Chaplaincy Services provide spiritual, ethical and personal support to school communities. SU Qld Chaplains provide positive adult role models for students. 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.

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, 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 (parents, students and staff) regardless of their religious beliefs.

Who is the Toogoolawah State High School Chaplain?

Garth Nilsen started his position as Chaplain at our School in 2019, and is employed through Scripture Union Qld. Garth was already a member of our school staff in the position of Youth Support Coordinator, which he began in 2014. Garth took on the extra role of school Chaplain so he could offer more of his time and have more involvement in our school.

He moved to Toogoolawah in 2008 with his wife Michelle and their two daughters to take up the position of the Pastor of the Baptist Church, a position he still holds today. He is passionate about seeing people developed deep relationships with those around them, so they can reach their full potential on a Spiritual, Physical, and Emotional level.

What does Chaplaincy look like at Toogoolawah State High School?

Garth is currently involved in a range of activities/programs at School including Drumbeat a program where students learn to build resilience skills through rhythm! Love Bites a program where students learn to build healthy relationships! Bike Build a program where students learn about life through bike mechanics. He also fills his days with general school activities such as camps, sporting events and student welfare. Garth loves being involved in our school community and helping students find a purpose through the support and compassion he is able to bring.

How are students involved?

Involvement with the Chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be 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. Chaplains also offer various camps through Scripture Union Qld.

How can I contact the Chaplain?

Garth is currently at the school from 10am till 2pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday. He can be contacted in person at the school during these times, or via email, or mobile 0466 534 546 outside of these hours. Please let him know if there is any way he can help you or your child.

Last reviewed 04 June 2020
Last updated 04 June 2020