Insights

As we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of SU internationally, we want to recognize that we’ve all had our part to play in the SU story – some for a short time, some for a long time but always for a specific purpose and calling. SU has been built on the dedication and commitment of everyday people like you who are faithfully sharing their faith and living out their Christian belief in the service of those in need.

At the heart of it, SU’s story is a love story. At this year’s SU QLD Staff Conference – we will open up our Tuesday evening meeting for SU QLD Staff like you to share YOUR ‘LOVE’ STORY.

Here are our chaplains that we will be hearing from  …

Rebecca HEWITT

RESILIENT: (yeah I know it’s a buzz word) but I have conquered some serious storms in my life and am stronger for it!

EMPATHETIC: I genuinely want to help people and understand what is happening for them (especially little people either!)

BRAVE: 5 years ago I shaved all my hair off for the love of my life and raised over $6000 for Leukaemia Foundation (with the help of Team Hewett).

EXCITABLE: most things get me excited for life, especially having fun at school, dressing up is one of my favourites, any theme will do.

ENERGETIC: Being a Chappy requires extra energy than most jobs, and I feel like I keep up (most of the time!) especially when others are getting tired or worn out.

CARING: Giving others a little extra love can mean the difference to their day being rubbish or being a rainbow in the storm, hugs are free and so are smiles.

CREATIVE: I may not have as much time to create as I used to, but these days I do get creative in some interesting ways. My most recent ‘Crazy Hair Day’ included UNO cards, a rubber chicken, pencils, paperclips & a handball.

AMAZINGLY Created to do God’s work, and I give it my all every single day, even when some days are tougher than others.

Terry KEEN

I was born in Wondai and grew up in Murgon, Queensland.  I’m currently Chappy at Alexandra Hills State School (11yrs) and Ormiston (5yrs) in Redland City, Brisbane. I’ve been married to Lyn for 43yrs and who is a Chappy of 15yrs. We have 5 adult children and 7 grandchildren.  I have been a Pastor over 40yrs serving churches and church planting in NSW, Victoria and now in Queensland. I am a voluntary Associate Pastor at The Rock Christian Church, Redland City. I love Life; being with my family and grandchildren; travelling overseas to Europe and gardening. Mostly I love God, chaplaincy and providing the social, emotional and spiritual support to school children. That is my passion!

Mel RUGE

Hi my name is Melinda Ruge (known to most as Mel).  I have been very Blessed to be married to Keith for over 27 years.  We have two fun filled young adult children, Mandy (22) and Michael (20).  I live in Gladstone and am currently Chaplain at a lovely country school in Ambrose, which is between Gladstone and Rockhampton.  An interesting fact about myself is that this year I started learning the guitar, and at my husband 50th Birthday party I played and sang a song I wrote for him!  “I enjoy listening to music, beach walks and having coffee with friends. ”

Lauren HUTTON

Although regularly mistaken for a student at the Queensland Academy of Creative Industries where I work, I am 28 years old. I worked as a solicitor for a few years until I decided to quit and be happy instead – that’s when I was called into chaplaincy. I took a year off to travel the world, meeting people of all faiths and walks of life and which created some incredible memories – like being kidnapped in India, and getting stuck with a cult in upstate New York. I am passionate about chaplaincy, building relationships, and sharing the beautiful, compelling, healing love of Christ.

David LARKIN

I was born in Melbourne, 23 August 1972 and am married 23 years with five biological children and carer to numbers of Foster Children. I have been living on the Sunshine Coast for 37 years and have been a follower of Christ for 22 years. A School Chaplain for 9 years, I have always had a love for sport, music, art and drama and use these daily in my Chaplaincy role. Having worked as a Chaplain in 2 Schools, I have learnt first- hand the importance of family and community connections, a healthy personal identity and a sense of purpose and destiny for people. It is for these reasons and more, that I continue to serve the Buderim Mountain State School Community under the SU Qld banner, helping bring hope to a young generation.

Rosalie ALLEN

Hi, my name is Rosalie Allen. I am Chaplain at Narangba Valley State School and this is my third year of chaplaincy. I am a wife of 22 years, mother of three children, and passionate God follower. I was previously a primary school teacher, and then took time away from teaching when I moved from NSW to Queensland and had my second child. I became involved in chaplaincy when my eldest son started Prep and I joined the LCC before the school had even employed a chaplain. I was on the LCC for seven years, before God surprised me with the gift of the role of Chaplain in my own children’s school. Interesting Fact: I survived a potentially fatal car accident through the power of the prayers of my sister and brother, at the exact time I had the accident

Sarah PETCHELL

I am a School Chaplain at Shorncliffe State School and Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital School and have been a School Chaplain for 3 years. I compete for Australia in Powerlifting and coache CrossFit with adults and children.  I believe in bringing principles of courage, perseverance and hard work to my School Chaplaincy roles. I consider it an honour to work with children, especially in the unique hospital school environment. I finds sitting by the bedside of a child when they are most vulnerable, meeting them where they’re at and serving their families in difficult times is the best part of being a School Chaplain.

Rachel WALMSLEY

My name is Rachel Walmsley. I am the chaplain at a small country town called Baralaba. We have 120 students and are prep to year six. I also work in Woorabinda which is an indigenous community. I work at the primary school there with about 140 students. However this school is very community focused so am often also in the play group or visiting the high school or homes. I relocated from the Gold Coast two years ago for this role and have loved every second of it

David KAMHOLTZ

I and my wife Emily have four children and live in Cooktown in Cape York. I have been a chaplain for 11 years and am currently serving in four remote schools. Previously Emily and I were the Mobile Outback chaplains.