the softness of roses and scented gum leaves. Our “Welcome to the Outback” sign set the mood as guests arrived.”

Tony spoke about his time as a Patrol Minister and the work of Frontier Services and played the historic DVD Mantle of Safety for his guests.

Frontier Services provided books and DVDs which were offered to the guests to take home.

“The celebrations continued over into Sunday morning when our Minister Rev Bill Fischer invited Tony to give a presentation on Frontier Services during the worship service, this time showing the amazing DVD, God Bless This Land of Ours,” said Annette.

In total, $1,268.30 was raised for Frontier Services to continue its work providing vital support to the people of remote Australia.

What was even more special about the celebration is the coming together of Tony and Annette who met again early last year after 46 years of no contact. They married on 8 September. Best wishes to both Tony and Annette. Well done on a very creative way to celebrate the outback and thank you for your generous support of Frontier Services.

If you would like to bring the outback to your next celebration in a meaningful way, please get in touch to receive Frontier Services resources. Why not turn it into a Frontier Services Great Outback BBQ? For more information go to or phone 1300 787 247.

Top: Tony and Annette Winter at Tony’s 75th outback-themed birthday celebration. Middle: Old friends gather to celebrate and support the outback. Bottom: Tony speaks to his guests about Frontier Services.

Acknowledgement of Country

Frontier Services acknowledges the sovereign First Peoples on whose lands and waters we live, meet, and work.

We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and to all descendants of these Nations who have cared for this place since Creation.