Inner Circle


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Dear Inner Circle,

On the footpath yesterday as I approached our building, a young man and woman welcomed me into their conversation. Although the man is homeless, you’d be hard pressed to find a more positive person among the entrepreneurs and “go getting” young business people anywhere in this city. The young woman is an arrestingly beautiful yet shy person. We were then joined by a fourth person, a woman not known to me or to either of the young people. The young fellow shared his name and then the young woman said, “Hi, my name is Gretel – as in Hansel and Gretel.” The lovable bloke said, “Yeah, I’ve been leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for Gretel but she won’t follow me.” “Yeah,” she said quietly and with wisdom beyond her years, “That’s because I’m not living in a fairy tale”.

Robyn and I had the joy of two of our grandchildren for the weekend. Grandma and Aunty took Miss 11 to a crochet class while Miss 9 spent some time with me. We ended up at Luna Park where I went on a pile of rides that a bloke my age should not have to endure. My beautiful girl had a lot of fun and I finished the day with a sore neck and back. Naturally, I’d do it again in a heartbeat because a grandparent’s job is nothing other than to create a happy memory. Next time I’m with Miss 9 however, I’m going to take her somewhere where we can get mugged and robbed. It would achieve a similar outcome without the need to wait in queues.

One of the happiest and most inspiring places to be yesterday was in our Community Hall where we celebrated NAIDOC week. About 200 mostly Aboriginal people created a buzz of love, rarely witnessed at any gathering. Uncle Max, adored by Aboriginal people and deeply respected by the wider community, performed a smoking ceremony. Our Patron, the Governor of New South Wales, and Mrs Hurley were happy to sit among the people. My vote for the most loved and loving person I’ve ever met, Dame Marie Bashir, was also happy to sit among the people. Our whole team pulled together to support Mon and Will, our Aboriginal staff members. Our volunteers showed up in force and worked hard to ensure beautiful food was well presented and generously offered. Serendipity provided splendid ice cream in red, yellow and black colours and fig pudding was supplied by Dessertmakers. A brightly dressed woman with a face that carried 40,000 years of proud history announced loudly that this was the first time in 12 years that she had been out of jail to celebrate NAIDOC Week. She spoke several times and each time, she received loud applause and many hugs.

A week rarely goes by without someone from the corporate world asking me about working for Wayside. I’m pleased to say that we’re currently looking for a Philanthropy Manager to join our team. We’re after someone who either has fundraising experience or someone who wants to apply their corporate experience to Wayside’s awesome mission. If you or someone you know are interested, you can find more details here.

It’s so lovely to get beyond June 30 when I guess all privately funded charities hold their breath to see if they can build on what has been built or whether they cut back. It’s early days but I can share with you that we hit our targets for our winter appeal. In business this achievement must be satisfying, but at Wayside, it’s like being thrown into a pool of love. If you were a group of readers who just took interest in our work, we’d be most grateful. But you are a responsive inner circle. You’re with us and you roll up your sleeves and sacrifice so that we can do what we do. Thank you, thank you. We are humbled and empowered.
Thank you for being our inner circle,


Rev Graham Long AM

CEO & Pastor

The Wayside Chapel

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Previous Inner Circles


30 June: A bit of banter about Bondi

23 June: My cup runneth over

16 June: Injecting some joy

9 June: At the end of the line

2 June: Lots of perspiration and a touch of inspiration

26 May: Swimming against the tide

19 May: Every 7 days but not weakly

12 May: I once was blind

5 May: A place to belong

28 April: Lest we forget

21 April: I've seen into the abyss

14 April: Colourful language

7 April: Poetic licence

31 March: Happy in the Cross

24 March: Easter

17 March: A party mix

10 March: The intimacy of everything

3 March: An unusual look

25 February: He ain't heavy

18 February: Tears of laughter and sadness

11 February: Wisdom is a tricky business

4 February: A wave from The Wayside Chapel

28 January: Some long distance loving

21 January: No time for judgement


17 December: Last note for 2015

10 December: Sanity Clause if coming to town

3 December: It's all about the presence

26 November: The joy of not knowing

19 November: The curse of perfectionism

12 November: To speak is to act

5 November: My cup runneth over

29 October: Prophet and loss

22 October: Finding yourself in a magical team

15 October: A silly question

8 October: Surprised by the joy

1 October: Being dead right

24 September: A day by the Wayside

17 September: It's a gold rush

10 September: The psychology of onions

3 September: Life comes from without

27 August: Surprised by the beautiful

20 August: Light shining through the cracks

13 August: A matter of balance

6 August: Recognising a gift

30 July: Your weakly note

23 July: 'A thing' from the Wayside

16 July: The future is calling

9 July: In love with some Dame

2 July: Better days ahead

25 June: Something funny, something beautiful

18 June: Seeing what's there

11 June: Amazing mates

4 June: There's a time and a place

28 May: The weight and the joy of being a neighbour

21 May: You're invited

14 May: Laughing, lying and loving

7 May: The awesome in the ordinary

30 April: Wayside light

23 April: Priceless gifts, freely given

16 April: Good news from the Wayside is great news

9 April: Awesome

2 April: Easter by the Wayside

26 March: Thankful for little things

19 March: A few minutes in the cross

12 March: Seeing what isn't there

5 March : A tour like no other

26 February: Tough love

19 February: Puffing or building

12 February: The two shall become two

5 February: Chest pains

29 January: Shear joy

22 January 2015: Fully alive

15 January 2015: Blessed interruptions

8 January 2015: A glimpse of glory


18 December 2014: Christmas hat in hand

11 December 2014: A little season of goodwill

4 December 2014: There was nothing silent about that night

27 November 2014: It's not about feeling better

20 November 2014: Gathering Moss

13 November 2014: Love the land, love the people

6 November 2014: The power of presence

30 October 2014: Paralysed by presence

23 October 2014: The joy of sight

16 October 2014: The best medicine

9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?

2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist

21 August: Saving souls

14 August: Squeaking out

7 August: A time for turning

31 July: You're okay

24 July: Happy tears

17 July: Let's aim higher

10 July: Gristle and good

3 July: The joy of not knowing

26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?

12 June: Longing for riches

5 June: When you least expect it

22 May: Finding home

15 May: Flying

8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues

1 May: Skuse the French

24 April: Lifting the curtain

17 April: Collective love

10 April: Cardiac arrest

3 April: Awe struck

27 March: You're invited to something special

20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss

13 March: It's all happening at the wayside

6 March: Love makes all the difference

27 February: What goes around

20 February: The joy of being empty handed

13 February: Loving the growth spurts

6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside

23 January: Some criminals have class

16 January: Wonderful surprises

9 January: Ready, set


19 December: Thanks for an awesome year

12 December: Mission and wishin'

5 December: The ups and downs and all is well

28 November: Kissed by the community

21 November: Our cup runneth over

14 November: A revelation from wayside

7 November: When excrement happens

31 October: I am therefore I think

24 October: We are surrounded by heroes

17 October: When you least suspect

26 September: A wayside wobbly

19 September: Knowing a gift

12 September: Advancing at the retreat

5 September: A little dose of good

29 August: Fighting with a feather

22 August: The boom is just beginning

15 August: True riches

8 August: Small is beautiful

1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views

25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside

18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage

27 June: Holy ground

20 June: You cannot take what can only be given



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