At Huntingdale we are fortunate to have a Chaplain available for two days a week. The role provides pastoral care and general spiritual, social and emotional comfort to all students, irrespective of their faith or beliefs. This can include support and guidance about ethics, values, relationships and spiritual issues; the provision of student welfare; and enhancing engagement with the broader community.
Jenny, our Chaplain, has been employed with our school since 2007. Jenny is an integral part of our Student Wellbeing Team which consists of the Assistant Principal, regional Psychologist, Social Worker and Speech Pathologist and a group of classroom teachers who overesee the program in the sectors of prevention and intervention. Chaplaincy complements the care offered by these valuable resources with the provision of help to support the personal and social wellbeing of students and the wider school community. It should be noted that Jenny does not run SRI in the school; her role is entirely separate from the Special Religious Instruction Program offered at Huntingdale.
Jenny’s main goal is to provide the children with a sense of belonging and connectedness. One child described Jenny as their ‘eye out teacher’ meaning that she was keeping an eye on him during school hours. All general interactions with the children are of a secular nature and the service is entirely voluntary. The initial consultation is at the request of parents, teachers or children but any subsequent meetings will require parental consent.
Chaplaincy work at the school is often of a highly sensitive and confidential nature which can make the attributes of the program and its value seemingly invisible. However, Chaplaincy is regularly reactive with Jenny responding to most situations and needs. Jenny has proven that she can react to the unique situations of our community with thoughtfulness and wisdom.