Chaplaincy at the “Farm School”

    While many YouthCARE chaplains days’ are filled with programs, pastoral care, and school events, life as a chaplain at WA College of Agriculture Cunderdin looks very different!

    Michelle started at the college in Term 3 last year and says she has loved the unpredictability each day brings.

    “I join with students across the College to engage with them in class, farm, and trades. I also work during residential time two days a week to be a support and facilitate activities,” said Michelle.

    The College productively farms a 4,064ha property including an intensive piggery, poultry unit, butchershop, shearing shed, and farm workshop. The farm runs sheep, cattle, pigs, and poultry for egg production.

    “I turn up wherever something is happening, whether its cattle in yards, shearing in shearing shed, pigs farrowing, welding in the workshop or chasing sheep in the rain! I spend time just being in the student’s workspace and engage in one on one conversations with them,” said Michelle.

    Students come from all across the state making up 142 years 11 and 12 students, only 3 of whom are day students and the remainder are boarders. Michelle says a big focus for her and the Student Services team is the well-being of students as they navigate being far from home.

    “I can combine my passion for photography with my role as chaplain and it gives me great pleasure to be able to walk about with my camera photographing the students at work. They are very keen to have ‘evidence that they can shear a sheep’ when no one believes them!” said Michelle.