This year, our Australia Day ambassador is Reverend Graham Long, CEO and pastor of The Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross.
During the breakfast at Coronation Park, the pastor will give an address, followed by the announcement of the Yass Valley Australia Day awards.
Mr Long has been the CEO and Pastor of The Wayside Chapel since 2004. At the time that Wayside invited him to be their next minister, Mr Long was a ‘postie’ who had almost perfected riding a little motor bike.
He has been a social worker in SA, specialising in child protection. He trained for the ministry from 1979 to 1982 and he eventually became a chaplain to Parramatta Prison and ran a church welfare agency.
He is married to Robyn and together they have two children and three grand-daughters.
The Wayside Chapel has provided unconditional love and support for people on and around the streets of Kings Cross since 1964. Many of these people have endured lives of great hardship and struggle with alcohol and other drug addictions, mental health issues and homelessness. Today, under the banner of ‘Love over Hate’, Wayside runs a community services centre, youth space and outreach service, mental health program, community café, and Aboriginal project.
Some people are fortunate to have supportive families, friends and neighbours, good physical and mental health and inner strength even in the face of great adversity. For those in Sydney who don’t, there’s The Wayside Chapel.