School Chaplaincy Q&A with Melina

Tell us about your family…
Married to Darryn for 26 years with two married children, Talitha married to Patrick and Levi married to Katie.

You have been on staff at SU before but where?
I worked for SU Qld in a paid capacity for 9.5 years, plus many years of volunteering with camps, kids clubs and youth work before that – so over 30 years involvement with SU Qld. I also worked as Regional Manager responsible for 5 Districts covering 178 Chaplains in 278 schools across the state. I liaised between SU Qld, Education Qld, various community groups and businesses overseeing the implementation of school chaplaincy, camping, training, recruitment and youth/ children’s programs in Southern Queensland.

What drew you to minister in the school chaplaincy realm?
I was at a Chaplaincy Fundraising dinner in 2008 when God just said to me “Now’s the time for you to be a Chaplain”. I became a school Chaplain at two schools in Brisbane in 2009. When we say a ‘No compromise, reckless ‘Yes’ to God’, He does the most amazing things through us – He opens doors, makes the paths straight and takes us on adventures we never thought possible. Not only have I been privileged to be a School Chaplain but I’ve also had the opportunity to train, develop and lead teams of School Chaplains, SU Qld Managers and staff.

What impact can a school chaplain have in a school?
I often say to people that schools are full of staff and volunteers who care about kids. Teachers, principals and auxiliary staff can and do have a wonderful impact on the lives of the children and families at their schools. However, time constraints, curriculum pressures and behavioural management so often means that staff who really care about kids do not have the time to give to their emotional needs. The beauty of a School Chaplain is that they are paid to care for kids, staff and families, they are paid to have the time to sit and listen, or run a group, or visit that family who have just lost a loved one…What an incredible privilege it is to journey with their school communities!

I am so passionate about School Chaplaincy!

What is your new role you’re coming West for?
I am coming to support SU WA in starting up as an AEA (Accredited Employing Authority) for School Chaplaincy through the NSCP (National School Chaplaincy Program). That will involve getting into local schools, communities and churches to build relationships and foundational supports for the SU WA School Chaplaincy program.

What would you like the SU WA family to pray for in the SU school chaplaincy realm you now find yourself in?
I would love the SU WA family to pray for “Open hearts, open minds and open schools.” I firmly believe that God has gone before and already prepared the way. He is just so amazing and He never does things the way we expect Him to; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”, Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV.

I am just resting in His purpose for what SU WA School Chaplaincy looks like.

Darryn and I are thrilled be journeying with the SU WA team, we are looking forward to walking in the promises of God.