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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

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

Chaplaincy celebrated in Sarina

It’s nice when hard work is recognised, especially when it’s work done for a good cause. The efforts to promote chaplaincy in Mackay have been recognised by Sarina Community…

It’s nice when hard work is recognised, especially when it’s work done for a good cause.

The efforts to promote chaplaincy in Mackay have been recognised by Sarina Community Bank® Branch, Bendigo Bank who recently awarded the local School Chaplaincy District with the inaugural Community Impact Award. The award recognises  organisations that are making a significant difference in the community.

Rod and Raylene Ballard, long-time community members, and joint-chairs of the Local Chaplaincy Committee, are deeply invested in growing chaplaincy in their region and were pleasantly surprised for their team of chaplaincy supporters to be recognised.

“Sarina Community Bank® sees us as a group which interacts widely with the community in both our fundraising and our service. Our chaplains do such a great job in the schools supporting young people, so that doesn’t go unnoticed either,” says Rod.

“One of the benefits to this award is that you receive that little bit of extra exposure in the community. We’ve worked pretty hard over the years to help people understand what chaplaincy is, and how it helps young people.

“I’d just say, we don’t do what we do to get awards, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s all about the kids. When it all boils down, we’re just an ordinary group of people doing the best we can to help those who need it.”

Chair of Sarina Community Bank® Branch, Karen May, explains how the Community Bank® model works, and emphasises the importance of chaplaincy in the Sarina district.

“The benefit of the Community Bank®  is that we are able to invest profits locally. With 50% of the profits available to the local company, Sarina Community Bank® Branch is able to invest in various community programs and initiatives. This means that when local people bank with Sarina Community Bank®, funds are able to be invested straight back into the community.”

“We have had a longstanding relationship supporting Sarina District School Chaplaincy for up to $6,000 each year because chaplaincy is a centerpiece in our community. By running a smooth transition to high school program, chaplains become the go-to person for our young people who are going through a difficult time.”

This generous support has enabled Rod, Raylene and their team to help chaplaincy flourish in our region. You too can empower communities to support the work of chaplains by visiting www.suqld.org.au/donate.

Posted: 26/09/2019

Feeding the 1,100 – meet Queensland’s top dad

A big congratulations to Wynnum local, charity-worker and 37-year-old father-of-two, Phil Sargeson, who was named the 2019 Queensland Father of the Year – an award proudly presented by SU QLD….

A big congratulations to Wynnum local, charity-worker and 37-year-old father-of-two, Phil Sargeson, who was named the 2019 Queensland Father of the Year – an award proudly presented by SU QLD. Phil was nominated by his wife Samara, who spoke highly of his dedication to their kids.

“He is just an absolutely beautiful father,” Samara says.

“He spends large amounts of quality time with our kids – he has such a beautiful bond with both Joe and Hope – they just relish being in his company.”

For Phil, being a dad has had a huge impact on his life, he says.

“It helped me become more selfless and put their [his kids] needs above my own.”

In 2015, along with his wife Samara, Phil launched Cereal for Coffee, a charity focused on providing a healthy breakfast for kids who miss out.

“One in five kids turn up at school without breakfast,” Phil says.

“We knew a youth worker at our local school who was running a breakfast program and decided to help him out in getting supplies.”

Phil had the idea of going to local cafes and getting them on board.

“We asked a few cafes if they’d be willing to give away free coffee in exchange for cereal boxes – just for one day,” Phil recalls.

“In the first year nine cafes participated in the Manly area. We collected around 450 boxes of cereal – it took five car loads to collect them all!”

Since its inception, Cereal for Coffee has grown significantly. They’re now feeding more than 1,100 Brisbane young people a healthy breakfast each week.

Congratulations Phil – a deserving winner. Keep up the great work!

Posted: 18/09/2019

A Little Church with a Big Heart

Hidden in the bush between Esk and Somerset Dam stands a little white church. Built in 1905 by the local community, this church was founded with a purpose –…

Hidden in the bush between Esk and Somerset Dam stands a little white church. Built in 1905 by the local community, this church was founded with a purpose – it is ‘undenominational’ (sic) and the doors are open to all.

This concept was revolutionary in the early 20th century, however, it perfectly aligns with the heart of our school chaplains.

Since 2004, Caboonbah Undenominational has made a yearly donation to Chaplaincy, a gift that both honours the legacy of the church founders, and blesses the local chaplains – and the children and families they serve.

The great-granddaughter of Church founder Henry Somerset, recalls the stories her mother told her when she was a little girl, “[My great-grandfather] always said that Caboonbah was built on compassion and grace, and I’m really proud to have him as an ancestor.

The church reminds me of the story of the Prodigal Son. Everyone is welcome in God’s house in the same way the doors are open to all at Caboonbah.”

This message has a beautiful link to the work of school chaplains, who are there to listen to and include everyone who crosses their path.

The community of Caboonbah is a close-knit one, with many members having been involved for over 50 years.

One such member says, “The church has a very special feel about it. I think it’s the peaceful surroundings, with the mountains in the distance and the Brisbane river running not far away.”

While the church no longer runs a weekly service, the idyllic venue is often booked for weddings, christenings and funerals, and the annual service which is held in early November.

The simple history of Caboonbah carries a rich encouragement that we can take with us today. What was founded long ago by a group of believers in the bush, is the same message of non-judgmental love and compassion that is carried forth by our school chaplains.

You can support SU QLD’s school chaplaincy ministry, by heading to suqld.org.au/donate.

 

Posted: 16/09/2019

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 SETTING UP COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

Sport is a great way to connect faith communities with local communities – an incredible opportunity made possible thanks to your support!

Sport is a great way to connect faith communities with local communities – an incredible opportunity made possible thanks to your support!

(more…)

Posted: 8/04/2019

Troupies roll up sleeves to help Townsville flood victims

When your small country school is closed due to flooding and your community is struggling in the wake of a large-scale disaster, what do you do?   If you’re…

When your small country school is closed due to flooding and your community is struggling in the wake of a large-scale disaster, what do you do?  

If you’re Rollingstone State School chaplain Travis Johnston, you roll up your sleeves and mobilise your town’s youth group, called the Troupies.

“The school was going underwater.  It was like a sinking ship, and I knew we were going to be off for days,” Chappy Travis recalls. (more…)

Posted: 19/03/2019

Happy 40th SMADD!

In 1980, Malcolm Fraser was prime minister, Dustin Hoffman and Sally Field win Best Actors at the Oscars, Rubik’s Cube debuts at the International Toy Fair, and the first…

In 1980, Malcolm Fraser was prime minister, Dustin Hoffman and Sally Field win Best Actors at the Oscars, Rubik’s Cube debuts at the International Toy Fair, and the first SU QLD SMADD camp was held.

Happy 40th birthday, SMADD! (more…)

Posted: 25/02/2019

Get your 2019 started right! (Or get it back on track)

If your New Year’s resolution was to be more active, and whether you’re still on track at this point and fell off the wagon a few weeks ago, we’ve…

If your New Year’s resolution was to be more active, and whether you’re still on track at this point and fell off the wagon a few weeks ago, we’ve got you covered!

The SU QLD 2019 calendar is jam-packed with opportunities for you to get up, get out, and do something amazing, while helping to bring hope to children and young people. There’s not better motivation than that!

March 2 – Boonah Chappy Challenge: Walk, run, or cycle to support Southern Queensland school chaplains.

May 25 – Cycle for Hope (Far North Queensland): If you’ve got the quads to match your heart for school chaplaincy, join us for the ride from Redlynch to Port Douglas and support your local chaplains.

June 7 – Brisbane Golf Day: Whether you score birdies or bogies, you can swing on by for our annual Brisbane Golf Day. Look forward to a fun day out, while supporting the work of SU QLD.

July – Tour de Chaplain (Rockhampton and Gladstone): Don your best Lycra outfit and take part in Central Queensland chaplaincy’s answer to that French-based riding event, Tour de… what was that name again? 

Trek in the heart of Australia and raise funds for SU QLD.

July 22-28 – Journey for Hope Larapinta Trek 2019: If you have a heart for children and young people, then journey with us through the heart of Australia’s beautiful Red Centre, all while raising funds to keep chaplaincy in our schools.  

August 25 – Bridge to Brisbane: Join the SU QLD B2B Team and walk or run to raise much-needed funds for your local school chaplains.

Various dates (see page 12) – Community Cups: 2019 is going to be a great year for sports lovers with four community cups featuring netball, touch footy, beach volleyball and six-a-side soccer. Come for a great day of sport and community!

There is so much more in store this year. So watch this space. We look forward to your company as we partner together to bring hope to children, young people and their families.

Posted: 17/01/2019

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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