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12 Angus Ave
Edwardstown, SA, 5039

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2017 Newsletter Edition 1

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES

Kerryn Coombs

EMERGENCY CHAPLAINCY SUPPORT DURING DISASTERS AND TIMES OF CRISIS

Rev. Dr. Lynn Arnold AO, SMG Chairperson, Mr Brenton Ragless, SMG Ambassador, and Program Partners Beyond Bank Australia and Paradise Motors Mazda have launched a new program supporting children, families and communities with emergency Chaplaincy support during disasters and times of crisis.

When Disaster Strikes Launch at Beyond Bank. L to R: Kevin Bew, Paradise Motors Mazda; Brenton Ragless, SMG Ambassador; Angela Jolly, SMG Executive Director; Rev Dr Lynn Arnold, SMG Chairperson; Jessica Jenke, Tarlee Primary School Parent; Tracey Butter, Tarlee Primary School Chaplain; Tony Piccolo MP; Robert Keogh, CEO Beyond Bank and Hon. Peter Malinauskas MP

When Disaster Strikes Launch at Beyond Bank. L to R: Kevin Bew, Paradise Motors Mazda; Brenton Ragless, SMG Ambassador; Angela Jolly, SMG Executive Director; Rev Dr Lynn Arnold, SMG Chairperson; Jessica Jenke, Tarlee Primary School Parent; Tracey Butter, Tarlee Primary School Chaplain; Tony Piccolo MP; Robert Keogh, CEO Beyond Bank and Hon. Peter Malinauskas MP

“Our state has suffered recently with floods, storms and bushfires where lives were lost, homes destroyed, families overwhelmed and communities reeling in the aftermath of those devastating events. ‘When Disaster Strikes’ is a program that aims to be proactive in its support of children, families and communities with a Chaplaincy Service - when it is needed most. The Program has developed out of learnings from the Sampson Flat and most recently the Pinery bushfires. 

SMG had nine School Chaplains in the affected bushfire zone, and one year on those Chaplains continue to provide pastoral and practical support to children and families in their local communities” said Rev. Dr. Lynn Arnold.

Tracey Butter, SMG School Chaplain at Tarlee and Hamley Bridge Primary Schools shared what it was like for children and parents during the Pinery Fires. “I organised a coffee morning at Tarlee Primary so that I could comfort shocked parents who had arrived with their children, and then I went into class to listen to children speak about their experiences and provide support. Hamley Bridge Primary was closed until Monday. That morning there was severe dust storms, poor visibility, and the ash and soot in the air was very strong. Parents and children were crying and distressed as they arrived.

I remember the CFS siren kept going off because burnt trees kept re-igniting, fire trucks were kept on the move. I provided comfort and support to children and parents, and reassurance that there was not another fire.” 

When Disaster Strikes Launch at Beyond Bank. L to R: Tracey Butter, Tarlee Primary School Chaplain and Jessica Jenke, Tarlee Primary School Parent

When Disaster Strikes Launch at Beyond Bank. L to R: Tracey Butter, Tarlee Primary School Chaplain and Jessica Jenke, Tarlee Primary School Parent

Jessica Jenke’s children attend Tarlee Primary School. “The Pinery Fires have affected my three children emotionally. One has nightmares and is often screaming through the night. My two younger children were often drawing our house on fire, and using their toys to re-enact us evacuating our home. I think the constant smell of smoke in the weeks afterwards made them on edge and frightened there would be another fire. Tracey was often at school in the mornings ready to talk to any kids who were upset or anxious - which was a massive help to my children as they dealt with their emotions and feelings and also feeling safe. The Stormbird sessions Tracey ran at the school enabled my children to talk about the feelings they had during and after the fires. Tracey has been a huge support to my family in helping us all cope with what happened.”

The Pinery fire was extinguished more than a year ago, however children, families and communities are still recovering from this traumatic and devastating event.  Rev. Dr Lynn Arnold affirmed that “The support Jessica has received through SMG’s Chaplaincy Service has been an integral part of her family’s recovery process, and will continue until it is no longer needed.”

Hon. Peter Malinauskas MP, Emergency Services Minister spoke at the launch about the importance of response as well as recovery when there is a disaster.

“In much the same way as our CFS and SES volunteers demonstrate the strong commitment to their local communities, I commend the Schools Ministry Group for their vital contribution and the role of their noble cause.  It is so important that when we have programs such as ‘When Disaster Strikes’ in place that our children and their families can be assured that in the days, months and also years ahead they will not be alone – and that speaks to everything that this group is about.”

SMG have been serving and supporting communities in South Australia for over 25 years.  SMG is well placed with Chaplains in over 340 schools in metropolitan, regional and remote areas. The ’When Disaster Strikes’ program aims to provide support across the state during disasters and times of crisis so children and families like Jessica’s can recover well – and return to a greater level of functioning and resilience with support from their local Chaplain.

Rev. Dr. Lynn Arnold and I invite all South Australians to stand with us and support the ‘When Disaster Strikes’ program with a tax deductible donation.

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES PROGRAM PARTNERS:

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THE TOUGHEST DAY OF MY LIFE

Kerryn Coombs

EASING THE LOAD OF THOSE AROUND HER

Tatiara District Council Mayor, Graham Excell presented Suzanne Flint, SMG Chaplainat Bordertown Primary School with the Citizen of the year Award in recent Australia Day celebrations.

Tatiara District Council Mayor, Graham Excell presented Suzanne Flint, SMG Chaplainat Bordertown Primary School with the Citizen of the year Award in recent Australia Day celebrations.

“I had never met Suzanne only heard of her through my son Billy. Suzanne prepared the breakfast club three days a week at the local primary school Billy attended. Billy always said he liked going to help in there because Suzanne was nice.

On the 2.11.16 my son Billy suddenly very unexpectedly passed away, he was ten.

That moment my family’s lives had been turned upside down. Suzanne was there from the beginning. Suzanne sat beside me through the toughest day of my life, while supporting my partner and everyone else at this horrible time.

Suzanne looked after everyone around her and took on as many things as she could to help ease the load of others and still continues to do so. I would have been lost without her that day and still now. Suzanne arranged for food and drinks to be delivered to my house as well as special memories to be made for me of my son. She has also supported the teachers and staff and the community around her. She is our rock. Even today one month on from that awful day Suzanne still rings to check in every few days asking if we need anything or if she can do anything for us.

In the last few weeks I have since found out Suzanne has been battling her own health issues and it absolutely blows me away that this whole time Suzanne has worried about my family, she herself needs worrying about. This just shows what a caring, supportive, strong and overall amazing woman she is, always putting others first.

My family cannot thank Suzanne enough for her friendship, strength and ongoing support she has given us.”

Lauren Thompson, Bordertown Primary Parent

Your donation helps people like Lauren during times of crisis and loss. Please give generously.

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER SUPPORT IN THE NORTHERN SUBURBS

Kerryn Coombs

ASD Support Group child shows off the result of the Face Painting Activity during the Purple Picnic on January 12

ASD Support Group child shows off the result of the Face Painting Activity during the Purple Picnic on January 12

"Dear SMG,  My name is Monique and I have 2 children with ASD. We have been attending Kids Kingdom for more than a year. We also attend with Nonna from their Dad’s Side and Dad comes when not working a Saturday.

Kids Kingdom has now become part of our regular activities. It is great, this group provides a safe place for our kids to play and be themselves without judgement from mainstream society. I believe it gives them a sense of belonging and inclusion as well as meeting others like themselves. The children have a lot of fun as there are always lots of activities for them to do and other kids to socialise with.

The staff have always been fantastic and are always there with helpful advice and a patient ear; listening to all our stories. It has also been so important for us as parents needing to meet other families in our situation. Our kids love the Christmas parties and special events. 

We know we are not alone because of this group, some families can’t go to mainstream places due to high level challenges. Groups like this can lessen the isolation that ASD families experience.

Thank you so much for providing such a great group and the opportunity to meet many people like ourselves. It is a real community at Kids Kingdom, I will continue to spread the word to other families. Thanks again for all you do for us."

Monique, Parent

The Ingle Farm and Salisbury ASD Family Support Groups are facilitated by SMG in partnership with Salisbury Communities for Children, Ingle Farm Salvation Army and Salisbury Lutheran Church. They are a place where families experiencing an autism (ASD) journey can connect, belong and grow. Parents like Monique are thankful for the support they provide. Please consider making a gift today that will make a positive impact in the life of a family.

LIFESAVER - EASTER 2017

Kerryn Coombs

LIFESAVER

Peering through binoculars, searching and keeping watch, ready for any sign of struggle or trouble - The Lifesaver is ready. Ready to save and protect anyone who is in harms way. Even if that means putting themselves in danger, The Lifesaver is there doing all they can to ensure the wellbeing of others. 

People saw Jesus as a lifesaver. He walked the streets searching for people who needed help, encouragement, or just someone to stand up for them. Jesus healed, restored hope, and offered a new life. Easter is a story of The Lifesaver becoming a Life-giver.

Contact the Life Matters team on8378 6800 or email seminars@smg.asn.au to lock in your2017 Easter Seminar at your school.

View & Download Promo Outline.

Your support of the Life Matters Seminar team helps to fund presentations in schools who may otherwise miss out on the message of Easter.