Family Space Resources for nurturing healthy families and communities.

You helped Grace ride the waves of life

Nine-year old Grace’s world flipped upside down when her Dad’s health plummeted. She was caught in the tension of being anxious about what was happening at home, and not…

Nine-year old Grace’s world flipped upside down when her Dad’s health plummeted. She was caught in the tension of being anxious about what was happening at home, and not knowing who to talk to about her struggles.

Because of faithful friends like you, Grace was supported by her school chaplain, Tanya. There was hope waiting in the tides.

“At Burnett Heads State School the beach is our backyard. Each term we invite four to six at-risk students between Grades 1 – 6 to learn how to surf. The program is called “Stoked at the Oaks” and it’s pretty unique. It gives us the chance to talk about courage and trust and trying new things, as a lot of the students haven’t surfed before,” says Chappy Tanya.

“Grace joined ‘Stoked at the Oaks’ last year, and she was thrilled. With all that’s going on in her home life, she was quite worried a lot of the time. She’d look towards the window everytime an ambulance went past the school, checking if it would turn towards her house.”

“Down at the beach, Grace had the best time. Getting to go down to the water twice a week made her really excited to come to school.”

Grace’s mum, Tamara says Chappy’s learn-to-surf program was a ray of hope in a dark time for her family.

“I’m a mum of two (about to be three!) and also my husband’s carer. Watching Grace go to school, with her dad in and out of hospital, has been really hard. She’d find it hard to talk to anyone about what was going on – but then this surfing program came up,” recalls Tamara.

“Grace started to shine. She got her bubbly spirit back, and she knew it was okay to go and have fun. Every time she came back from surfing, you’d see a difference. She was a lot less tense – she was happy.”

“As a mum, it was so good to know your child has someone she could confide in at school. Grace really needed Chappy – our family would be lost without her.”

Chappy Tanya and colleague Bruce, got the idea for the program after watching a documentary about U.S. soldiers who had taken up surfing to recover from post-traumatic- stress-disorders (PTSD).

They realised this program could be a great way to restore joy to students who are facing difficult circumstances.

Thanks to your generosity, a young girl went from feeling scared and alone, to feeling empowered and surrounded. Thank you for being part of the village that supports our young people.

You can continue empowering more young people like Grace by visiting suqld.org.au/donate today.

Posted: 22/02/2022

Local church partners with chaplain to bring peace in the bush

While Australia has done really well navigating the twists and turns of COVID, the pandemic has affected everyone in some way – even those in our remote communities. For…

While Australia has done really well navigating the twists and turns of COVID, the pandemic has affected everyone in some way – even those in our remote communities.

For a small town in the Isaac Region, the uncertainty of the climate led to destructive behaviour inside and outside of the classroom. Thankfully it was nipped in the bud, but the unexpected response from our young people made Chappy Helen’s school community realise they needed external help.

By partnering with local church leaders and the police force to come up with an action plan, Chappy Helen acted as the bridge between these community organisations.

A school chaplain does more than just care for the needs of our young people (although they do a wonderful job at this!) Particularly in remote regions, chaplains are viewed as a central pillar in the community.

“We held a meeting with the local pastor, the police sergeant and the Principal, and all together we talked about how we were going to deal with the behavioural issues from our young people,” says Chappy Helen.

“We knew we needed external help, and decided to put self-worth programs in place.”

Pastor Allan has been working in pastoral care positions for nearly two decades, and knows that unruly behavior from young people stems from a whole range of factors.

“Since COVID, alcohol consumption in our region has tripled and it hasn’t gone down. This translates to every area and we’re seeing broken marriages and a high percentage of underage drinking,” says Pastor Allan.

“Our community has really come together to ask the question, ‘How can we support our young people here?’ It’s not that we’re dealing with ‘naughty kids’ but it’s young people who don’t have worth in themselves.”

“We’ve been running programs about building character and instilling respect in themselves and others. Chappy Helen has been leading the girls, and the police sergeant and I have been working with the boys.”

Over the past few months, there’s already been a big difference in attitudes. There’s hope that by working together and having honest conversations, this rural community will be able to restore some of their lost innocence. 

“These programs instill our young people with a sense of respect in themselves and in others,” says Chappy Helen.

“Having the local church and police support is huge. It’s made such a big difference.”

School chaplaincy is only made possible through partnership. Across the country, SU is incredibly grateful to work with a whole range of churches and community volunteers who have the best interest of our young people at heart, and are committed to seeing communities healthy and flourishing.

 

If you want to support this valuable work, head to suqld.org.au/donate.

 

Posted: 9/12/2021

You’re helping Noah thrive in the tablelands

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ – Matthew 19:14 Your support…

Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ – Matthew 19:14

Your support for school chaplaincy is making a difference in the lives of young people like Noah.

Whether it’s supporting a young person and their family in crisis, or it’s equipping students with resilience and friendship skills, or it’s just being present for a child in need of a listening ear, you are bringing hope. Thank you!

For Noah; a Grade 5 student at Malanda State School in the Atherton Tablelands, he is incredibly grateful to have Chappy Molly helping him thrive at school.

“Chappy Molly is very good at being a chappy! She’s kind, helpful and fun to hang out with. I think having a chappy is probably one of the best ideas at this school,” says Noah.

Earlier this year, Noah took part in a friendship and social skills support group led by Chappy Molly, and he loved the way Chappy Molly taught the group how to approach difficult conversations.

“I’ve talked through a lot of stuff with Chappy Molly; things like friendship, teamwork and how working with other people can help you in life.

“Chappy knows how to deal with friendship stuff and misunderstandings. She works with you to help fix it,” says Noah.

“It’s really nice having Chappy to talk to at school.”

School chaplains work and serve in the early intervention and prevention space; which means they are perfectly placed to be there before problems become too big to handle.

It means they’re actively seeking to help our young people and support their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Most of all, each and every chaplain understands that our children matter to the One who matters most. It’s why chappies champion our young people, and are passionate about serving in our school communities.

Chatting with Chappy Molly, it’s easy to see her heart for young people.

“Noah’s a super-great kid who has benefitted from some extra social-emotional support this past year. I think just being there and being a familiar face is really important for our young people,” says Chappy Molly.

“Once the students are used to you being around, if unexpected things do come up in their life, they know where to turn. It’s great to see Noah’s big smile when I see him around school.”

Thank you for helping young people like Noah thrive. You truly are a blessing.

You can help ensure that our children remain supported be a trusted and trained Christian chaplain. Visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 8/12/2021

You’re supporting Chappy Josh’s Work in Cowboys Country

SU Chaplains are called to serve in many places of need, from primary and high schools to special schools, hospitals and even a University Thanks to the support of…

SU Chaplains are called to serve in many places of need, from primary and high schools to special schools, hospitals and even a University

Thanks to the support of friends like you, Chappy Josh is now supporting students at a boarding facility set up by the National Rugby League’s North Queensland Cowboys, through the Cowboys Community Foundation.

NRL Cowboys House provides safe, supported accommodation for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote communities, enabling them to access quality secondary education opportunities in Townsville.

For Josh, who is also Indigenous, it marks a return to chaplaincy, having previously served from 2007 to 2017. Late last year, Josh felt God was calling him back.

“I saw a real need in Townsville. There’s a crisis happening up here with the young people in our community, and I felt a tug from God to get back into this work again,” Josh says.

At NRL Cowboys House, Josh supports students facing the challenges of homesickness, while also providing life coaching and spiritual guidance.

“Spirituality is the number one thing I talk to kids about at the House,” Josh says.

“Indigenous young people are more open to understanding there is a spiritual world. Culturally, and in their family cultures, spirituality is very real. They come to me with questions and issues. I encourage and help them understand the issues they are facing.”

Josh runs a range of initiatives to support his students’ mental and spiritual wellbeing, including the ‘Ice Cream Program’.

“I take 2-4 boys down to get ice cream. We chat along the way and talk about some really important stuff,” Josh says.

“One time I was talking to some young guys about focusing on setting their lives up well. A lot of Indigenous young people start families at a very young age, which can cause problems for them later in life.

“Just encouraging them to focus on setting themselves up well for a good career, and not jumping into relationships too quickly, it’s often a lot better for them – and helps them provide well for their families in the future.”

Leigh Allender, Director of Boarding at NRL Cowboys House, values the vital role Josh plays.

“Josh works closely with our psychologists and wellbeing team – he’s built some really strong relationships with the students,” Leigh says.

“He’s a big part of our social and emotional wellbeing program for Year 7 and 8 students, and he organises music lessons for some of the students who are not as sport-inclined as their peers. Since his arrival he’s made a real difference.

“We work to provide a full holistic support service to our students, and Josh is a key part of that.”

Thank you for supporting the spiritual wellbeing of our young people in schools and communities throughout Queensland. You are a blessing! To keep this work going, visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 15/11/2021

Stories of Hope from across SU Australia

Something SUPA is happening in WA Over the past 13 years more than 300 children have had the opportunity to learn about Jesus and grow in their faith through…

Something SUPA is happening in WA

Over the past 13 years more than 300 children have had the opportunity to learn about Jesus and grow in their faith through Scripture Union Primary Age (SUPA) Club in Singleton, Western Australia.

It’s a ministry that’s been made possible thanks to amazing team leaders like Anna-Marie.

Recalling the highlights of her time in the program, Anna-Marie says her team members were constantly in awe over the deep questions children raised to further understand God and His love for them.

Students who took part in SUPA Club learned how to pray, which led to some heartwarming moments for the team leaders as well, recalls Anna-Marie.

“We were thrilled to observe the development of their prayers into natural conversations with God, often expressing heartfelt prayers of care, concern, and thankfulness.”

Anna-Marie says one of the most rewarding aspects of the program has been to see ex-SUPA kids, who are now in secondary school, travelling back to visit the club just to check in.

What a blessing it is to know that passionate, servant-hearted team leaders like Anna-Marie are serving on the frontlines of local communities throughout Australia, showing the love of Jesus to the next generation.

Thank you also for all you do in supporting the work of SU to make these stories possible!

Top-end kids enjoy a SUPA day out!

SUPA ministries are not just happening out west. Just under 40 children had a SUPA day out at the second Rural SUPA Kids Day held at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Howard Springs, Northern Territory.

The event is run in partnership with four rural churches (Fred’s Pass Anglican, Living Water Uniting, Baptist Bush Church and Cornerstone Christian Fellowship) and Scripture Union Australia.

All children who attended on the day not only had a great time singing songs, dabbling in drama and playing games, they also learned about the ‘lost’ parables from Luke 15, says Rural SUPA Kids Day organiser, Ox Roberts.

“The key lessons we looked at with the kids was that no matter what happens in our lives, God treasures each and every one of us, and He will also seek us out when we are lost,” says Ox.

After a fun day filled with lots of other enjoyable activities, each child took home their very own ‘treasure chest’ to remind them that God loves and values them.

Summa fun in south Oz!

Summer is on the horizon and for many of our teams around Australia that means one thing – Summer Missions!

Our team in South Australia is excited to build on last year’s inaugural SUPA Summa Fun Family Mission, held in the historical town of Mannum, located 84 kilometres east of Adelaide.

Eighteen amazing volunteers led last summer’s ‘festival-style’ event, where children and families enjoyed plenty of water-based activities, while learning about God through songs, stories and engaging with the Bible over four days.

On the final night, the team invited local families to join their Celebration Event, explains volunteer Evie Dow.

“That night we saw a clever magic show that incorporated an explanation of the Gospel that was engaging for both children and adults,” says Evie.

Team Leader, Joy Marks, says SUPA Summa Fun was a great time of building relationships with children and families and ‘breaking in’ local volunteers who hadn’t been part of a Family Mission before.

“Major highlights for us were the connections built with families and the connections across the churches in Mannum. It was exciting to see so many families and friends come for the [final] night,” says Joy.

Like SU camps and missions all over Australia, SUPA Summa Fun would not have been possible without their big-hearted volunteers. Joy says she’s grateful for these passionate, selfless individuals who gave of their time to bless local families in Mannum.

“Mostly we are thankful to God for who He is and for what He is doing among us,” says Joy.

Community in action at Coolamatong Victoria

At the heart of all SU ministries around Australia you’ll find a common thread that links them – fun, faith and community.

That was once again on full display at this year’s SU Young Adults Camp, held at our Camp Coolamatong site in Victoria.

Young Adults Camp Director, Kyle Cozens, says the week-long camp is one of the best he’s ever been part of.

“There aren’t many spaces like this for young adults. We had one young adult camper who hasn’t been a part of a church. After camp, he’s looking for ways to connect with other young adults throughout the year. He’s even considering an internship at Coolamatong!” says Kyle.

In this age where many of our young people are constantly ‘plugged in’ to the digital world, ministries like Young Adults Camp are encouraging more of our young people to plug into a faith community, and of course our Creator – all while enjoying His beautiful creation.

Posted: 2/11/2021

You’re helping Jade find her sunshine again

Over the past year, Chappy Nancy has been co-running a lunchtime group called “Regenerate” for students of faith. Jade, who is in Grade 8, is a regular attendee. Thanks…

Over the past year, Chappy Nancy has been co-running a lunchtime group called “Regenerate” for students of faith. Jade, who is in Grade 8, is a regular attendee.

Thanks to your support of school chaplaincy, young people like Jade can talk about their beliefs without fear of judgement.

“Being a Christian at a state school means it can be hard to talk about certain things. Regenerate started during COVID and we get together in the lunch break, open the Bible and discuss things from a Christian perspective. It’s a good way to build friendships,” says Jade.

The group has been a support system for Jade, and a safe place when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Jade has always loved school, but when she unexpectedly started having panic attacks over the Easter holidays, everything changed.

“I’ve been struggling with anxiety this year. I was crying all the time, and was even scared to walk into the shops,” says Jade.

“My friends used to call me ‘sunshine’ because I was always happy, but then I got really sad. I remember crying and saying I wanted things to be the way they used to be.”

“At school I can go and see Chappy Nancy and we talk about how I’m feeling. I know I can come and see her anytime.”

Chappy Nancy has appreciated the honesty that Jade has brought to the group, and how she’s encouraged other students.

“Having Jade as part of Regenerate has been really special. People are really encouraged by her story and willingness to share. She has a contagious personality – you just look at her and want to be happy!” says Chappy Nancy.

“I think Jade shows a lot of courage, coming to find me when she’s feeling bad. She knows sometimes I’m going to call Mum, but I’m proud of her for her commitment to keep coming back to school. She is a really genuine person.”

While not every day is sunshine, Jade has found great comfort in the support of her chaplain, and feels she’s in a better place than she was.

“There are days where I feel like my old self again and I feel happy. I’m so grateful for where I am now,” says Jade.

Thank you for giving young people like Jade a safe space to be supported in school when life gets overwhelming.

To continue this support, visit suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 2/11/2021

You’re helping connect dads with their children

Chappy Karl knows the pivotal role that good dads play in the wellbeing of young people. It’s why he’s teamed up with The Fathering Project, a research-based not-for-profit committed…

Chappy Karl knows the pivotal role that good dads play in the wellbeing of young people.

It’s why he’s teamed up with The Fathering Project, a research-based not-for-profit committed to helping dads and dad-figures engage well with their children.

The Fathering Project works by facilitating a series of “dad-only” points of connection, combined with larger community events where fathers and kids are invited for a fun evening out.

At Chappy Karl’s ‘launch’ event at the end of Term 2, around 70 dads showed up for an evening of pizza, great conversation, and a paper-aeroplane competition.

“The point of these events is connecting dads to other dads, and creating space for kids to make memories and build relationships with their fathers,” says John, Community Relationships Coordinator at The Fathering Project.

“Direct research says a child places more value on their education if their dads are involved in their schooling. We want to share that message with dads and remind them that their influence is really powerful. If they show interest in something, their kids will show interest.”

John knows that building strong father-child relationships takes time, and he’s excited by the opportunities chaplains have to speak into this space.

“As a dad myself, I want to be present for my kids. I’ve seen the power of it and how being there for them builds deep relationships. And having been a chaplain for five years, I also understand how the essence of a chaplain is championing others.”

“Throughout these programs,we walk dads through how to have those conversations around bullying, mental health and self-care. It’s always great getting chaplains involved because they use their skills to prompt conversation and offer support.”

Chappy Karl loves the opportunities chaplaincy gives to build strong community connections, and is looking forward to getting more involved with The Fathering Project.

“The launch event was a big success. I didn’t expect so many dads to come out,” says Chappy Karl.

“One of the things I love about chaplaincy is when you work with young people, you’re investing in the future. You get to make a difference in lives every day through active listening, caring, showing patience and meeting people where they’re at.”

“I think this connection with The Fathering Project will be really beneficial for our young people.”

In our fast-paced digital society, simple moments like throwing paper aeroplanes and eating pizza have the power to shape the futures of our young people.

Thank you for investing in our young people’s future through your support. To keep this vital work going, visit suqld.org/donate

Posted: 2/11/2021

Blessed are the peacemakers – like Oscar!

How can water be stronger than rock? The answer to this question is one that Collingwood Park State School students like Oscar are learning through Chappy Kylie’s Rock n…

How can water be stronger than rock?

The answer to this question is one that Collingwood Park State School students like Oscar are learning through Chappy Kylie’s Rock n Water program – and it’s having a great impact throughout the school and beyond.

Oscar, who is now in Grade 6, used the skills he learned through the program to break up a fight on the soccer field [not at school], explains Chappy Kylie.

“Oscar used the Rock n Water concepts when things got a bit heated with some boys on the [soccer] field. He was able to help defuse the situation by saying, “be more like water!” which means, be flexible and calm, instead of being a ‘rock’ which is being strong and refusing to back down,” says Chappy Kylie.

“The elements of ‘rock’ and ‘water’ are an easy illustration for young people to understand, especially when there are a number of kids who come into the program with a lack of self-confidence.

“We’ve been working together to identify each child’s strengths and where they might need some extra help, so we can equip them with tools to grow in those areas.”

It takes guts to speak up in front of your peers, but Oscar says he felt more confident after joining the program.

“Before Rock n Water I was pretty nervous getting in front of big crowds, but I’ve learnt how to overcome those situations, and not get mad at every problem,” he says.

“Because of Rock n Water, I’ve learnt ‘water’ is more powerful than ‘rock’ and how to see things differently.”

Chappy Kylie is thrilled by the progress she’s seen, and encouraged that a number of teachers have also taken part in the training.

“Our school hosted the training event so a number of teachers could take part. It gives them the right language to talk to the kids, and we can chat about it in staff meetings, which is really cool.

“It’s really important for young people to be able to relate the activities to real-life situations. We call it ‘crossing the bridge’. It really affirms them and builds their confidence, and that’s what we saw with Oscar.”

“Going into the program, there were kids with low self-confidence. The problem is if you don’t feel like you’re worth anything, you take what everyone else says on board. This program shows young people that they do have strengths and they do have something to offer.”

Through your generous support young people like Oscar have the chance to uncover their God-given strengths. To keep this vital work going, head to suqld.org.au/donate

Posted: 28/10/2021

Love Thy Neighbour – Let’s CHAT! (Yassin’s Story)

The schoolyard can be a daunting place for any young person adjusting to a new school. For Yassin, who move to Australia from Afghanistan two years ago, stepping into…

The schoolyard can be a daunting place for any young person adjusting to a new school. For Yassin, who move to Australia from Afghanistan two years ago, stepping into Ipswich State High for the first time felt like landing on a different planet.

Thanks to the generous support of friends like you, Yassin was able to join the CHAT Program – an SU initiative aimed at equipping young people with skills and confidence to listen, engage, and live well with people who are different to them.

CHAT, which stands for ‘Cultural Hearing Asking Telling’, is an eight-week program inspired by the story of the Good Samaritan and Jesus’ call to love our neighbours.

For Yassin, the program has been a blessing in helping him transition to life in his new country.

WATCH YASSIN’S STORY HERE

“When I first came to Australia, I couldn’t make friends. Slowly I started to spend time with my classmates and made a circle of friends around me, but the differences between schools here and in the Middle East are major,” says Yassin.

“My favourite part of the CHAT program was learning about other cultures. I came to realise people have different ways of greeting one another.”

The CHAT program opened Yassin’s eyes to a new way of approaching Aussie culture, but it also holds value for Australian-born young people too.

“I would recommend the CHAT program because once you understand that there are different people in the world, you get a different perspective on life. CHAT is a shortcut to understanding other cultures,” says Yassin.

CHAT founder, Tim Fawssett, has a rich history in working with people from all walks of life, and he recognises the importance of communication and diversity – especially in 2021.

“We live in a society that’s increasingly divided, not just culturally, but politically and socially too. Our young people are the future, and it’s incredibly exciting to invest in them as they’re generally more aware of diversity,” says Tim.

“My hope is that CHAT will give our young people skills and confidence in relating to others who are different to them. I want to see young people like Yassin leave the program feeling affirmed in their culture, and confident to embrace all Australia has to offer them.”

Your support helps make SU initiatives like CHAT possible.

You are helping a generation of young Australians learn to love their neighbour and to live well with those who are different to them, while remaining faithful to their own beliefs. To learn more, head to chatproject.org.au

Posted: 7/10/2021

Louisa’s Story

School chaplains play a vital role in supporting the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of our young people. Louisa’s story is a beautiful first-hand account that shows how your…

School chaplains play a vital role in supporting the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of our young people. Louisa’s story is a beautiful first-hand account that shows how your support is making a difference…

Louisa’s Story – April, 2021

I remember the first day of school sitting under the lunch area alone with my earphones.

I didn’t want to talk to anybody.

As a new kid I felt like everyone would make fun of me. Chappy Jennie started a conversation with me and introduced me to all the year 11 students. I was so shy but she encouraged me to be brave. At school I was a rebel kid.

One day I was struggling in maths. I was so upset that I left without the teacher’s consent. Chappy brought me into her staffroom and asked me to explain what was wrong. I explained to her about the situation that was bugging me. The advice she gave me was to forgive, keep trying and move forward. From that day on I started showing up to class early and participated in all my maths.

I also had trouble speaking in front of an audience. Just remembering how nervous I was I asked Chappy if she could pray for me. She did. And just like that, I got over stage fright.  

My name is Louisa and I am in year 12 at Home Hill State High School and I am the Indigenous Leader of the school. I also attend the Crossfire youth group that Chappy runs on Friday nights. I help Chappy Jennie keep the younger kids doing the right thing on the bus. 

Posted: 13/08/2021

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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