Blast from the Past: LYN CANNON

1990: Lyn Cannon and her husband Paul bring full-time chaplaincy to Northam Senior High School.

2019: Lyn is still a part of YouthCARE.  As Principals’ Chaplain (in the South West) Lyn provides pastoral care and support to school principals. Paul is the Anglican Parish Priest at Church in the Park in Carey Park and is the Director of Ordination in the Bunbury Diocese of the Anglican Church.


For the past ten years, the City of Busselton has donated funds towards chaplaincy services in the Busselton and Dunsborough regions. Earlier this term, YouthCARE hosted an afternoon tea at West Busselton Primary School to thank the City for its support. 

Thanks to the City’s generous donations, Breakfast Clubs and peer support programs are growing and the number of chaplains in the area has doubled! 

The event was attended by City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley, councilors, YouthCARE CEO Stanley Jeyaraj, local school chaplains and school community members.

“We’re so thankful for the City and their support over the years. Through their generous donations, we’ve been able to provide more chaplaincy service days in schools. This means students have better access to pastoral care and a listening ear,” said Karen Nelson, YouthCARE Area Chaplain. 

CVE Profile: Robyn Best

How long have you been a volunteer? 

Soon after retiring in January 2017, the Lord opened up an opportunity for me with CVE and this will be my third year assisting Melanie Davey at Takari Primary School in Stirling.  

What’s the best thing about being a Treasure Hunters volunteer?

It brings me such joy to see children wanting to know about Christian values through the CVE program. Then to see the fruit it produces in their young lives is a delight.  

During the term, Melanie has a point system whereby the children can earn points for attending, answering questions, respectful behaviour etc. At the end of the term they are invited to choose a small prize with the points they have acquired.  

What does your ideal weekend look like?

My ideal weekend includes church, to praise and hear the bible expounded with brothers and sisters in Christ. To spend time with family and friends. 

CVE Formation 2019

Over 65 CVE volunteers gathered at Mount Pleasant Church of Christ for Formation.

Volunteers participated in the Bible Overview presented by Trinity Theological College, were updated on the new curriculum for 2020 and played getting-to-know-you games with their Field Officers.

“The heart of Formation is to honor our volunteers, thank them for their dedication and equip them for running programs in schools. It’s always a great opportunity for us all to come together to share stories and to network,” said Christy McAnally, CVE Field Officer.

Building connections with parents

One of the many roles of a YouthCARE chaplain is caring for families as well as the students.

Chaplain Margaret Marriott has been running the Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) Teen Seminar series for Coastal Lakes College parents. Parents from nearby feeder schools have been invited to participate as well. 

The program targets everyday concerns, such as how to encourage responsible behaviour, improve family relationships, deal with independence or manage problems at school or with friends.

“I’ve seen Triple P impact the confidence of the parents, giving them a place to start and to help each other.  This grows the community and reminds parents they are doing a hard job but a good job!” said Margaret. 

Other YouthCARE chaplains who have run the program in their schools say they feel better connected with parents and are seen as allies in the journey. 

Margaret said, “Chaplains are uniquely placed to span the divide and engage between school, home and community.” 

Pop-up afternoon tea for parents!

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, YouthCARE chaplain Christell Lotriet runs a pop-up cafe serving afternoon tea to parents as they wait to pick up their children at Singleton Primary School.

“The café creates a sense of belonging for carers of students that attend the school. They feel valued and looked after.

Carers who are new to the school have the opportunity to make friends and get more information in a relaxed environment.  

They have a space to connect with others – on the school grounds – that is especially designed for them. And they also have easy access to me, should they need support or help,” said Christell. 

The Queen of Common Sense

Maggie Dent, often referred to as the “Queen of Common Sense”, is one of Australia’s most loved parenting educators. She is the author of eleven books, with a healthy, common-sense approach to raising children, strengthening families and communities.

In July, Maggie was the guest speaker at an event held by the  Bunbury Regional YouthCARE Council.

Her presentation, “Real Kids in an Unreal World: Building resilience and self esteem in today’s children” was well received by the over 500 people in attendance – a full house!

David Cunniffe, YouthCARE Area Chaplain said, “It was a very enthusiastic crowd that gathered; a mix of teachers, chaplains and parents from the wider community. Feedback after the event indicated that Maggie’s message was both helpful and insightful – people appreciated her sense of humour that came out through the evening.” 

YouthCARE chaplains’ pastoral care often extends beyond the student into the local school community. They help families by providing support and connecting them to external agencies and community organisations if necessary.

“Chaplains speak into the lives of students and parents and have the opportunity to be a non-anxious presence in an anxious world. Chaplains speak with guidance and encouragement,” said David. 

The event raised over $4,500 for chaplaincy in the Bunbury area.