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Lord Mayor hears your Stories of Hope

It’s exciting to see what God is doing through SU in Australia and the impact that trusted and trained Christians are having as they serve on the frontlines of…

It’s exciting to see what God is doing through SU in Australia and the impact that trusted and trained Christians are having as they serve on the frontlines of our communities.

It’s an impact that more of our political and community leaders are taking notice of.

Earlier this year, SU Australia Group CEO Peter James joined with other Christian leaders to meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, to discuss the role Christian organisations will play in Australia’s post-COVID recovery.

Most recently, Peter was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, where he shared the many challenges our young people are facing in our communities.

But more than that, he shared how your support is meeting those needs for the most vulnerable.

More than 500 dignitaries and members of the community attended the breakfast, including Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Lady Mayoress Nina Schrinner, local councillors and members of parliament.

In his speech, Peter shared the story of a young woman who had grown up in an abusive home, and had developed a deep sense of shame – not for what she had ever done, but for what had been done to her.

She grew up being told she was stupid and worthless… And then she met her school chaplain, Matt.

In a letter written by this young woman she said:

“For some reason I felt safe in [Chappy’s] office. I poured out my heart to him. I told him the truth about my life. He was a safe option, and the only person I’d ever opened up to.”

Peter went on to say…

“[Chappy] was able to find her a safe place to live, a church family who took her in for her last years of schooling.

“It was the first time she’d been part of a normal, functional family. She discovered for the first time in her life what it meant to be loved. She discovered for the first time what it meant to have someone who thought she was worthwhile, not worthless,” said Peter.

While this specific story may be new to you, it’s a story you’ve heard many times before as a vital part of our SU family. You are making these stories of hope possible through your prayers and financial support. Please continue to pray with us for our ongoing ministry, particularly as we reach out to new communities as SU Australia.

Pray also for our political and community leaders to continue to see the value that trusted and trained Christians bring in meeting the needs of our young people who are searching for meaning, purpose and hope.

Posted: 14/07/2021

Why I Run – with Marg Peril

“Let chaplaincy be your motivation and it will inspire you to keep going.”   Meet Marg. Grandma, adventure-enthusiast and knee-surgery survivor.  Marg joined #TeamChappy in 2018 – which also…

“Let chaplaincy be your motivation and it will inspire you to keep going.”

 

Meet Marg. Grandma, adventure-enthusiast and knee-surgery survivor. 

Marg joined #TeamChappy in 2018 – which also happened to be the year Bridge to Brisbane experienced torrential rain. Despite this setback, the morning of Race Day, Marg donned her yellow tutu, laced up her walking shoes, and was determined to reach the end with confidence.

“It was hard to even show up in the morning because I knew I was going to get soaking wet. But #TeamChappy was there to cheer me on. I was the last one in and they motivated me all the way to the finish line!” says Marg.

“I like that everyone is having fun and doing the race for different reasons. For me, it was personal. Not only was I raising money for SU and being an advocate for children that need someone to walk alongside them in their time of need, I was proving to myself that physically I could do it.”

Marg had two total knee-replacement surgeries over 2017 and 2018, but not even this major surgery could dampen her spirit and enthusiasm to raise awareness for our young people.

Now Marg can’t stop herself from exploring on-foot! Here is her recently adventuring over the Gateway Bridge.

“I used the fundraising platform to get my story out there, and together my husband and I raised around $1,200 for local chaplains,” says Marg.

“I worked with Scripture Union for many years in lots of different roles, and I never got tired of seeing children receive support from their chaplain. Being part of something that builds community was my passion, and I love being able to raise money to support this work.”

“On the day, I think it’s important to go at your own pace and respect how you’re feeling. Remember that you’re doing your own race amongst all these other people who are doing it for their own reasons – let chaplaincy be your motivation, and it will inspire you to keep going.”

Well done Marg, and thank you for your commitment to raising funds and awareness for our young people! You’re a champion!

Posted: 25/06/2021

Why I Run – with Jen Kerr

“I run for young people in schools who might not have anyone else in their corner. In my opinion, SU is one of the best causes there is!”  …

“I run for young people in schools who might not have anyone else in their corner. In my opinion, SU is one of the best causes there is!”

 

Meet Jen. Mother, introvert, full-time worker and running enthusiast. 

Jen heard about Bridge to Brisbane when she started running a decade ago after the birth of her first daughter. She’d been told that one of the best ways to motivate herself as a new runner was to have a goal and sign up for an event. After experiencing the unique hype surrounding Bridge to Brisbane, she quickly became a fan.

“I’ve loved each Bridge to Brisbane I’ve been part of. The crowd, the music along the way, the support of other runners and walkers, the costumes – it’s just so much fun!” says Jen.

“And when you’re running for a cause you feel passionate about, it makes it even better.” 

Jen has a soft spot for the work of SU and being a mum of two young daughters, she knows how important it is for our young generation to have access to the social, emotional and spiritual support a chaplain provides.

“I run for young people in schools who might not have anyone else in their corner. In my opinion, SU is one of the best causes there is!” says Jen.

But even superstar runners like Jen are familiar with the struggle of asking others to financially support their passions. We asked if she had any advice to share.

“It can be intimidating to ask people for money, but I remind myself that if I don’t ask, the answer is 100% no! And if others see you pushing yourself because of how strongly you believe in your cause, it might even inspire them to try something new.

“For Bridge to Brisbane, I’d recommend sending a letter, email, or heartfelt text message where you share why you’re running and what their support would mean to you.”

This year is the 25th anniversary of Bridge to Brisbane, and Jen is keen to be heading back to the original Gateway Bridge starting line. She’s already been putting in hours training, as she also prepares for her first full marathon in August.

“There’s nothing better than lining up on race day – feeling strong, ready and prepared. I struggle with anxiety so getting out of the house, moving my body, breathing deeply and marvelling at the creation around me is powerful. I amaze myself at how far I’ve come from when I started and thought 30 seconds running was a challenge!”

Well done Jen, and thank you for your commitment to raising funds for our young people! We are cheering you on as you start training for the 10km event. See you bright and early on August 29!

Posted: 25/06/2021

Why I Run – with Julian Williams

“When it comes to fundraising for Bridge to Brisbane, I know where the money goes and I can see the difference chaplaincy makes.”   Meet Julian. Father, former baker,…

“When it comes to fundraising for Bridge to Brisbane, I know where the money goes and I can see the difference chaplaincy makes.”

 

Meet Julian. Father, former baker, and technology whizz. 

Julian joined #TeamChappy in 2019, but life took a dramatic turn after he was unexpectedly diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes a week after the run. 

Nearly two years on, Julian has been learning all he can about his ‘new normal’ and how to better care for his body from the inside out. Despite his health challenges, Julian has selflessly determined to grow from the challenges he’s been through in the past few years, and is still committed to making a difference in the lives of young people and their families.

“I’ve learnt that when you go through something life-changing like an illness or loss, it makes you more aware of what others are going through,” says Julian.

“When I think about kids in schools who lose parents or go through awful things, I know how important it is for someone to be there for them. I’ve seen how sowing into chaplaincy directly helps kids and that’s why I run.”

Ready at the starting line!

Julian recently did some personal fundraising to raise money for a diabetes pump, which allows him to regulate his insulin levels. He drew on his past career as a baker and raised funds by selling a tasty selection of sweets and homemade goods.

Within 6 months, he’d reached his goal and picked up his new pump.

“I don’t find it difficult to fundraise by talking to friends and family about things I care about, but at the same time, I’m aware that not everyone is in the position to donate,” says Julian.

“When it comes to fundraising for Bridge to Brisbane, although it’s a much bigger scale than the fundraising I did for my insulin pump, I know where the money goes and I can see the difference chaplaincy makes.”

With race day fast approaching, Julian is excited to get back into the thick of things.

“On the day, the atmosphere of 20,000 people all together is really exciting. Everyone encourages you to keep going. In 2019, there were about 100 of us from #TeamChappy and we all really felt like part of a team. It was great to see all the red and yellow colours standing out in the crowd as you’re running along.”

Well done Julian, and thank you for your commitment to raising funds for our young people! We are cheering you on as you start training for the 10km event. See you bright and early on August 29!

Posted: 25/06/2021

You’re building community across cultures

Part of Australia’s beauty is found in its diversity. But diversity without a shared sense of community can lead to sharp divisions. Through your generous support and a grant…

Part of Australia’s beauty is found in its diversity. But diversity without a shared sense of community can lead to sharp divisions.

Through your generous support and a grant from Department of Home Affairs, SU Camps have launched the its first CHAT Super Sports Camp. These events bring campers together, helping them better understand and engage with different cultures and beliefs.

17-year-old lta, who comes from a Samoan background, first heard about the camp through her local church pastor.

“I went along with some people from my church,” lta says.

“My favourite sport was basketball – it was competitive and really fun.

“Even though I didn’t have any school friends with me on camp – I made new friends from different backgrounds and cultures.”

As much as she enjoyed the sport, lta says her favourite part of camp was the group chats after sport ended each day.

“Someone new would get up and speak about how they came to Australia and what it was like in their home country,” lta says.

“I really engaged with it – just hearing what they went through and how life was different for them.

“It changed my perspective. Their lives were so much harder and tougher than what I’ve been through here – a lot of them experienced racism.”

Camp Director Troy Wilson felt inspired and encouraged after seeing cultural barriers break down over the five-day camp.

“The goal is to get kids from different cultural backgrounds to come together, have fun and learn about one another in a safe space,” Troy says.

“Sport is the perfect medium for this. We had some kids who couldn’t speak English really well, but once you got them on a court or a playing field they understood how to work together to score a goal or get a ball over a net.”

The camp had a positive impact on lta. She said she’ll definitely come along to the next CHAT Camp.

“It’s a really memorable experience and heaps of fun too. It taught me that no matter what religion, culture or belief we have, we are still the same in that our humanity makes us ‘one’ – and regardless of our differences and difficulties culturally, we can overcome them all,” lta says.

Your support makes camps like this possible. We couldn’t do it without you. To find out how you can get behind camps like this one, head to suqld.org.au/camps or email camps@suqld.org.au

Posted: 5/03/2020

You helped Daniel celebrate schoolies

Finishing school is a key milestone for a young person that should be celebrated. But for teenagers with disabilities, this is not always possible. Thanks to your support, NSW…

Finishing school is a key milestone for a young person that should be celebrated. But for teenagers with disabilities, this is not always possible.

Thanks to your support, NSW mum Kathie was able to send her son Daniel to SU-Schoolies Whitsundays. Spoiler alert: he had the time of his life!

For many parents who have a child with Down Syndrome, the thought of sending them on a week away would cause some serious nerves.

“Parents of kids with disabilities often ask questions like: ‘Is anyone going to understand my child?’ or ‘Is anyone going to support them?’,” Kathie says.

“Children with disabilities can have limited life experiences. Most of the time they really want to be involved in groups and social circles, but don’t have the ability to initiate conversations.”

But for Kathie, she knew her son was in good hands with Scripture Union. In fact, he’s been an SU camper since Grade 7. When she discovered Queensland’s SU­Schoolies program, she signed Daniel up on the spot.

“In our culture, ‘schoolies’ has become almost a rite of passage,” Kathie says.

“It was such a blessing to know SU QLD organised everything and had responsible adult leaders supervising the event.

“Without SU-Schoolies, Daniel wouldn’t have been able to experience that ‘rite of passage’. Now he can say, ‘Yeah I went on schoolies’ .”

With some help from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS}, Kathie sponsored two of Daniel’s friends – Matt and Connor – to come along on SU-Schoolies Whitsundays with him. Connor said the week was a blast.

“There wasn’t really one part that was my favourite. I liked all of it,” Connor recalls.

“Activities were prepared and planned, but there was still enough free room and we
were treated like adults – not kids.

“He [Daniel] really enjoyed it. He doesn’t talk a lot, but he was smiling a lot and definitely had a great time.”

Event Director Jane Moe said SU­Schoolies is all about helping all schoolies enjoy the ‘week of their life’.

“It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a disability or if you don’t have anyone coming with you,” Jane says.

“You’ve finished 12 years of school – we think that’s worth celebrating and we’re gonna help you do just that!”

Kathie says SU-Schoolies was a great way to finish her son’s journey as a SU camper.

“I’m so glad that Daniel is going to be able to look back in 30 or 40 years and remember what he did on schoolies. Knowing that is such a blessing.”

Spaces are available for SU-Schoolies events in 2020! For more information, visit su-schoolies.com

Posted: 18/02/2020

Chappy celebrated for going “above and beyond”

A massive congratulations to Gympie State High School’s beloved Chaplain Joy Mahoney, who was thrilled to discover she’d been nominated for the 15th Pride of Australia Award in October…

A massive congratulations to Gympie State High School’s beloved Chaplain Joy Mahoney, who was thrilled to discover she’d been nominated for the 15th Pride of Australia Award in October this year.

The Award is designed to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and achievements of Australians who are making a difference in their communities. Those who know Chappy Joy are the first to say she is doing a wonderful job as she selflessly sows into her community each and every day.

Chappy Joy is a devoted chaplain who strongly believes in her call to chaplaincy, and works whole-heartedly to brighten the lives of everyone around her.

“For me it’s not just supporting people who are going through crisis, but walking alongside young people and their families towards a future of hope,” says Chappy Joy.

“One thing I love is supporting people to function in a healthy way so their future is not dictated by their past.

“My work lets me uncover the genuine gold in people. Getting this nomination was unexpected, but also made me very grateful for the community I’ve been placed in. I couldn’t do it without their support!”

Chappy Joy, you certainly live up to your name! Thank you so much for all you do in your community, and congratulations on this nomination – terrific work!

Chappies like Joy are making a massive difference in communities across Queensland. If you feel the call to chaplaincy, visit suqld.org.au/morehands to find out more.

Posted: 18/11/2019

You helped these boys become overcomers

If we asked most camp leaders to identify ‘that one kid’ on camp who was a little more challenging than the rest, they’d come to mind almost instantly. Young…

If we asked most camp leaders to identify ‘that one kid’ on camp who was a little more challenging than the rest, they’d come to mind almost instantly.

Young people who anger easily and struggle to control their behavior can have a huge impact on the pace and feel of a camp. But the truth is, they can feel isolated and alone.

Don Truss’s heart for these at-risk youth spurred him to assemble a team of leaders to launch Overcomers Camp. The camp, which ran for the first time in the 2019 June/July school holidays, hosted 17 boys from South and Central Queensland schools.

The boys came from a diverse range of backgrounds. Some had a parent in trouble with the law or came from broken homes, while others had experienced alcoholism or substance abuse first-hand – or even a combination of all. The camp focused on loving and supporting these young people through a week of fun, yet sometimes messy activities.

“I guess the heart behind it is to support boys who are going through major challenges internally and don’t know how to express it without acting out or getting angry,” Don says.

“A bunch came off suspensions at school – when they feel threatened they often answer with their fists, which gets them into trouble. The week gave us a great chance to speak into that space, showing God’s love and giving them alternatives to the physical responses they often default to.”

The camp was themed around military history – focusing on how character and mateship are crucial for any good soldier.

“On the first day, we ran team challenges where the boys and leaders had to get everyone through obstacles in thick mud,” Don recalls.

“One of the rules was to get through together – no man left behind – so we got sent back to the start a lot of times!

“But in the end, they got through it together and the feeling of success as a group was such a powerful way to start camp.”

On top of the mud-based activities the boys conquered a range of obstacle courses, had flour bomb fights, explored tunnels together and ended the week zipping around in dirt buggies.

12-year-old camper Eli had a great time on camp.

“My favourite part was going through the mud,” Eli recalls.

“I think it’s important to have fun in life – this camp was heaps of fun and much more.

“I’d love to come again, and I’ll make sure I bring more of my mates with me!”

Overcomers Camp introduces 17 at-risk campers to aspects of leadership, responsibility, self-control, respect, forgiveness and mateship.

Thanks to your support, at-risk teens in regional communities are growing through tough circumstances at camps like Overcomers. Keep this vital support going – visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 7/11/2019

Trek through our heartland launches new chappy services

In July, Scripture Union Queensland and Inspired Adventures partnered to send a team of passionate supporters to trek the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory. A group of 14…

In July, Scripture Union Queensland and Inspired Adventures partnered to send a team of passionate supporters to trek the Larapinta Trail in the Northern Territory.

A group of 14 big-hearted SU QLD supporters undertook the 6 day challenge to ensure the vital work of school chaplaincy continues. The team hiked 60+ kilometres across Australia’s beautiful, rugged and formidable red centre – and raised an incredible $55,461!

Through the funds these amazing adventurers raised (and a massive thanks to you wonderful people who supported them) we’ve been able to launch two new chaplaincy services, while also providing support to four existing services.  For long-time SU QLD supporters, Wendy Phillpotts and husband Steve, the trek meant so much more knowing what it was in support of.

“Larapinta was fantastic – the highlight of my year! We’ve had a long-term involvement with SU and chaplaincy, so it wasn’t a hard decision. Right from the start, we knew it was going to be achievable but still a challenge,” says Wendy.

“We had 3 chaplains in our group, which was wonderful. Getting to see the gifting’s they have, and hear about how they are using those in their schools was incredible. It was great to meet other people who are like-minded.”

Along with the community building, Wendy was blown away by the diversity of the landscape.

“The scenery was breathtaking. We trekked through massive gorges, sandy riverbeds and rock-hopped on rocks that were purple, pink and blue. At night we got to sleep under the stars in a swag, which was a new experience for me. It was a spectacle to see the shooting stars, and watch the moon moving across the sky.”

Steve and Wendy Phillpotts – long-time supporters of SU QLD

 

Also taking part in the adventure, SU QLD Regional Manager for Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay, Kerry Evans, says the trek not only had an impact on those who took part, but it will now positively impact children in his local community.

“These funds have been fundamental in getting new school chaplaincy services started in schools that have never had a chaplain.

“The journey was more challenging than I was expecting, but seeing the need for teamwork and encouragement every day out on the trail showed me that by working together, we really can make a difference in the lives of young people.”

Kerry Evans – Regional Manager for Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay

 

A massive congratulations to this amazing group of people who have put in an incredible effort to raise money for school chaplaincy. And thank you to all those who supported the team financially and prayerfully.

Posted: 22/10/2019

You’re planting seeds through SU-Schoolies

With tens-of-thousands of high schoolers about to graduate, there’s a growing number who are picking safe schoolies alternatives to the more precarious party­culture on the Gold Coast. SU QLD has…

With tens-of-thousands of high schoolers about to graduate, there’s a growing number who are picking safe schoolies alternatives to the more precarious party­culture on the Gold Coast.

SU QLD has been running SU-Schoolies for 39 years, currently offering events in Hawaii, Whitsundays, Sunny Coast and Fraser Island.

Each location provides an action-packed week of fun activities in a drug and alcohol-free environment.

When Goondiwindi teen Kirah first heard about SU-Schoolies on the Sunshine Coast, she wasn’t sure if it was for her. But after finding out some more information from her school chaplain, Sonia, she took the plunge.

“When we arrived there was a lot of people – at first I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone, but then some leaders and other schoolies came up to me and introduced themselves.

“It didn’t take me long to feel comfortable, and from that point on it was awesome,” she recalls.

Kirah says she loved activities like ice skating and aqua fun park, but most of all she enjoyed the ‘Pluggers’ spiritual input program held each night of the week.

“Once I was at pluggers I didn’t want to leave at the end,” Kirah says.

“It helped me a lot – just being able to reflect and have time to think about some of the big questions in life.”

Andrew Beavers has been directing SU-Schoolies Sunny Coast for 10 years. In that time he’s seen thousands of lives impacted and empowered through the event.

“It’s so inspiring to see how God works through SU-Schoolies in different ways each year,” Andrew says.

“We want to help young people celebrate this important milestone in their lives in a fun, safe environment. After 12 years of school, they deserve it!”

For Kirah, schoolies had a lasting impact that she hopes leads into her future.

“I’m thinking of coming back again as a leader,” Kirah says.

“You meet a lot of cool people and have such a great time – it’s an awesome week.”

SU-Schoolies offers four incredible trips to Hawaii, Whitsundays, Sunny Coast and Fraser Island.

SU-Schoolies registrations are open until late October – spaces are limited! If you know someone graduating this-or-next-year, bookings are open for 2019 and 2020.

Head to this link to find out more and register: su-schoolies.com

Posted: 15/10/2019

What is Family Space?

Family Space is a resource-based website that’s all about nurturing the family unit.

Our mission is to equip, empower and nurture family households and church families across Australia.

Family Space seeks to support children, teenagers, parents and churches through practical resources, activities and expert advice.

We’re all about nurturing healthy families and creating healthy communities.

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