Altruistic aviator finds new flock
THE hazardous mountain airstrips and remote villages of Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) highlands may seem a world away from tranquil Perth, but Rossmoyne Waters Village chaplain Roger Millist says there is a simple common denominator making them more alike than you’d imagine: people.
“No matter who or where you are in the world, there are times of celebration and times of sadness,” Roger said.
“Throughout my life
I’ve found myself daily blessed to bear witness to both and be of service.”
The 65-year-old former Adventist Aviation Services CEO and chief pilot in PNG is now full-time chaplain at Adventist Care’s Rossmoyne Waters Village.
“Yesterday I drove up the freeway to visit two of our residents currently in hospital and provided support to another whose husband sadly passed this week,” Roger said.
“Then I conducted a joyous music-based patient engagement activity in our aged care facility before having a catch-up with several residents at Australis Apartments to make sure they were going well.
“A few years ago I was flying down mountain passes to deliver a mother and newborn baby to hospital and sometimes even conducting a lively service in the bush.
“Then I’d be air-freighting vegetables between highland villages and lowland markets before returning a deceased person to their village for a funeral.
“It sounds an odd thing to say but life hasn’t changed much for me coming here to Rossmoyne, other than my mode of transport.
“My life remains incredibly interesting and challenging every day. People still need friendship, fellowship and support wherever you go.”
A severe burn accident to his adult son Linden, himself an aircraft engineer for Adventist Aviation Services, is what eventually brought Roger and his wife Carol back to Australia in 2014.
“Linden’s injury and five-year rehabilitation was very difficult,” Roger said.
“If I thought prior to that I’d seen enough in the world to provide me with a full sense of empathy for others, I was wrong.
“The lived experience of seeing someone you love suffering truly opens your eyes and your heart.”
Australis resident Donelle Cater said she knows the depth of that empathy as when her husband Barry passed away in early 2019, Roger, along with part-time chaplains Jasmin Stankovic, Gervais Cangy and the management team at Rossmoyne Waters, rallied around her providing crucial support and care.
“They were there for Barry and I right to the end and then held me together after Barry passed,” Donelle said.
“I volunteer with the pastoral team to this day as a result; it provides me a wonderful sense of purpose, fulfilment and friendship.
“Barry and I were living in the villas but had already committed to an Australis apartment when he finally fell really ill, went into care and then passed away.
“The end was quite sudden and I was struggling; the management team here made transitioning into the apartment stress-free and relieved me of a great deal of financial worry.
“They were very kind to me and I know they’ve repeatedly helped others since who’ve been in similar circumstances.
“Altruism really is at the core of everything done here at Rossmoyne Waters.”
Rossmoyne Waters chief executive Gary Blagden said more than half of
Stage One of Australis was now called home by happy new residents. Interest in the remaining 25 two and three bedroom apartments, from $475,000-$845,000, is heightening.
“We’re encouraging people to reach out now to our village manager Daniel Gallop and experience the complex’s apartments and amenities first-hand,” Gary said.
“All apartments are lifelong lease with three choices of deferred management fee geared to suit individual circumstances.
“We’re crafting a harmonious, positive community here and we’re doing it in style.”
For more information about Australis at Rossmoyne Waters, call Daniel on 9253 4456 or visit www. rossmoynewaters.com.au.
Rossmoyne Waters chaplain Roger Millist and Australis resident Donelle Cater.