MAF’s operations in Arnhem Land developed from the pioneering aviation work of early Anglican and Methodist missionaries, which commenced in the mid-1930s. MAF was invited to assume responsibility for this work in 1973.
MAF’s vision in Arnhem Land is to provide a professional aviation service for those people living and working in the remote Aboriginal communities throughout East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia, while at the same time being an effective Christian witness to those we live alongside and serve. MAF does this by positioning staff in communities across East Arnhem Land, operating and staffing a combination of MAF bases and Aboriginal owned airlines.
The Yolngu people use MAF flights to obtain essential supplies, to travel between communities and homelands and for various cultural obligations. MAF also flies education, government, essential services, pastors and other personnel to and from the isolated communities. MAF also transports medical personnel to outlying communities and patients in to hospital.
Permanent bases are located at Gove Airport, Milingimbi, Ramingining, Elcho Island and Lake Evella. MAF’s central base at Gove provides administration and aircraft maintenance and MAF’s main air terminal.
On the Gove peninsula, MAF staff live in Nhulunbuy (the Bauxite mining Town) or Yirrkala, an aboriginal community.
From the permanent bases our staff serve the outlying communities providing support for a network of small outstations, known locally as homelands. These homelands are each family group’s traditional land, and are very important to the sense of identity and well being of many Aboriginal people.
Pilots and staff living and operating in the communities of Nhulunbuy, Yirrkala, Elcho Island, Milingimbi, Ramingining and Lake Evella support and participate in local Christian ministry in various ways. The “Homeland Outreach” is one of them. To find out more follow this link.
Technology Services include activities which support the use of Technology in ministry. This means that when a MAF staff member helps someone load the Bible onto their mobile phone, repairs the church computer, sets up a network or consults and supports the use of technology in ministry, they are providing an extension towards the purpose of MAF. To find out more about this particular area of work in Arnhem Land, follow this link.