HANDS-ON LEARNING: Chappy Tim bonds with students by doing things a little differently.
HANDS-ON LEARNING: Chappy Tim bonds with students by doing things a little differently. Melanie Keyte

You're invited: Schools throw gala to support chaplains

ON A sunny Wednesday afternoon, Gatton State School chaplain Tim Ormiston was in Laidley to visit some students, not for a scripture lesson but a rocket-launch.

It's the kind of thing Mr Ormiston, known in the community as "Chappy Tim”, does regularly with kids in the region to connect with them and guide the youngsters through some of the more difficult parts of their lives.

"It's about doing life alongside the kids,” he said.

"I believe very much in the value of mentorship in life and everyone needs a trusted adult.

"As a chaplain, I see my job as just being there for the kids and establishing that relationship so if there are any problems in their lives, they feel they can come to us and we can chat about it.”

Mr Ormiston's job is partly funded by the Federal Government, but Gatton State School Principal Darren Cook said the school still needed help from the community to keep him working with their students, which is why residents were invited to its latest fundraiser.

The Mayoral Gala Dinner is held each year to raise money for school chaplains and will run again in early October.

Mr Cook said the fundraisers were always a joyous event and enabled chaplains such as Mr Ormiston to improve the quality of childrens' school experience.

"Our chaplains run our breakfast club on Tuesday and Thursday morning, providing free breakfast to between 50-100 kids to allow them to come to school with a nutritional start,” he said.

"They will support individual students and families through grief when someone has passed away or had a significant trauma.

"They also support positive things that go on in the school and do fun activities.

"It's really about smiling kids, building friendships and building confidence.”

Tickets to the dinner can be bought at Gatton State School's main office with cash or cheque Monday to Friday, or you can order online using bank deposit or credit cards via www.suqld.org.au/ LVGalaMayoralDinner.


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