Margaret River Senior High School scores a perfect 10 for Big 10 day

School chaplain rides a wave of positive relationship-building and wellbeing

Fun activities for the whole school are a great way of building connections, confidence, resilience and social skills but they are notoriously difficult to piece together and coordinate. Nonetheless, it was achieved and Kathryn Seisun, school chaplain at Margaret River Senior High School in our state’s southwest, actively participated in the kaleidoscope of sports and fun including the coordination of the SmoothStar Surf Skateboarding activity. The school called it, “Big 10 Day” but it turns out that there were over 20 activities on offer. The questions is how did they manage to shoehorn so much fun into one day? Not easy – but not impossible either!

Around the sports world in 180 minutes

To say that there were a few sports and activities on offer would be to massively undersell the range of activities on offer. Students and teachers alike were invited to rotate through:

  • Sports related activity including basketball, volleyball, soccer
  • Games and gaming ranging from IT, boardgames and escape rooms to Uno
  • Adventure activities like trail walking, mountain biking and SmoothStar Surf Skateboarding
  • Self-expression sessions featuring karaoke, dance, art and crafts, origami and donut/biscuit making
  • Wellbeing through DIY self-care product making, women’s health and wellbeing and much more…

On top of that the colour and chaos of a crazy colour run rounded out the day of fun and connection.

5-time Paralympians first time at Big 10 Day

As if that wasn’t enough, the school Margaret River Senior High School extended an enthusiastic welcome to 5-time Paralympian, Brad Ness. Brad captained the Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team and spoke to groups on a wide range of topics including workplace safety, inclusivity and achieving goals.

If the goal was to provide students and teachers with an action-packed day to remember, Big 10 days gets a solid and heartfelt 10 out of 10!

YouthCARE assists young students reach for their sporting stars

Our chaplain got the ball rolling to connect Perth Wildcats with the stars of tomorrow

So many kids dream of playing for their favourite teams in the big leagues and they are often inspired by a chance meeting with a star on the national or international sporting stage. This term, Southwell Primary School welcomed a very special visit from Perth Wildcats big man, Majok Majok thanks to the school’s YouthCARE Chaplain, Lisa Olislaegers.

Looking to encourage, motivate and inspire the students, Lisa reached out to the Wildcats with a request to bring a little b-ball magic to the school. The kids, some of whom have some pretty big sporting ambitions, were greeted by an even bigger treat when the almost 7-foot tall centre arrived, ready to share some tips, skills and shoot some hoop.

“There are a few students at the school who play basketball quite seriously and hope to go pro one day,” said Lisa.

 With a total of 80 students, Lisa got the whole school involved ensuring that everyone got to share in the excitement.

Just like us, the Perth Wildcats know the value of actively connecting with and supporting the community and on this occasion, it was YouthCARE providing the assist – and everyone wins!

To explore opportunities to get the most successful National Basketball League team in history involved with your school, you can contact Katie Reed at The kids will have a ball!

The Story That Ended With a New Beginning

A chaplain in the Esperance region recently joined a year one and two class for their English lesson.

The students were encouraged to write a story following the principles of narrative structure.

Narrative structure is the creation of a plot by manipulating a chain of events, or cause and effect. This could be through a linear format (ie. beginning, middle, end), multiple plots, or be reverse chronological order.

Chaplain Jake was inspired by the idea a narrative could conclude with a new beginning instead of an ending. So he started writing a story as well.

Thirty minutes passed and one by one the students and chaplain read out their stories.

There were stories about …lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Jake’s story was such a hit that the teacher suggested he should publish it.

A few months passed and Jake had shelved the idea of publishing the story until an incident occurred. It caused Jake to realise that people in his community could benefit from hearing The Big Old Tree, even if it was just a couple of people.

The only complication was that the story needed an illustrator to bring it to life.

“After discussion with some of the teachers about finding an illustrator, one teacher suggested I ask Anika, a year 2 student who has amazing drawing skills for her age,” said Jake.

The first illustration created for the book was a sad prince and a tree.

“When I saw her pictures I knew it was exactly what I wanted for the book,” said Jake.

The Big Old Tree has since inspired many people and is a great reminder of how a little bit of positive encouragement can go a long way.

You can catch more stories from our Esperance chaplains on the Goldfields, Esperance and Lake Grace Region Page.

The Huggle Tree Project

The students at Pegs Creek Primary School have a new way to regulate their emotions when their feelings get a bit too much, tree-hugging!

Two trees in the centre of the school were selected to be wrapped in crocheted and knitted pieces of wool.

Chaplain Naomi organised the project to add a splash of colour to the school and unite the school community.

The students can have a huggle (a cross between a hug and a cuddle) from the Huggle Trees when they require comfort or assistance to calm down.

“There are many researched benefits for people to tree hug,” said Naomi.

The motion of hugging a tree can increase a person’s levels of the hormones oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These hormones are responsible for making you feel calm and happy.

“The hope is that kids of all ages (including teachers and parents) can grab a huggle whenever they need one if they are in the blue zone, or just needing to feel the comfort of something soft,” said Naomi.

Other chaplains across the state have also completed the Huggle Tree Project with their school communities.

You can read more stories from the region on the Pilbara Region Page.