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Chaplaincy

·       The role of a Chaplain is to provide support to the whole school community: students, staff and school families. Chaplains are present in schools at the invitation of the Principal, in consultation with the local community, and with the support of the P&C Association.
·       Chaplaincy is not religious education/religious teaching. A Chaplain is meant to be a safe person that a student can go to if he/she would like to discuss ethical/spiritual issues. A Chaplain may run programs with spiritual content, but if so, this would be voluntary for students, and would require signed parental permission.
·       A Chaplain does not perform counselling. A Chaplain provides pastoral care – this means supporting the student who is struggling, listening, helping to develop resilience and problem solving skills and being there for them. Signed parental permission is required for this as well.
·       Chaplaincy is funded by the government. The school does not pay to have a Chaplain. (The government provides funding for a school to have a Chaplain for 2 days. Any extra days would come from donations from churches, the community or Chaplaincy fundraising events, etc.)
·       Chaplaincy is ultimately about building relationships with students (and staff and parents) and journeying through the ups and downs of life with them.
 
What does a School Chaplain do?
 
A School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school and provides a listening ear, caring presence, and a message of hope.  Chaplains run positive, fun activities for students and assist in fostering supportive, caring school communities.
 
Working with other members of the school’s support team, the Chaplain cares for students struggling with issues such as difficult relationships with other children or family members, poor self-esteem, family breakdown, and depression.
 
The partnership between the school and the Chaplaincy Service, supported by local churches, businesses and community organisations, provides a network of local support and assistance.  These positive relationships help young people to face difficult issues, and provide hope, connection, meaning, and purpose.
 
The Chaplaincy Service is available to everyone in the school community regardless of their religious beliefs.
 
Who is the Payne Road State School Chaplain?
 
Michelle is the Payne Road State School Chaplain, and started at the school in Term 3, 2015. She is also the Chaplain at Hilder Road State School, and has worked in this role for 3 years. Michelle has a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons), and has worked with children aged 1-18 in various settings since 2005 (after school care, Lifeline vacation care, teacher aide, child care, youth group, Sunday school, and Kid’s Holiday Club). While born in Brisbane, Michelle’s parents are from Singapore, and she has lived in Singapore, Venezuela, and Australia. Michelle has a deep love for music, and has sung in St. Peter’s Chorale and performed musicals with Directions Musical Theatre Company (Kenmore Baptist Church) and Savoyards. Her favourite subjects in school have always been Maths and Art.
 
What will Chaplaincy look like at Payne Road State School?
Chaplaincy at Payne Road is for the most part fairly informal.  The Chaplain’s room is equipped with a variety of toys, games and crafts, and children may choose to come and play there during breaks when the Chaplain is available. 
Below are some examples of things that Chappy Michelle does/will be doing at school:
·         Chappy Games (lunchtime games open to different year levels each week)
  • One-on-one Pastoral Care sessions with referred students to provide support (signed parental permission required)
  • Working with Chaplaincy Leaders (develop Leadership skills, help with Chappy Games, plan skits/videos for Assembly, think of ways to help the wider community, etc)
  • Friends for Life Program (building resilience and problem-solving skills)
  • Year 6 Transitions Program (topics include Resilience, Respect, Healthy Choices, Transition to High School and Goals)
  • Supporting students and families who are struggling
  • Attending camps (Year 4-6)
  • Helping out in classrooms
  • Helping out at various school events (eg. Prep Transition Days, Carols Night, etc)
·         May organise donations for Operation Christmas Child, Brisbane Homeless Connect
·         Continue relationship between Payne Road and school in Erampatti in India.
These activities are available to all students on a voluntary basis unless a parent or guardian requests in writing that this is not to occur for their child/ren.
Will my child be involved?
 
Involvement with the Chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be a part of the activities that are offered.  Parents will be consulted if their child wishes to be involved in ongoing one-to-one meetings with the Chaplain or in any program or group involving spiritual or ethical content.  Parents have the right to refuse permission for their child to be involved in any Chaplaincy activity or event.
 
How can I contact the Chaplain?
 
Michelle will be at Payne Road State School on Mondays and Tuesdays. You can contact her on michelle.ting@chappy.org.au.