Highway Heroes at Balga Primary School

YouthCARE chaplain Di has started running the Highway Heroes program at Balga Primary School to help improve students’ behavioural, emotional and social skills.

“We wanted to look at a whole-school program that covers something that aligns with curriculum and provided social and emotional skills to students,” said Di.

The program equips students to identify if an issue can be dealt with themselves and gives them the steps to do so.

One part of the program which has permeated the school is the ‘Six Steps Stick Up for Me’. These six steps target bullying and help students to build confidence in addressing a bully.

Students at Balga Primary School showing The Six Steps; Stick Up for Me

“The Six Steps help our students to stand up for themselves and each other by learning to be resilient and identifying when they need an adult.

“It makes it so much easier when everyone is on the same page and by the whole school participating in this program we are able to reinforce what is learned each week,” said Di.

The program is very interactive for students and staff and sees participants acting out different scenarios and learning how to deal with situations.

“The key to the program is repetition. We keep parents informed about what is taught each week so they can reinforce the skills at home. We can definitely see that students have benefitted from the program with how they interact with each other on the playground,” said Di.

34 chaplains have been commissioned already this year!

At YouthCARE we have had an incredible start to 2020!

Already this year we have inducted and commissioned 34 chaplains into schools from as far north as Mount Magnet down to Albany, and everywhere in-between.

Nicola is one of our chaplains who was commissioned in February and has started her YouthCARE chaplaincy role at Inglewood Primary School.

“The induction week was extremely helpful, not only in terms of the content covered but as an opportunity to meet other new chaplains, hear stories from experienced chaplains and meet the other staff who work at YouthCARE central office,” said Nicola.

Nicola at Commissioning with YouthCARE CEO, Stanley Jeyaraj

YouthCARE’s chaplaincy application process has been refined over the last 40 years of experience to ensure the best quality service possible is delivered to schools. 63% of chaplains placed in state schools through YouthCARE have more than the minimum requirements of becoming a chaplain.

Nicola had met YouthCARE chaplains previously through her son’s high school as well as her position on the P&C and knew that the quality of pastoral care provided in schools through YouthCARE was exceptional.

” After meeting several YouthCARE chaplains and hearing about the great work they do, it was an easy choice for me to apply with YouthCARE when I was ready to become a chaplain,” she said.

Breakfast Club at Koorana Primary School creates a positive school community

For over a year, YouthCARE chaplain Belinda has been running Breakfast Club at Koorana Primary School and has since seen a huge change in the school community.

Students who had previously been late to school, are now arriving early to engage with other students and have a good meal before starting the day.

“For some students, the transition from home to school can be tough. Some of our students come from stressful home lives and it can be hard for them to get into school mode. Breakfast Club has helped students get excited for the school day and all start together,” said Belinda.

Koorana Primary School also has an Educational Support Centre where students are also invited to participate in Breakfast Club.

Students being served fresh fruit, vegemite toast and spaghetti on toast!

“We have lots of students come to Breakfast Club from our Educational Support Centre. It’s been a great way for students to integrate in with each other,” said Belinda.

Breakfast Club at Koorana has been provided a great opportunity to engage with the large community.

Food for the club is donated by the P and C, Coles Warnbro, Second Bite, and Foodbank.

“We rely heavily on the generous support of local organisations to keep Breakfast Club running. I also have a lot of parent support in setting up and serving and it’s been a great way to open lines of communication with them,” said Belinda.

Albany school students fundraising for Volunteer Bushfire Brigade

After seeing the devasting bush fires in their local area, and on the east coast, three Albany Senior High School year 7 boys decided it was time to take action.

With the help of their YouthCARE chaplain Jennifer, the students planned a school-wide cake stall to raise funds for the local Kalgan Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade who are fundraising for a new station and heat cameras.

Last week, Albany Senior Hight School YouthCARE chaplain, Jennifer Wingard organised a visit from longtime supporter of the YouthCARE school chaplaincy program and Albany locals, Mr. Peter Watson MLA to be part of a special occasion held at the school.

Principal Mrs. Jenny Firth said she was blown away by the courage of these two young men, “they even asked me to cook a cake!” she said.

The school event was also attended by a longtime supporter of YouthCARE, Mr. Peter Watson MLA.

Mr. Watson said he was thrilled to be part of the presentation of the cheque by the boys for such a worthwhile cause and said these young men are our future leaders.

“Albany Senior High School should be very proud of their effort.”

Uniform Shop Raises Funds for Chaplaincy

For over 28 years, Andrew has been the YouthCARE chaplain at Mount Lawley Senior High School and in that time has started many new programs and initiatives, one being the second-hand school uniform shop.

Andrew started the shop in 2007, sourcing second-hand uniforms from graduating students and storing them on a roller rack near his office.

Since then, the shop has grown more and more and Andrew now has hundreds of uniforms donated from families every year that he sells from a shop within the school grounds.

All the money raised goes towards his chaplaincy service in the school and in 2019 over $5,500 was raised through the uniform shop.

Andrew said the shop gave him a great connection point to students and families.

“The shop benefits me as a chaplain. I’m able to meet new students who have transferred from other schools and connect with families in our school that are struggling. I’m often the first person students meet and its great being that first connection point.

“We have parents come in to help me sort the uniforms and sell them at school events. We have an incredible school community and every year we get more and more uniforms donated.”

Michael Camilleri Associate Principal said the second-hand uniform shop was a benefit to the whole school community.

“We have embraced the second-hand uniform shop as it provides great opportunities for all our families. It reduces the financial burden some parents may feel and ensures all students feel part of our school community.”

Breakfast Club at West Coast Secondary Ed Support Centre

The 8.20am school bus arrives to drop students at West Coast Secondary Ed Support Centre in Warwick and there is a rush for who can get to Breakfast Club first.

YouthCARE chaplain Raissa is running the Breakfast Club for the third year, providing breakfast foods from cereal and yogurt to pancakes and toasted sandwiches to anyone who needs it.

“Food is social and at breakfast club, I can create repour with students and staff effectively, building positive relationships in a safe and informal environment.

“Being an Ed Support, our conversations with students often look different and are more based around social skills. The great thing about the breakfast club is that students choose to come to me and eat. I’m not coming into their space which can be daunting for some,” says Raissa.

School Principal Joanne Kriziotis said, “We’ve seen a huge increase in concentration and emotional regulation from students since starting the Breakfast Club. Positive relationships have developed between students and staff and its a great way for us to all start the day in a positive way.”

Raissa believes that the consistency of Breakfast Club is vital for many of the students.

“We consistently have Breakfast Club three times a week since it started. The routine of this is important for many of our students and it helps me build on relationships in remembering what I’ve spoken with students about previously and checking in on them again.”

The Annual Chaplaincy Formation

Our annual Formation is always a great way for our chaplains to get together and start the year well! 

This year, over 350 chaplains gathered in the Swan Valley to connect, share ideas and hear from some amazing speakers. The theme for us this year is ‘Peacemaker’ and chaplains heard from different speakers on how to be a peacemaker in their school communities. 

Rev Mark Illingworth spoke about the difference between a peacemaker and a peacekeeper and encouraged the chaplains to be bringing peace to every situation they encounter this year. He used different illustrations of swords, umbrellas and even a lightsaber to show the effects peace can have in our areas of influence. 

“At a time when there is so much conflict and dissension in our communities, chaplains can be peacemakers,” said YouthCARE CEO Stanley Jeyaraj

Chaplains were also able to gather with their Area Chaplains and other chaplains from their region to discuss the year ahead and support one another. 

“It’s always a time of year I look forward to as a chaplain. I feel so motivated and encouraged to be starting my year off with the support of other chaplains in my area,” said YouthCARE chaplain Jess. 

The Annual Bunbury Garden Party

Last Friday the Bunbury Regional YouthCARE Council held their annual Garden Party at the home of long-time supporters, Jim and Flo Cunniffe.

One hundred and seventy people attended from local churches and community groups – all supporters of the YouthCARE chaplaincy program.

This is the 17th year that Jim and Flo have hosted the event, which raises money for YouthCARE chaplaincy services in the local area through raffles, live music, and donations.

Over $3,000 has been raised through the event this year, which will go towards additional chaplaincy days in schools.

The biggest Chaplaincy Commissioning in THREE years!

What a way to start 2020!

We had our biggest induction of chaplains this week since 2017 with 21 chaplains being commissioned into their schools.

We commissioned chaplains from up north in Mount Magnet to Kalgoorlie, down to Albany and everywhere in-between.

Say hi to these fresh new faces, all starting in term one!