School chaplain


​Chaplaincy services provide spiritual, ethical, and personal support to school communities. Chaplains provide positive adult role models for students. Chaplains are present in schools at the invitation of the principal, in consultation with the local community, and with the support of the P&C association.

What does a school chaplain do?

A School Chaplain is a safe person for young people to connect with at school and provides a listening ear, caring presence, and a message of hope. Chaplains run positive, fun activities for students and assist in fostering supportive, caring school communities.

Working with other members of the school’s support team, the Chaplain cares for students struggling with issues such as difficult relationships with other children or family members, poor self-esteem, family breakdown and depression.

The partnership between the school and the chaplaincy service, supported by local churches, businesses and community organisations, provides a network of local support and assistance. These positive relationships help young people to face difficult issues, and provide hope, connection, meaning and purpose.

The chaplaincy service is available to everyone in the school community regardless of their religious beliefs.

Who is the Bentley Park College school chaplain?

My name is Sue-Ellen Beaven and I am the Chaplain at Bentley Park College. I have lived in Cairns for ten years and have two young children. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Psychology at James Cook University but have a diverse background including recruitment, training, administration and hairdressing. I am proud to be a part of the student support services team at Bentley Park College and am excited about getting to know the staff, students, parents and the wider community.

What does chaplaincy look like at Bentley Park College?

I am here to provide pastoral care to students, staff, parents and caregivers. I work together with other members of the student support services team to provide support to students through various programs to develop social and life skills.

Students may also request to see me on an individual basis for support in personal matters. I also assist with sporting programs, attend school camps and run lunchtime interest clubs relevant to student groups.

Will my child be involved?

Involvement with the chaplain is entirely voluntary and students choose whether or not they want to be a part of the activities that are offered. Parents will be consulted if their child wishes to be involved in ongoing one-to-one meetings with the Chaplain or in any program or group involving spiritual or ethical content. Parents have the right to refuse permission for their child to be involved in any chaplaincy activity or event.

How can I contact the Chaplain?

I am available at the College Wednesdays to Fridays from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm.
Appointments can be made by phoning (07) 4040 8144 or email.


The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education.


This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.

Last reviewed 16 April 2019
Last updated 16 April 2019