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The role of a Chaplain is to provide support to the whole school community: students, staff and school families. 

Chaplains are present in schools at the invitation of the Principal, in consultation with the local community, and with the support of the P&C Association.

Chaplaincy is not religious education/religious teaching. A Chaplain is meant to be a safe person that a student can go to if he/she would like to discuss ethical/spiritual issues. A Chaplain may run programs with spiritual content, but if so, this would be voluntary for students, and would require signed parental permission.

A Chaplain does not perform counselling. A Chaplain provides pastoral care – this means supporting the student who is struggling, listening, helping to develop resilience and problem solving skills and being there for them. Signed parental permission is required for this as well.

Chaplaincy is funded by the government. The school does not pay to have a Chaplain. (The government provides funding for a school to have a Chaplain for 2 days. Any extra days would come from donations from churches, the community or Chaplaincy fundraising events, etc.)

Chaplaincy is ultimately about building relationships with students (and staff and parents) and journeying through the ups and downs of life with them.


What does a School Chaplain do?

A School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school and provides a listening ear, caring presence, and a message of hope.  Chaplains run positive, fun activities for students and assist in fostering supportive, caring school communities.

Working with other members of the school’s support team, the Chaplain cares for students struggling with issues such as difficult relationships with other children or family members, poor self-esteem, family breakdown, and depression.

The partnership between the school and the Chaplaincy Service, supported by local churches, businesses and community organisations, provides a network of local support and assistance.  These positive relationships help young people to face difficult issues, and provide hope, connection, meaning, and purpose.

The Chaplaincy Service is available to everyone in the school community regardless of their religious beliefs.


Who is the Hilder Road State School Chaplain?

Hilder Road State School Chaplain is Michelle, who started at the school in Term 4, 2012. 

Michelle has a background in psychology, and has worked with children aged 1-18 in various settings since 2005 (after school care, Lifeline vacation care, teacher aide, child care, youth group, Sunday school, and Kid’s Holiday Club). While born in Brisbane, Michelle’s parents are from Singapore, and she has lived in Singapore, Venezuela, and Australia. Michelle has a deep love for music, and has sung in St. Peter’s Chorale and performed musicals with Directions Musical Theatre Company (Kenmore Baptist Church) and Savoyards. Her favourite subjects in school have always been Maths and Art.

What does Chaplaincy look like at Hilder Road State School? 

Below are some examples of what Chappy Michelle does at school:

  • Friends for Life Program (building resilience, problem solving skills)
  • Seasons for Growth Program (grief/loss)
  • Chappy Games (lunchtime games open to a different year level each week)
  • Acts of Kindness Awards given out at Assembly
  • Buddy Program for Preps with Year 5 students
  • One-on-one Pastoral Care sessions with referred students to provide support (signed parental permission is required)
  • Supporting students and families who are struggling
  • Organising Parent Support Group to provide meals for school families in need
  • Attending camps (Year 4-6)
  • Assisting in Choir Practices
  • Helping out in classrooms
  • Helping out at various school events (eg. Prep Transition Days, Cross-Country, Swimming Carnival, excursions, Carols Night, etc)
  • Organising donations for Operation Christmas Child, Brisbane Homeless Connect, Communify Christmas Cheer, etc.

Will my child be involved?

Involvement with the Chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be a part of the activities that are offered.  Parents will be consulted if their child wishes to be involved in ongoing one-to-one meetings with the Chaplain or in any program or group involving spiritual or ethical content.  Parents have the right to refuse permission for their child to be involved in any Chaplaincy activity or event.

How can I contact the Chaplain?

Michelle is at Hilder Road State School on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. You can contact her on