Monday Memories – GFS Australia Part 5


There has been a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and the development of friendships between GFSers all over Australia since the introduction of national camps. The first was held at the CEBS camp, Frankston, Victoria from 30 December 1969 to 6 January 1970 and fifteen members and two Leaders from Perth attended.

In 1978 Perth hosted a national camp. ‘Westorana’ meaning ‘West Welcome’, was the name chosen for the camp held in the lovely setting of Swanleigh just outside Perth) in January 1978 and Miss Margaret Bunday was Camp Director. The GFS Commonwealth Chairman, Mrs Harvie Featonby from Tasmania , attended and also the GFS World Chairman, Mrs Floris Bain , and Mrs Adele Ray, GFS Vice Chairman of USA. Girls from almost every diocese in Australia were present, as well as two girls from Thursday Island GFS. WA girls raised over $1,000 to bring them to the camp.

Other national camps have been held at Rockhampton in 1981, Sydney in 1984 and Adelaide in 1987. They enable those attending to see a wider vision of GFS , take part in an exciting and challenging programme in another part of Australia, as well as making new friends.
First Interstate visit, St Paul’s Beaconsfield


There have been other links in GFS forged across Australia by visits of a branch in one State with another.  In 1967 Mrs Joan Matthews, leader of St Paul’ s, Beaconsfield GFS, took 18 teenage members of that  branch  by train for a 12-day visit to Chadstone East in Victoria, where they were billeted in two parishes. This was the first interstate visit by GFSers from WA and it was very successful.

The following year 14 girls from St Columba, Scarborough branch, accompanied by Miss Margaret Bunday and Mrs Joy Holland , also travelled to Victoria, where they were billeted by Currum GFS families for six days. In May, 1973 53 GFS members and leaders travelled to South Australia, some to take part in a GFS interstate netball competition in Adelaide and others to join in a camp at ‘Camp Conqueror’, the Youth and Conference Centre of the Diocese of Willochra. The camp was led by Bishop and Mrs Bruce Rosier and it also included 15 GFSers from Adelaide and 15 girls from Willochra.

As CEGS (the Church of England Girls’ Society) in WA do not have an opportunity to take part in interstate activities , they were invited to join with GFS teams in the netball competition and travelled on the same train to Adelaide. This was a good opportunity for fellowship between the two groups.

During the school holidays in August 1973, Scarborough, Woodlands and City Beach branches hosted 20 Glen Waverley (Melbourne) GFS members and leaders. Two years later there was a return visit by invitation from the Glen Waverley girls, when 10 teenage members and two leader s from WA left by train on 22 August 1975 and returned on 2 September 1975.
Interstate Netball Carnival 1973
(L to R) (back) Pat Barrett, Jill Baker, Janine Alliss, Lisa Coster, Dianna Smith.
(front) Debra Michaels, Cheryl McManus, Marie Gullefer, Wendy Verhoef, Margie Silcock.
(not included in photograph: Allison Elliott – Coach, Jan McNamara – Manager)

In January 1974 there was an interstate visit of a different kind when Miss Margaret Bunday , GFS Leader Training Officer for WA, travelled with Anne Hudson (Victoria Park), Peta Gullefer (Scarborough), Karen Cable (Innaloo) and Trudi Shattock (Rossmoyne) to a  GFS Commonwealth Cadet Leader Training camp at Montgomery  Park, south of Hobart, which they shared with Cadet Leaders from around Australia. They had a week touring before the camp and returned to Perth via Melbourne, Adelaide and Gladstone (in Willochra Diocese).

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