It takes all sorts to make a community as ABC News journalist Samille Mitchell discovered, in her story about the township of Dalwallinu in WA: ‘Exclusive Brethren, migrants and farmers the unusual social mix that has this little WA town thriving’.
While Dalwallinu is an isolated town, this is by no means an isolated example of how members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church community actively live and work right across Australia and have done so for 150 years.
From building businesses that are major employers, and where people from the church and the broader community work side-by-side, to charity work via the Rapid Relief Team, hiring teachers and other professional staff for OneSchool Global schools, the Brethren community contribute in many ways to the communities and economies in which they live and work.
Regional communities benefit from the economic activity generated by businesses associated with the church. Many members own their own family businesses and like any family business look for ways to expand and create new markets. This brings more local jobs, more upskilling and more economic multipliers.
Other members of the church work in the agricultural industry, from traditional farmers through to manufacturers of animal food and of the chemicals which keep stock safe and harvests strong.
Care and compassion are at heart of the Plymouth Brethren belief, and this drives much of the work of their charitable efforts through RRT.
When times are tough, is when communities are at their best, and Brethren volunteers, just like everyone else, pitch in to help out.
An example of RRT’s work was seen over the past few weeks, as hundreds of RRT church volunteers from across the country pitched in to help Aussie communities prepare for and recover from the devastating floods that swept much of the east coast.
The Brethren schools employ local teaching staff across 30 school campuses in Australia.
So, from supporting communities and emergency services during a crisis, to creating jobs in rural and regional communities – members of the Plymouth Brethren Christina Church may be called Exclusive Brethren by others, but they are Aussies at heart.
Read the full ABC story by clicking on this link.