PHOTO Left to Right: Lily Teubler, School Captain Burnside Primary School, Chappie Kelly Murphy from Nambour State College Junior Campus, Chappie Jody Russell from Nambour Special School, Chappie Matt Brady from Burnside High School, Chappie Ryan Lowes from Nambour State College Campus, Greg Hale, President Rotary Club of Nambour, and Doug Chetwynd, Treasurer Rotary Club of Nambour.
Chaplains, known as Chappies, help save lives every day in QLD schools. This is a big statement but not an exaggeration.
The Nambour Burnside Chaplaincy Committee (NBCC), which supports five chaplains at four schools in our area, is seeking community support to keep their programs running at Nambour State College, Burnside High, Burnside Primary and Nambour Special School.
Chappies provide support, understanding, spiritual advice, mentoring, community development, educational support, and pastoral care (social and emotional support) to students, school staff and parents through role modelling and structured programs within the schools they work.
On any given day, and always in conjunction with counsellors and other support staff, they attend to students with anxiety, depression, social issues, eating disorders, dysfunctional families, domestic violence and those that self-harm, but the number of students that need their help is on the rise.
Chappies are a non-authoritative figure in the school. They facilitate groups for students like rock bands, ukulele groups, social groups, hiking programs, and equine therapy where students can talk and learn new life and personal development skills with people who will listen and care; and they are part of the breakfast programs that provide a healthy meal to children who may otherwise have gone without.
Most chappies achieve all they can in only 2 or 3 days a week because there is not enough funding for them to attend more than this. A recent fundraising dinner at Le Relais Bressan in Flaxton helped boost much needed funds to support the NBCC chappies, including a cheque for $5200 from the Rotary Club of Nambour, but they need more help so that they can remain present at the schools and always have an open door for a student in need.