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Edwardstown, SA, 5039

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Media Releases

MEDIA RELEASE - July 27, 2017

Local Conrad Tickner receives Innovation Award

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Mark Lee, Uniting Venues SA; Conrad Tickner and KICE Principal, Maxine McSherry

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Mark Lee, Uniting Venues SA; Conrad Tickner and KICE Principal, Maxine McSherry

Last night at a Schools Ministry Group (SMG) Community Event Conrad Tickner, Pastoral Care Worker at Kangaroo Island Community Education (KICE) received the SMG Innovation Award in front of 500 guests.

Conrad was nominated by KICE Principal Ms Maxine McSherry to recognise the positive impact he has generated across campuses. “Conrad works across three sites situated over 120 kms apart. Sometimes children and young people on KI have special needs to geographical isolation. Data from Pre-School through to Middle Years indicates social skills, resilience and persistence are areas in which we can develop further. This data has formed the basis of much of Conrad’s work to support children and young people on KI, within that scope Conrad has worked at a level that has exceeded our expectations. 

He has developed his own wellbeing initiative with his ‘random acts of kindness’ programme. The programme has resulted in an increase in random acts of kindness and displays of gratitude from students and staff both within and beyond the school setting. An example of this is when the local Parndana Youth group distributed homemade biscuits to senior community members with messages of gratitude attached. Conrad has also been instrumental in implementing the Rite Journey programme at KICE through the Middle Years Camps Programme and he most recently supported students in their contribution to the International Small Island Conference. Being a positive male role model, acting as a confidant and providing pastoral care for students are all elements of his weekly work. 

His high level skills and caring contributions blended with complete dedication to his role cannot be underestimated in terms of the positive effects that are transpiring to the wellbeing of the KICE and wider KI community.”

Ms McSherry attended the event and witnessed Conrad receiving the Innovation Award from SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless and Mark Lee from Uniting Venues SA - Award Sponsor.

For further information or media comment, please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


MEDIA RELEASE - July 27, 2017

Burnside Inter-Church Council receives Sustainability Award

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; SMG Executive Director Angela Jolly and Burnside Inter-Church Council representatives Malcolm Lake and Rex King

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; SMG Executive Director Angela Jolly and Burnside Inter-Church Council representatives Malcolm Lake and Rex King

Last night at a Schools Ministry Group (SMG) Community Event the Burnside Inter-Church Council was presented with a Sustainability Award for the support they provide to schools in their local community. For many years they have raised funds to support SMG’s Chaplaincy and wellbeing services at Burnside Primary School, Glenunga International High School, Marryatville High School and Marden Secondary College.

The award recognised the initiatives undertaken by the group to actively fundraise through new ideas, events, activities, initiatives and partnerships, and to have strategies in place to maintain these important services to students, families and school staff into the future. Recent fundraising events have included fairs, talent shows and quiz nights.

Steph Agnew, Pastoral Care Worker at Glenunga International High School has been greatly encouraged and supported by the group “I nominated the Burnside Inter Church Council because they are really proactive with their support. Their priority is the students in the schools and having us there as carers and people to help when it is needed.”

Angela Jolly, Executive Director of Schools Ministry Group said “Today SMG provides over 340 schools across South Australia with a Chaplaincy Service, it continues to offer seminars and interactive workshops for primary and high school students, and contributes to the positive wellbeing of children with its Community Services. We do this in partnership with local community groups like the Burnside Inter-Church Council who also help in their local schools with breakfast clubs, lunchtime activities, mentoring and many other activities and programs.” 

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless and SMG Executive Director Angela Jolly presented Burnside Inter-Church Council representatives Malcolm Lake and Rex King with the SMG Sustainability Award.

For further information or media comment, please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


MEDIA RELEASE - July 27, 2017

South Coast Schools Ministry Support Group receives Community Impact Award

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Marg Green, Beyond Bank; South Coast Schools Ministry Support Group representatives Graeme Leske, Jan Francis and Betty Greaves

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Marg Green, Beyond Bank; South Coast Schools Ministry Support Group representatives Graeme Leske, Jan Francis and Betty Greaves

Last night at a Schools Ministry Group (SMG) Community Event the South Coast Schools Ministry Support Group was presented with a Community Impact Award recognising the positive impact they are making in the local community. For over twenty years they have raised funds to support SMG’s Chaplaincy and wellbeing services at Victor Harbor R-7 School, Port Elliot Primary School, Goolwa Primary School and Victor Harbor High School.

Liz Edwards, School Counsellor at Victor Harbor R-7 nominated the South Coast Schools Ministry Support Group for the Community Impact Award. “They’ve been able to bring people together to understand better why it is that we have Chaplains in schools and how we can actually support children. They reach out to their congregations, the business community and individuals within the whole South Coast. People are touched by what they do. We’ve had people wanting to provide families with care packages, food, vouchers and multitudinous ways to be able to support families that are struggling at different times. They are a voluntary group of people who meet regularly, and their impact is vast. They are the backbone that enables the Chaplains to do the work with those most marginalised and most in need.”

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless and Marg Green from Beyond Bank - Award Sponsor presented South Coast Schools Ministry Support Group representatives Graeme Leske, Jan Francis and Betty Greaves with the SMG Community Impact Award in front of 500 guests.

For further information or media comment, please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


MEDIA RELEASE - July 27, 2017

Northern Communities of Hope Pastor Bryan Sellars receives Innovation Award

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Mark Lee, Uniting Venues SA and Bryan Sellars

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Mark Lee, Uniting Venues SA and Bryan Sellars

Last night at a Schools Ministry Group (SMG) Community Event Bryan Sellars, Pastor of Northern Communities of Hope Church in Davoren Park was presented with a Community Innovation Award in recognition of the positive impact he is making in his local area. The church provides a regular community lunch, and Bryan wanted to get students from local schools involved to help them learn skills and also connect with people in their community.

Tracey Hearse Pastoral Care Worker at Elizabeth North Primary School nominated Bryan for the Innovation Award. “I take students once a month to the community lunch so they can learn how to prepare a meal, serve it, and get to know others.  The students really love going there, they get along with the community members really well, they have chats and laughs – I can just see their attitude and their faces are always happy. They like being out and about and feeling that they have something to offer the community.”

Elizabeth North Primary student Harrison says going to the community lunch is his favourite thing. “I liked cooking using the BBQ, and I learned how to cook sausages on a barbie. I liked actually getting my first time to cook chops.  It feels good to get to chat to people especially to grown-ups because it teaches me to learn to be nice to show them my respect and then they show me their respect. That’s how we can build a friendship bond. Thank you very much Pastor Bryan, I think with your help I can finally live my dream to be a great cook.”

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless and Mark Lee from Uniting Venues SA - Award Sponsor presented Bryan Sellars with the SMG Community Innovation Award in front of 500 guests.

For further information or media comment, please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


MEDIA RELEASE - July 27, 2017

Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship receives Leadership Award

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Mark Lee from Uniting Venues SA; Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship representatives Michael Stoodley and Matthew Carratt

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless; Mark Lee from Uniting Venues SA; Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship representatives Michael Stoodley and Matthew Carratt

Last night at a Schools Ministry Group (SMG) Community Event the Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship was presented with a Leadership in Community Partnerships Award. For many years this group has provided Mount Barker High School and Nairne, Mount Barker, Meadows, Macclesfield, Littlehampton and Echunga Primary Schools with chaplaincy and wellbeing support, and has been recognised for the leadership role they play in their local region.

Candy Turner, SMG Regional Manager nominated the group for the award. “I’ve been really impressed with the Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship and the way they work with their community. They are very inclusive of the community within which they represent, not just as local ministers and churches, but working in lots of different areas. The unity these ministers show is an amazing example to the whole community that we may all be different but we can work together for a bigger and better cause. I’m really proud to work with these guys in what they are doing and to be a part of that.  ”

Rebekha Sharkie MP, Federal Member for Mayo was pleased to hear the Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship were nominated for this award. “When I was first elected, the Fraternal initiated a meeting with me and welcomed me to the position. We were able to chat about areas of common interest within the community, in particular the support and assistance provided to the most vulnerable members of our community by the group. I also would like to acknowledge the various community events that are held by the Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship such as the Community Leaders Breakfast, Carols in the Park and annual Christmas lunch. These events bring the community together and encourage community celebration and connectedness. I believe the Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship are worthy recipients of this award as they have shown great leadership within the community and are having such a positive impact in the Mount Barker region generally. I congratulate them and look forward to maintaining the connection that has begun.”

SMG Ambassador Brenton Ragless and Mark Lee from Uniting Venues SA - Award Sponsor presented Mount Barker Ministers Fellowship representatives Michael Stoodley and Matthew Carratt, with the SMG Leadership in Community Partnerships Award in front of 500 guests.

For further information or media comment, please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


MEDIA RELEASE - February 9, 2017

‘When Disaster Strikes’

New program launched to support families and communities after a disaster or crisis.

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

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

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

“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 reigniting, fire trucks were kept on the move. I provided comfort and support to children and parents, and reassurance that there was not another fire.” 

Jessica Jenke’s children attend Tarlee Primary “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, 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 invites all South Australians to “Stand with me and support the ‘When Disaster Strikes’ Program with a tax deductible donation.  Donations can be made by contacting the SMG office 8378 6800, or online via the give now website.

For further information, additional photos or media comment please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au

 

MEDIA RELEASE - JULY 26, 2016

INAUGURAL SMG AMBASSADOR

Ambassador Launch at SMG 25 Year Reunion Monday July 25 2016

Ambassador Launch at SMG 25 Year Reunion Monday July 25 2016

Brenton Ragless – New Schools Ministry Group Ambassador


Brenton Ragless, Channel 9 Presenter, was announced as the new SMG Ambassador last night in front of 500 guests at a special SMG 25 Year Reunion event held at Unley High School.


Brenton shared that he had been positively impacted by chaplaincy while growing up. “I was clueless in school – no clear path in mind – and here I am 22 years later, still no idea on what I’ll be doing next! But I credit my School Chaplain when I was attending Blackwood High School for instilling in me the confidence to embrace life and all its challenges. The Chaplain was - and still is - a pillar for me: a listening ear, a wise voice and a life teacher, leading me through those fundamental teenage years of personal faith and career development. I am who I am today thanks to that Chaplain’s influence on my life, which is why I am an Ambassador for SMG.”


SMG is South Australia’s leading school chaplaincy service provider, and offers ongoing pastoral and practical support through chaplaincy services to help young people and school communities discover purpose, value and hope.


Angela Jolly, Executive Director of Schools Ministry Group said “Today SMG provides over 330 schools across South Australia with a Chaplaincy Service, it continues to offer seminars and interactive workshops for primary and high school students, and contributes to the positive wellbeing of children with its Community Services. In addition over 1000 volunteers support the Chaplaincy Service by helping in their local schools with breakfast clubs, lunchtime activities, mentoring and many other programs.

For further information or media comment please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


MEDIA RELEASE - FEBRUARY 11, 2016

25 Years Serving SA School Communities

25 Year Cathedral.jpg

A Service of celebration and thanksgiving was held on Monday evening 8th February at St Peter’s Cathedral North Adelaide to celebrate 25 years of Schools Ministry Group serving South Australian school communities.

Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO, Chairperson of Schools Ministry Group, led the service which was attended by more than 400 people including local, state and federal MPs, the Leaders of Christian Churches in South Australia, Chaplains, Volunteers, and members of the public from both metropolitan and regional areas.

Pastor Bill Vasilakis, representing the Leaders of Christian Churches, prayed for and commissioned the Chaplains, Volunteers and Schools Ministry Group staff.

The history of Schools Ministry Group was recounted and many stories of the impact of this vital work shared. The audience was captivated by Willunga Primary School Principal Mick Underwood as he shared about the increasing number of students coming to school with a range of social and emotional issues.

“As a school Principal I often had to manage these issues – in fact it took up most of my time”. Mr Underwood conducted some research to find out how he could further help the students in his care and found Professor Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology PERMA framework, which he quickly adopted for his school.

“In 2007 when funding for a school Chaplain became available I jumped at the opportunity as I saw the role fitting perfectly within the PERMA framework. Our Chaplain Sue is a wonderful support for those children who find life a struggle. She organised a ‘Master Chef’ activity giving students an opportunity to shine Over the last 8 years we have experienced the unexpected death of 7 parents. Sue’s role was and is vital in supporting those families during the most difficult of times.” Mr Underwood concluded saying “every school needs a Chaplain!”

 

left to right: Phil Hoffman, Angela Jolly, Bill Vasilakis, Mick Underwood and Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO

left to right: Phil Hoffman, Angela Jolly, Bill Vasilakis, Mick Underwood and Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO

In 1991 Schools Ministry Group was formed out of the combined Christian Churches to offer seminars and Chaplaincy Services to schools.  Angela Jolly, Executive Director of Schools Ministry Group said “Today SMG provides over 330 schools across South Australia with a Chaplaincy Service, it continues to offer seminars and interactive workshops for primary and high school students, and contributes to the positive wellbeing of children with its Community Services. In addition over 1000 volunteers support the Chaplaincy Service by helping in their local schools with breakfast clubs, lunchtime activities and mentoring.” 

 

For further information or media comment please contact:

Cathy Moore

Schools Ministry Group

Ph: 8378 6834 Email: cathym@smg.asn.au


Media Release - February 4, 2015

 School Chaplaincy Demand Increases

 

An increased number of schools have applied for pastoral care workers across South Australia following the new round of funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program.

Highlighting the program’s popularity and effectiveness, 338 government schools have applied, an increase of 26 over the previous year.

Schools Ministry Group (SMG) executive director Angela Jolly, says pastoral care workers are an important part of the overall student wellbeing team within schools.

“It is clear that those who are directly connected to chaplaincy - like parents, principals and teaching staff - acknowledge and understand the benefits it brings to students and school communities.”

She said the program’s success brought its own challenges, with the SA Government funding all schools that applied, resulting in the majority of schools receiving less funding than before.

However SMG’s “Fund the Gap” campaign has seen local communities rally and donate more than one million dollars, enabling 272 pastoral care workers to commence working an average of five to ten hours per week from the first week of term even though federal funds are yet to be released to the state.

“The fundraising will also result in pastoral care workers being able to provide extra hours that federal funds won’t cover, which will be significant in the service that can be delivered in schools across the state,” Ms Jolly explained.

Chaplaincy is a highly positive model that has proven to make a difference. It is widely considered the best model of holistic care and welfare, as it provides emotional, social and spiritual support. Independent studies have shown this improves student wellbeing and educational outcomes.

It is generally accepted that spirituality is an important part of wellbeing, and chaplains are not only well placed to offer this, but work collaboratively with other support services to serve their wider school communities.

 

Media Contacts: Lyall Mercer – 0413 749 830 // Bryan Mulligan – 0435 320 026


MEDIA RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

CHAPLAINS APPEAL TO SA EDUCATION MINISTER TO CONTINUE VITAL CHAPLAINCY PROGRAMS

 

State education minister Jennifer Rankine doesn’t understand the role pastoral support workers play in South Australian schools, according to the National School Chaplaincy Association, a network of providers that includes SA based Schools Ministry Group (SMG).

National spokesperson Peter James said Ms Rankine is on record saying she supports “school choice” yet “she refuses to respect or support the choice of more than 300 South Australian schools that have voluntarily opted for a chaplain”.

“No school is forced to have a chaplain. It is the choice of each school,” Mr James explained.

“However those schools that do choose this way understand the social, emotional and spiritual support that chaplains provide.

“In fact independent studies have shown that chaplaincy directly contributes to students’ well-being.

“There is compelling evidence of the value of school chaplaincy. South Australia’s own Learning and Wellbeing framework for schools recognises the importance of social, emotional and spiritual support in achieving student wellbeing and educational outcomes.”

He said those opposed to chaplaincy are not basing their opposition on the facts but on ideology and misinformation.

“Chaplains are qualified, don’t discriminate and operate in the best interests of all students irrespective of their beliefs or backgrounds.”

SMG executive director Angela Jolly said many student support programs will be lost across South Australian schools if the Government does not accept the federal funding this week.

“I’d like the minister to realise that she is putting at risk valuable and sometimes even life-saving programs that support thousands of students, families and staff every year.

“Programs like breakfast clubs, homework clubs, life skills, grief support, self-esteem projects, healthy eating groups, young carers groups and other support groups will be lost to school communities if chaplaincy is not continued.”

Mr James has urged minister Rankine to “do what she has said and support choice – the choice of schools, parents and students across South Australia who value and want a chaplain.”

“I ask her to accept the federal funding immediately.”

 

Media Contacts: Lyall Mercer – 0413 749 830 // Barbara Gorogh – 0435 909 608