Posted in Chaplaincy
Principals, teachers and students in isolated and remote Queensland schools are welcoming our Mobile Outback Chaplaincy Service.
SU QLD’s Mobile Outback Chaplaincy Service is a pilot program and offers a chaplain service that tours through multiple schools in regional Queensland. The aim is to provide support to these schools as they await their full time chaplain. It can take a while to find the right person for the job, so until then, the Mobile Outback Chaplaincy Service fills the gap.
The person who comes in to these communities loves the people and the surrounds as much as the locals do.
Meet Chaplain Dave, his wife Emily and their three children.
Our very first mobile chaplains are David and Emily Kamholtz. David has been a school-based chaplain for almost nine years. He moved his family to Cooktown in 2009, and has been serving the communities of Cooktown, Lakeland, Rossville and Wujal Wujal in a full time chaplaincy role ever since. Emily is a qualified teacher, but has taken a break to look after their three children Yindili, Caleb and Elise.
“Our family is heading to six remote schools over the next five months. Emily is now a Chaplain too! Can you believe it? We will be moving to a different school each Friday. The six schools are Greenvale, Mt Garnett, Mt Surprise, Bouila, Bedourie and Urandangi,” says Chaplain Dave. “Emily and I will be assisting in the classrooms and in community programs. We will be running values based education sessions in schools that have been waiting years for a chaplain,” he says.
Chaplaincy has drawn a number of people and families out into rural, remote and isolated chaplaincy, and once they go, the lifestyle captures them and they’re hooked. There is very rewarding work to be done in Queensland’s smaller communities and the program wishes to highlight this. ‘Bush’ chaplains are sometimes referred to as the SAS of chaplaincy; they are on the front line supporting kids and their families, getting involved with the challenges facing remote located families.
We spoke with our District Coordinator for the North West of Queensland, Min Jones about the Mobile Outback Chaplaincy Service. “This work is not for everyone, but if you speak to those who have gone you realise they have been deeply impacted by their new experience and I know the Kamholtz family will be also,” she says. “One of the schools the Kamholtzs are visiting is Mount Surprise State School. Mount Surprise is a town in Far North Queensland, 1,722 kilometres north west of Brisbane, but not far from the most important places in the north like Cairns and Townsville. Three hours gets you to the big city from Mt Surprise,” says Min Jones.
“If you count everyone you may find about 162 people living in close proximity. The school is a hub of the community with about 10 students and a great teacher and support staff. Mt Surprise would love to have a chaplain, but not just anyone will do to make this position work you may need to travel to one of the other schools who are also waiting for a chaplain or take a position in the community, on a local cattle property or look at what’s available in bush nursing, or tourism, they are waiting for the right person with a heart for the bush,” she says.
We will be sharing weekly updates on our Facebook page from Dave and his family about their work in the Mobile Outback Chaplaincy Service. Look out for these!
Applications are open for chaplaincy positions for next year. Visit https://www.suqld.org.au/morehands