When The Reverend Andrea de Vaal Horciu walks around Malkara Specialist School she stops to have an encouraging word with each student, a smile and a word with the carers. The school executive and board can’t imagine being without a chaplain’s
support. Andrea connects with all members of the school community – the psychologist, principal, teachers, carers and
parents. She liaises with specialist health and support organisations to improve student outcomes. But her warmest smiles and most loving care are reserved for the children. Maybe a student is anxious about going to class, or missing someone dear to them. Andrea spends time helping them to settle and providing comfort.
Andrea‘s chaplaincy at Malkara School is teamed up with Embracing Ministries, a Christian organisation she has pioneered
to help young people with disabilities and their families. There is a synergy between supporting the students and families during school time at Malkara with providing holiday programs, music with preschoolers and specialist support for students needing extra health and practical care.
School Chaplaincy Welcome in ACT Schools
School Chaplaincy ACT has chaplains in 20 government schools and one independent school. The chaplaincy services are spread across the entire range of age groups and school types. Our vision is to see each child and young person connected and
supported in community, serving others and experiencing fullness of life.
We are funded by the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) and generous donors. In 2017 Canberra locals donated
$120,000 to augment the $420,000 provided by the NSCP grant in 2017. Local churches and community groups provide
volunteers for breakfast programs, reading support, chaplaincy support teams, prayer, mentoring and SUPA clubs.
The chaplains’ role is to provide spiritual, social and emotional support. That work takes different forms, depending on what
the school requires – market days at a college, chappies going along on camps, mental health initiatives, the important work of
listening and encouraging. Chaplains liaise with specialist organisations such as Young Carers and Anglicare.
Please contact School Chaplaincy ACT if you would like to hear from a chaplain, volunteer to help at your local school or
make a financial donation.
A new initiative in 2018 is providing trained mentors for high school students. We are presently looking for volunteers who
could spend one hour per week with one high school student for a year.
Chaplaincy jobs are generally 2 days per week. In order to apply, you need a Certificate IV in Youth Work or Pastoral Care (or
equivalent or higher qualification) and be an active member of a local church. Experience with children or youth in schools is
Mobile: 0407 118 387
by Lyndal Rogers, Field Development Manager for School Chaplaincy, ACT