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Chappy Sharon

Chappy Week is celebrated annually at more than 800 schools throughout Queensland to highlight and raise awareness of the work school chaplains (aka Chappies) undertake within their communities. 

The management of school chaplains is overseen by Scripture Union Queensland, a not-for-profit organisation and Australia's largest employing authority of school chaplains.

Chaplains provide social, emotional, practical and spiritual support in schools. They work in prevention and support; helping students find a positive way to deal with issues ranging from relationship and social problems and loneliness, to support through grief, natural disaster and personal tragedy.

They provide a listening ear and a caring presence for young people in crisis. They are there for those who just need someone to believe in them, and they are also available to provide support for staff and parents in school communities. 

In 1995 School Chaplaincy began here at Oakey High thanks to several years of planning and fundraising by members of the local community and since 2013 has been extended to include Oakey State School.

"For a number of years our Chappies' work was supported solely by the local community. Today the service is currently funded through government grants, fundraising and community donations. Continued support is an important part of making the service viable and a valuable contribution to the community", Secretary of Oakey's Local Chaplaincy Committee, Ms Heather McCarthy said.

"Our current Chaplain, Sharon Salomon, works in both our high and primary schools in a full time capacity. Sharon has a heart for helping others and spends a proportion of her time providing a safe and supportive environment for students to work through issues", Ms McCarthy added.

Chappy Sharon has been a school chaplain for nine years, commencing her work in Millmerran. She was appointed to the Oakey Chaplaincy team in 2014 and worked with Justin Trigg until Justin chose to follow a different career path after many years of service to chaplaincy in various capacities.

Chappy Sharon has been responsible for commencing 'Brekky Club' on two mornings a week at the primary school, and running a Girl Wise program and 'Bella' program for primary students, and is currently working on a Footy Camp for primary school boys in the winter holidays. 

When she is at the high school on three days of the week she provides lunch options for student in addition to her normal role. 

Both Sharon and her support group, Oakey's Local Chaplaincy Committee, are most grateful for the donations from local businesses that help make their work possible. 
Our Chappy had a very busy week during Chappy Week, but there were some nice surprises along the way, like when Angela and Aurea brought lunch on Monday - cassava cake and fresh spring rolls were a hit.
Some other food delights happened throughout the week including a celebratory cake to share with students.
Thank you for all you do, Sharon!! 
Oakey's Local Chaplaincy Committee meets on the third Monday of each month and is keen for school chaplaincy to continue in Oakey. New members to the committee are always welcome. If anyone is interested in being involved in this work, or wishes to make a donation to this worthwhile service, they should contact Oakey State High School or Oakey State School.

 Chappy week 2016 photos