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12 Angus Ave
Edwardstown, SA, 5039

(08) 8378 6800

2017 Newsletter Edition 2

HOPE COLLECTIVE - Creating a Strong, Healthy Community

Kerryn Coombs

The Whyalla Stuart community is faced with many complex social and community challenges that has a significant impact on children feeling valued and being able to reach their full potential. Yet there is a huge swelling of optimism and hope that all is not lost, and that the community can grow and become stronger again. Twenty-five key community members and not for profit, community and government organisations have come together to form the HOPE Collective.

The name was chosen by the community to represent the result they would like to see – that every member of the Whyalla Stuart community can live every day with a sense of hope – being healthy, optimistic, having a sense of community pride and feeling empowered. 

This Collective Impact initiative strives to bring the community together to discover new and innovative ideas to drive community transformation. Community member interest, participation and commitment continues to grow. SMG is a key part of this initiative with Michael Edgecomb, Community Services Manager providing leadership, resources and support to the HOPE Collective.

We have started holding regular community events with up to 500 people attending. To continue to move forward we have to make sure the local community drive what we are doing. This means engaging with children, young people and adults. There is incredible potential in every single member of the Whyalla Stuart community – and that is what HOPE Collective is all about unearthing.
— Michael Edgecomb. SMG Community Services Manager
above: Hope Collective Community Event

above: Hope Collective Community Event

A number of projects will commence to assist with community pride, reducing harmful and offending behaviours as well as access to fresh food. This will also be supported by SMG through the provision of chaplaincy services in five more schools in Whyalla.

Your generous gift will support this community as they work together rebuilding lives that have purpose, value and hope.


To download the print versions of our current and previous newsletters click here

A HEIGHTENED SENSE OF CARE AND PURPOSE - Supporting Staff, Students and Parents

Kerryn Coombs

above: Adelaide High School PCW Andrew Babirat with Student

above: Adelaide High School PCW Andrew Babirat with Student

Andrew has contributed significantly. He has not only been the Chaplain in the school he has been a support person for staff and students, no matter what background. The families that work with him speak very highly of him and think that he does a wonderful job in the school. He works in a really connected and respectful way.

Andrew works with students at lunch time. He runs a proactive gaming club for those students that don’t seem to feel comfortable in the yard. Those students are learning collaboration skills, they’re learning leadership, they’re with like minds. He has made those students feel really comfortable and really welcomed in the school.

The breakfast club was Andrew’s initiative several years ago. I think we started out with 20 students, and this week there were 100 students.  The volunteers have been long standing people that have been coming into the school. They give freely of their time and work really well with Andrew.

above: Anita Zocchi, Adelaide High School Principal

above: Anita Zocchi, Adelaide High School Principal

I would like to say that if every school had the opportunity to have someone like Andrew, with Andrew’s attributes and the qualities that they bring, all our schools would be well serviced and we would have an additional way of supporting our school communities, and enhancing the wellbeing of everyone.

- Anita Zocchi, Principal, Adelaide High School*

Your gift will provide a Chaplaincy Service to students, staff and families in South Australian Schools. Please give generously.

*Ms Zocchi will soon be commencing as Principal of University Senior College.

To download the print versions of our current and previous newsletters click here


Kerryn Coombs

When in God’s timing we finish life’s race and He calls us home, what will be left behind? Our wills provide an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy as well as provision for those we leave behind. And so it is, that many people think favourably about leaving a part of their estate to ‘good causes’.

If you are thinking this way, may I encourage you to think about including SMG in your will. If you were to do this you would help provide important Chaplaincy, Christian education and other wellbeing services that would positively impact future generations of young South Australians, their families and local communities.

Your gift would leave a legacy that would continue to give young people a sense of purpose, value and hope. A bequest would provide much needed pastoral care to young people in a world that is continually changing and evolving. Equally importantly, your gift would enable positive Christian role models to provide social, emotional and spiritual support helping young people to make sense of the world around them, who they are, and how they fit in it.

May I encourage you prayerfully to consider leaving a legacy of purpose, value and hope by including SMG in your will. God bless you.
— Rev. Dr. Lynn Arnold AO, SMG Chairperso

To find out more about leaving a gift in your will to Schools Ministry Group, please contact us on 08 83786800, email us via, or go to the SMG website

To download the print versions of our current and previous newsletters click here

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK - Angela Jolly, Executive Director

Kerryn Coombs

SMG has been focusing this year on how we intentionally add value to people by thinking of, looking for, doing and encouraging others to value people. Therefore, as a valued supporter of SMG I invite you to attend our SMG conference community night where we will be demonstrating, recognising and celebrating the value of the community who support schools across South Australia (refer to back page for details).

SMG would be irrelevant and have no purpose if we didn’t partner with and serve the wider South Australian community. All of our service areas only operate in partnership with others and with the support of community members that value others and give of their time and resources. The stories in this newsletter highlight the value of the community working together to see positive change.

A good litmus test for any organisation is to ask - if we were gone tomorrow would anyone miss our service? Feedback we have from school communities would shout a resounding YES!

Together, we make a difference. From the 91 combined church support groups who represent hundreds of churches providing breakfast clubs and mentoring programs, to the 270 plus Pastoral Care Workers who provide an ongoing pastoral presence in over 340 schools and our “Life Matters” seminar team presentations to over 20,000 students highlight just a few ways we serve. YES they would be missed - in fact schools are asking for more.

Thank you for your support and remember: Together Everyone Achieves More

- Angela Jolly, Executive Director

To download the print versions of our current and previous newsletters click here

ADVOCATE, PEACEKEEPER AND INTERPRETER - Providing Social and Emotional Support to Children

Kerryn Coombs

above: Pastoral Care Worker, Kerry Crowden with Students

above: Pastoral Care Worker, Kerry Crowden with Students

“I am the advocate for the person who doesn’t have a voice. I am a peacekeeper and interpreter to the two sides of the story.  I am that calming influence when emotions get in the way of seeing clearly.”

For over six years, Kerry Crowden has provided a Chaplaincy Service to Meadows and Macclesfield Primary Schools, and more recently to Eastern Fleurieu Ashbourne Campus.

“There was one child who had severe separation anxiety each day when his mum dropped him off at school. I thought that sharing an activity together might help so over four weeks we built some tall ships together while he shared his feelings and fears. When I felt that we had established some trust, I shared with him about how ships weren’t built to be tied up at the end of the dock where they were safe. They went out into rough seas and sailed long distances to deliver their cargo before they returned to port safely and docked again. This was just like each morning when he would let go of his mum’s hand. Like the ship he would sail through the day without her, and she would be waiting for him to dock again at home time.”

This valuable time spent with Kerry enabled the child to settle in to school and helped him overcome his anxiety. A parent recently commented about the Chaplaincy Service she received “during a difficult time last year Kerry was an amazing support to our whole family.  It is wonderful to know that she is there for our children if they need someone to talk to.” 

Your gift to SMG will enable School Chaplains like Kerry to provide social and emotional support to students, staff, families and the whole school community.

To download the print versions of our current and previous newsletters click here