At SU QLD, we know our hard-working school chaplains are amazing and we like to make a fuss of them every chance we get. But it’s even cooler when Federal politicians do it for us!
On Australia Day, 16 chaplains in the Hon. Peter Dutton’s Federal electorate of Dickson were honoured at a breakfast and awards ceremony, where he presented each chappy with the Dickson Appreciation Award “for recognition of your outstanding service to our school communities”.
Peninsula Pine Field Development Manager Andrew Boardman was one of the surprised recipients.
“I just thought it was a free breakfast being put on for us,” Andrew laughed.
“It felt good to be recognised; that a small fish in a big ocean, and the work chaplains do, don’t go unnoticed.
“Most of the chaplains hadn’t been given an award of recognition before – it was my first one – but every year they (Peter Dutton’s office) pick out a community group who do good work and focus on them and recognise them, and they did that for chaplaincy this year.”
Chaplain Joey Judge, who is chappy at both Ferny Grove and Bray Park State High schools, said it was a special morning for the chaplains.
“It was really nice to come along and receive the award for what we’re doing in the community. I think it’s always pleasant when someone genuinely appreciates the work you do,” she said.
Undurba State School chappy, Beck Holloway, has been a chappy for nine years “give or take some maternity leave”, and the Australia Day award presentation was a special moment for her.
“Peter Dutton said some really encouraging words about chaplaincy, and the time and care was taken to give us the award, so it was a lot more significant than I thought.”
But ultimately, the reason for the event was the children and young people and their families the chaplains support.
“Chaplaincy isn’t a job you do for something to do. It comes from the right place – to help the students, and how can I meet their needs.”
The 16 recipients were:
Melanie Abesamis – Samford State School
Andrew Boardman (FDM)
Andrea Eadie – Patricks Road State School
Carly Hockey – Mount Samson State School
Dave Hockey – Pine Rivers State High School
Sharon Hocking – Strathpine State School
Beck Holloway – Undurba State School
Joey Judge – Ferny Grove State High School and Bray Park State High School
Chris Macnaught (FDM)
Matho Mbuzi – Albany Creek State School
Dave McCafferty – Patricks Road State School
Bee Peever-Morgan – Dayboro State School and Strathpine West State School
Kirsty Ridgway – Bray Park State School
Lindsay Suosaari – Pine Rivers Special School
Tracey Storey – Mount Nebo State School
David Sumpton – Albany Creek State High
SU QLD school chaplains can only do their life-changing service for children, young people and their families because of your support. Visit suqld.org.au/donate.