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School chaplain

school chaplain
​School chaplain Ralph Thurlow

Chaplaincy Services provide spiritual, ethical, and personal support to school communities.  SU Qld Chaplains provide positive adult role models for students.  Chaplains are present in schools at the invitation of the Principal, in consultation with the local community, and with the support of the P&C Association. 

What does a School Chaplain do?
A School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school and provides a listening ear, caring presence, and a message of hope.  Chaplains run positive, fun activities for students and assist in fostering supportive, caring school communities.
Working with other members of the school’s support team, the Chaplain cares for students struggling with issues such as difficult relationships with other children or family members, poor self-esteem, family breakdown, and depression.
The partnership between the school and the Chaplaincy Service, supported by local churches, businesses and community organisations, provides a network of local support and assistance.  These positive relationships help young people to face difficult issues, and provide hope, connection, meaning, and purpose.
The Chaplaincy Service is available to everyone in the school community regardless of their religious beliefs.

Who is the Isis District High School Chaplain?
My name is Ralph Thurlow, and I am fine with students using my first name.
I have been a chaplain for over two years, but only started at Isis District High at the beginning of 2012. Before starting in chaplaincy, I was running my own small business, but I also worked with youth and school children in a voluntary capacity.
I consider myself a local (at least to some degree) because my wife and I, and our three children, have been residing in Childers district for more than four years.In my spare time, I enjoy gardening, bushwalking, and casual sports.

What will Chaplaincy look like at Isis District in 2012-2013?
When I started at the beginning of 2012, there was a learning curve involved with getting familiar with the style and needs at the school. Since then, my role has fleshed out.
  • I am involved in providing two free breakfasts each week for students. Our aim is to help students realise the importance of breakfast, and good nutrition.
  • I am involved in planning and running the “Peer Skills” workshop (with the assistance of other school staff). This benefits students through leadership training, social, and life skills.
  • I assist where necessary with sporting and cultural programs, and in classrooms where needed.
From time to time, I run special programs in recess, that are approved by the school. The aim is to engage students with each other in a positive way.
Students may request to see me on an individual basis for support in personal matters.

Will my child be involved?
Involvement with the Chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be a part of the activities that are offered.  Parents will be consulted if their child wishes to be involved in ongoing one-to-one meetings with the Chaplain or in any programme or group involving spiritual or ethical content.  Parents have the right to refuse permission for their child to be involved in any Chaplaincy activity or event.