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Chaplaincy service

 

​Chaplaincy services provide spiritual, ethical, and personal support to school communities. Scripture Union Queensland 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.

Mount Ommaney Special School is committed to quality education in a supportive learning environment. Given our students’ complex specialized education and health needs, it is essential that staff, students and parents be given optimal levels of support. Additional assistance helps lighten the load of teachers and parents, and improves the care given to children. The chaplaincy service has been introduced in order to supplement this support. This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations under the national school chaplaincy and student welfare program.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

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 are involved with positive activities for students, staff and families 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 chaplain?

Bill Schneider was appointed as chaplain to the Mount Ommaney Special School community in May 2018. 

Bill is a trained counsellor with a masters in autism studies and is presently undertaking a research masters in Rehabilitation Counselling. Bill has worked in the Special Education Sector for the past six years across four Special Schools in South East Queensland.
 
Bill is passionate about helping students overcome anxiety through the use of drumming and social skills development. "The reason why I like to drum with our students is that it facilitates a number of learning processes, in particular 1) increased attention to task 2) non-verbal expression 3) socialisation 4) stress reduction 5) turn taking and a whole lot more" 

What will chaplaincy look like in 2018?

Student participation in this school’s chaplaincy service is on a purely voluntary basis, and subject to the permission of parents/ carers. The chaplain participates in many aspects of school life and offers assistance in classrooms, excursions and special events. 

The vision of the chaplaincy service is to provide a service that fosters a culture of encouragement and support leading to better community connectedness between families, staff and their local community. To achieve this, relationship building and offering pastoral care are of high priority for the chaplain. Parent networking morning teas, information sessions, coffee mornings and other special events held at the school all help to better connect our school community.

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. Consent will be obtained from parents 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. Any concerns about the chaplaincy service should be directed to the principal, deputy principal or head of special education services.

How can I contact the chaplain?

Bill is at the school each Wednesay and alternate Fridays. He can be contacted by phone on (07) 3717 6888 or email at bills@chappy.org.au