Whether it’s in a school, in the Australian Defence Force or health care, chaplains are making an incredible difference in Brisbane.
Chappy Week is an annual event run by Scripture Union (SU) QLD focused on the importance of school chaplains. 96five is proud to be supporting SU QLD and also raising awareness for other Chaplains in our community – in correctional facilities, workplaces, sporting teams and even seafarer chaplains.
School Chappies Making a Difference
96five’s Tim Bain caught up some school chaplains around Brisbane to learn about the creative ways they’re caring for their community.
Jennifer Bennett has been the chaplain at Yeronga State School for 11 years and for the second time, is helping families through the Brisbane floods. Jennifer set up the Parent Café consisting of a trolley and coffee cart as a space for parents to come and connect with one another and provide support for the families impacted by flooding.
“I love the opportunity I have to immerse myself in this community and be there for them in so many different ways” Chappy Jennifer said.
Chappy Ben Archbold from Sunnybank State High School has set up a maintenance club where students can learn new skills and connect with Ben outside the classroom.
“The most important thing for the kids here at the high school is just being that one consistent person in their life… being here every day and having a smile and being the one constant that they maybe don’t have at home or outside of the school” Ben said.
Dave McCafferty is the chaplain at Everton Park State High and loves connecting with kids through their Brekky Program but also supporting school staff.
“A big part of our role which we don’t necessarily recognise is the support that we offer school staff as well… Chaplaincy is very diverse, also very rewarding, the conversations you get to have as you journey with young people when they’re going through good things as well as the challenging moments too” Chappy Dave said.
SU QLD has placed chappies in 63% of all Queensland state primary schools and in 88% of all Queensland state high schools but there are still around 400 state schools who need a chappy. Can you help? Learn more about SU Chaplaincy here.
Support for First Responders
96five’s Jess Drummond caught up with volunteer police chaplain Deacon Adam Walk about supporting first responders.
“Being with people when they’re struggling one way or another because it’s quite diverse”, Deacon Adam Walk said.
“It could be an accident at home… a marriage breakup, it could be a fatal shooting, a car accident, it could be any of those things on any given day, that’s the challenge about it. It’s hard to predict, what are you going to face in a given day and that just reflects what a police officer faces.”
Go Deeper with Chappy Chats
To learn more about the work of Chaplaincy, check out our 96five Chappy Chats podcast with chaplain Sarah Petchell. The podcast shows off the work of chaplains across a number of areas in the community, and tell the stories of those impacted by chaplaincy.
Some of the guests featured on season one of the podcast include military chaplain Cameron West, Chappy Beck Holloway, who is impacting primary students through the innovative use of her assistance dog Mr Rees, and cross cultural communication and engagement specialist Tim Fawssett.
You can listen to the podcast in the player below, or find it wherever you get your podcasts.
To learn more about the impact of chaplaincy, check out these recent posts from 96five contributors.