Mareeba’s all aboard for Chappy Tim’s BikeBus!

For many kids, getting up and going to school can be a real drag. For students at Mareeba State School in Far North Queensland, it’s one of the highlights…

For many kids, getting up and going to school can be a real drag. For students at Mareeba State School in Far North Queensland, it’s one of the highlights of their day thanks to Chappy Tim and his Bikebus.

The Education Queensland approved ‘service’ runs twice a week, follows council-approved routes, and picks up 30 kids on the way to school. Students can join the pack of riders at any time, and the group is accompanied by teachers, parents and grandparents.

Tim’s initiative has quickly become a community affair. Even the local police have joined in!

“The Bikebus began after speaking with a few students who wanted to do more with bikes. I thought this was a great way to get students excited to go to school and build a sense of community,” says Chappy Tim.

“It’s only been running since halfway through 2019, but already I’ve seen a difference around the school. Students are making friends with kids they met on the Bikebus, and are gaining new skills.”

“Community is important and I wanted to run something that everyone can get involved in. We even have some local organisations who provide muesli bars, water and bananas for the kids half-way through the ride.”

In support of the drought, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal generously gave Mareeba State School a three-year grant of $46,251. This grant provides an extra day at school for Chappy Tim, and funds for bikes and repair items.

“Last year we were given bikes from the Council, as well as from parents and people in the community, but some of them needed fixing. So we started a Bike Repair Club, which is a great way to encourage hands-­on learning,” says Chappy Tim.

More than 100 students have helped at the Bike Repair Club since mid-2019.

Grade 6 student, Alex, has been involved since the beginning.

“In the Repair Club, we fix bikes for people that need them, and learn how to change the brake cables, patch up tyres and change the tubes,” says Alex.

More than just a place to learn new skills, Repair Club has become an extension of Tim’s Chappy Room, where students have another safe space to connect.

“I like having Chappy Tim at school. He’s someone I can talk to. He’s fun and helpful and makes people laugh,” says Alex.

Thank you for being a vital part of the community that is making chaplaincy possible for young people across Queensland.

You are bringing communities together and investing in the social, emotional and spiritual health of our children through school chaplaincy.

Click here to continue this vital work: www.suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 8/04/2020

Lauren’s gifts from the heart

Through your support school communities across Queensland are being blessed by the everyday actions of their school chaplains. But as Chappy Carol from Vienna Woods State School can attest…

Through your support school communities across Queensland are being blessed by the everyday actions of their school chaplains.

But as Chappy Carol from Vienna Woods State School can attest to, the blessings often flow both ways.

When she first met a big-hearted young girl named Lauren, she was moved by her compassion for those in need. What followed has been a partnership that continues to bless and impact her local community.

Since she was in prep, Lauren has given away her birthday presents to those in need.

This selfless act started after the Queensland floods, when Lauren saw the devastation that affected other kids in her class. The following year, six year old Lauren and her mum, Deb, contacted a chaplain through the Radio Station 96.5, and gave gifts to a little girl whose house burnt down.

On the invitation to her birthday parties, Lauren writes specific details of someone in need and the people at her party bring gifts to be passed on anonymously.

Over the last eight years, Lauren has helped a man suffering from cancer, a lonely teenage girl and a family who lost their mum. 

“I know that money can’t buy happiness, but it can make a difference when it makes people feel special,” Lauren says.

Since she was in prep, Lauren has been giving away her birthday presents to those in need.

The process of selecting a special ‘someone’ each year, led to partnering with local chaplains who are the heartbeat of their communities, explains Deb, who also volunteers with the Local Chaplaincy Committee.

“Chaplains know that perfect person who needs a little bit of encouragement,” Deb says.

“Over the years they’ve played a really important role for Lauren, because they’ve been our gift registry!

“It’s a very joyful journey. I get a warm-fuzzy smile thinking about it.”

Chappy Carol says the partnership between chaplaincy and families is incredibly important.

“This family, everything they do is about giving. Lauren is very generous and her mum, Deb is always thinking of ways to bless others. As a chaplain, I get the best job of sharing the love around,” Chappy Carol says.

Lauren has started a beautiful tradition of generosity that will last for many years to come.

Your support helps make partnerships like Lauren and Chappy Carol’s possible. Please help keep this going. Visit suqld.org.au/donate.

Posted: 2/12/2019

You’re helping communities in Mackay to soar

Throwing the perfect paper-plane has been a beloved past-time for generations. Over the years, many school classrooms, playgrounds and gymnasiums have hosted these epic battles as students try to…

Throwing the perfect paper-plane has been a beloved past-time for generations. Over the years, many school classrooms, playgrounds and gymnasiums have hosted these epic battles as students try to combine a perfect wing-fold with seamless aerodynamics. No easy feat!

Each year, the inter-school Mackay Paper Plane Competition is an opportunity for chaplains and students to come together and cheer each other on in their victories.

The initiative was designed to encourage kids to practice their throwing skills in an afternoon of healthy competition and ear­to-ear grins, but the Chappy Week promotion has grown into a competition that students talk about year round.

“The point is to have fun and include the kids who might not run a marathon perfectly, but still want to feel part of a team,” Chappy Sally says.

“Part of why I love my job is that I get to meet people in the moment that they’re in. Even though flying paper-planes is a fairly light-hearted activity, it shows the kids that I’m there for them.”

“And don’t underestimate the kids. I’ve been doing this for four years, and the record distance from a student is 30 metres!”

There are seven different schools who participate yearly, with the top three kids from Grades 4, 5 and 6 receiving prizes of movie tickets and pizza vouchers, which proved a real hit with the students.

“It’s important to have events like this because it brings a whole community together. We get to compete against friends and meet new people,” explains Ethan Taylor, one of the participating students.

“I like that we all get to have fun together.”

Sometimes, it’s those little triumphs, like cheering as your paper-plane soars through the air, which paves the way for achievements of even greater heights.

Your support for school chaplaincy is bringing communities together. Thank you!

To find out more about how you too can support the work of school chaplaincy, visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 10/10/2019

When floodwaters subsided, your support saw them through

When her high school students were being evacuated from their homes in the dead of night, with rain pouring so hard it was deafening, William Ross State High School…

When her high school students were being evacuated from their homes in the dead of night, with rain pouring so hard it was deafening, William Ross State High School chaplain, Kay, was there to support them in any way she could.

The February floods tore through the Townsville high school community, destroying everything in its path – carpets, furniture, resources. Some staff lost everything.

William Ross State High School principal, Allan Evans, who steered the school community through the flood disaster, said one teacher was lucky to escape with her life.

“[The teacher’s] fiance was shifting the vehicle up the road to get out of the water and when they walked out again the water was chest-deep. The guys in the boat said ‘dump the lot or die’, so they got in the boat and that’s what they left with,” he says.

Chappy Kay recalls that many students feared for their lives too.

“I was talking to some kids and they said they were taken out in great big army trucks, and there was a cover over the top but because the rain was so heavy, there was a foot-and-a-half of water inside the truck,” she says.

“They couldn’t see anything, and every time the truck lurched, the parents were grabbing their kids because there was so much water, and they didn’t want them to drown inside the truck.”

In the light of day, the devastation became heartbreakingly clear. Many of the buildings at nearby Oonoonba State School had to be completely gutted and rebuilt.

Mr Evans found himself adopting 350 year 3-6 students on the high school campus for Term 1 after quickly offering his support.

“We were given 12 hours to completely revamp the school. We were a little protective of the younger students,” Mr Evans says.

Even after the floodwaters began to subside, it was clear that the full impact was still being felt. Mr Evans recalls that many of the students would panic whenever it would start to rain again. “Every time it rained, it was like they were re-traumatised,” he says.

But he was full of praise for Chappy Kay and the school’s other support staff.

“The support staff are the pivotal edge of any change. Kay is one of five support staff and each brings that element of support and that’s critical,” he said.

“The day-to-day business, the staff have got the ammunition to deal with it. But when you’ve got the blow-ups, a teacher can’t handle that because they’ve
got 20 other kids – that’s when you call for Chappy.”

Chappy Kay was there to support her traumatised school community because of your support. Help keep this support going, visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 10/10/2019

A box of books can change the world

It all began with the promise of a box of books and a Chappy who wanted to make a difference. Cleveland District State High School chaplain, Neale, is a…

It all began with the promise of a box of books and a Chappy who wanted to make a difference.

Cleveland District State High School chaplain, Neale, is a man with a passion for helping children in need.

Through his Library Project Vanuatu initiative, which he launched in 2014 to help resource underprivileged schools in Vanuatu, he is now empowering students in his local school community to better understand the age-old adage that it is better to give than to receive.

“It is a real honour to open the eyes of students to see that you don’t have to be a millionaire to make a real difference. All it takes is some unneeded books and a bit of fundraising and you can change the lives of a whole village of kids,” Chappy Neale says.

To date, Chappy Neale and over 100 volunteers, have provided in excess of 100,000 books to resource 27 school libraries in villages across Vanuatu.

The people of Vanuatu are so eager for books, that some schools had actually built empty libraries, hoping they would one day be filled. When Chappy Neale and his school team show up with crates of books, the gift is beyond their expectations.

A completed library in Vanuatu

“One school told me: ‘We built the library and knew God would provide the books,’” Chappy Neale recalls.

“The truth is these books are going to benefit kids who haven’t been born yet. There is an incredible longevity to the gift. It costs about $4,000 to put in 3 libraries, which is really quite amazing.”

Many students and staff from Cleveland District State High have been fortunate to see first-hand the impact their support is having through the school’s biennial Vanuatu trips.

Students live in the village, eat the local food and are immersed in a whole new culture. The paradox is that while they are the ones bringing the gift of education, they themselves are learning too!

Chappy Neale has taught his school students a valuable life lesson: it truly is more blessed to give than to receive.

This initiative has changed the lives of young people at Cleveland District State High School and across villages in Vanuatu. Thank you for making these stories possible through your support for school chaplaincy. To keep this cycle of giving going, visit suqld.org.au/donate.

For more information about this wonderful Project, the website is: www.libraryproject.com.au

Posted: 15/08/2019

You’re connecting busy dads with their children

It’s not always easy for dads to spend quality time with their children in today’s competitive, fast-paced world. But the need is vital. One way Pallara State School’s Chappy…

It’s not always easy for dads to spend quality time with their children in today’s competitive, fast-paced world. But the need is vital.

One way Pallara State School’s Chappy Andrea is helping parents connect with their children is through an annual Camp Out at the school, where dads play games, sleep in tents, cook up burgers on the BBQ, and spend one-on-one time with their child.

Camp Out provides the opportunity for vital connections to grow between fathers and their children. Your generous support for chaplaincy is helping to deliver programs like this. (more…)

Posted: 15/08/2019

Helping your child navigate cliques and friendship groups

Everyone wants to feel accepted, especially young people. Childhood friendships influence the way kids will interact with others as an adult, and also contribute greatly to their self-esteem. The…

Everyone wants to feel accepted, especially young people. Childhood friendships influence the way kids will interact with others as an adult, and also contribute greatly to their self-esteem.

The dynamics of friendship groups, especially in our highly-connected society, can present real challenges such as peer pressure and conflict. Kids might feel they have to change to conform to the group’s rules, even if they don’t agree.

Being able to identify the difference between belonging to a group, as opposed to trying to fit in to be popular, is vital for kids to understand. (more…)

Posted: 15/07/2019

Spirit shines through after Townsville floods

Just days after Townsville’s devastating February floods that left hundreds homeless and all schools closed, one teacher walked barefoot into her classroom to get ready for her students the…

Just days after Townsville’s devastating February floods that left hundreds homeless and all schools closed, one teacher walked barefoot into her classroom to get ready for her students the next day. 

She couldn’t find any shoes in the floodwaters or in the mud that covered her home.

Rasmussen State School’s classrooms were in shambles.  About 70% of the carpet had to be ripped up, and where the water didn’t come ‘up’, it came ‘down’ – down the inside walls; gutters and roofing, unable to cope with the huge volume of water. (more…)

Posted: 15/07/2019

Ella riding high, thanks to Chappy

Your generosity means school chaplains can journey with children and young people through times of crisis and tragedy. They’re also in schools helping young people navigate their daily challenges….

Your generosity means school chaplains can journey with children and young people through times of crisis and tragedy.

They’re also in schools helping young people navigate their daily challenges. It’s these everyday encounters that continue to leave a powerful and lasting impact in the lives of our children.

Gympie South State School chaplain, Ronnie Timperon, helped one such student who was struggling with her self-confidence, simply by taking the time to build a relationship and connect with her.

Ella confided in Chappy Ronnie that she didn’t like herself.

“I got talking to Ella early last year. She said, ‘I’m not comfortable in my own skin’. She couldn’t see how wonderful she was,” recalls Chappy Ronnie.

“I knew the Hope Reins program would really help her build up her self-confidence.”

Started by ex-school chaplain, Kylie Read, Hope Reins is a place where rescued horses find a home. It’s also a safe place for people struggling with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression or overcoming trauma, to find purpose, self-worth, and confidence.

Chappy Ronnie says the program helped Ella rebuild her confidence, tackle some issues she was facing in the schoolyard, and prepare for high school.

“She’s more confident now and even asked and answered questions in front of others during our Transition to High School program in Term 4 last year,” she says.

Our children truly are wonderfully made. You can help continue to invest in their lives by supporting school chaplaincy. Visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 14/06/2019

You helped Floyd become a role model

School chaplains live busy lives. If they’re not running breakfast clubs, resilience and anti-bullying programs, they’re providing spiritual support to children and families in times of grief, loss and…

School chaplains live busy lives. If they’re not running breakfast clubs, resilience and anti-bullying programs, they’re providing spiritual support to children and families in times of grief, loss and crisis – and more.

But at the core of this support, school chaplains are unlocking the potential in our young people so they can thrive socially, emotionally and spiritually. Through your support, young men like Floyd are finding their confidence and experiencing fullness of life…   (more…)

Posted: 14/06/2019

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