EAST ZONE: Director’s Update with Jenni Dobbin

Welcome to Term 4 – the final leg of yet another busy year! It’s my pleasure to share with you the latest updates and encouraging news relating to your chaplaincy service.  

Recovery Fund

Due to the Recovery Fund that SU set up in October 2020 (and despite COVID’s impacts on LCC fundraising), chaplains across Queensland were able to remain employed and retain working hours to serve their school communities. This was so important given the additional demands on young people, parents and school staff across the pandemic. 

SU’s Recovery Fund – money set aside from SU reserves –  was able to continue to assist schools struggling to raise community funds. By the end of 2021, SU’s Recovery Fund will have invested a total of $1,140,000 back into 161 schools across Queensland: 1 independent school, 7 special schools, 41 state high schools and 112 state schools.

Nearly a quarter of schools who employ an SU chaplain across Queensland have received amounts from the Recovery Fund. In Term 4, we are budgeted to invest the final $310,500 of the Recovery Fund to assist 70 schools and LCCs. SU will have fully spent the allocated Recovery Fund by the end of 2021.

COVID19 and Department of Education Updates

According to a recent survey DoE conducted of Queensland school principals, 86% described their chaplaincy service as ‘good’ to ‘excellent’. This is a wonderful statistic, and a testament to the tireless efforts of both our chaplains and our LCCs. I  hope this encourages you to know you are  valued and appreciated in your schools. Keep up the great work!

In terms of keeping our communities safe from COVID-19, the DoE has produced a red, orange and green COVID-plan so everyone is aware of expectations in our school communities. We will keep updating chaplains according to what is required, so please keep an eye out for future updates.

We also wanted to let you know the DoE has asked all chaplains to complete their e-safety training as close to the start of their service as possible. Please know this is training your chaplains need to do, and feel free to encourage them to get that done as soon as possible. 

While we recognise COVID-19 and lockdowns have made things difficult for schools, LCCs and chaplains, we’re grateful to the DoE for providing an alternate work plan so chaplains can follow up at-risk students and continue their work supporting our young people. After the past 18-months of uncertainties, our chaplains are needed more than ever. 

And lastly, the DoE has adjusted our Standing Offer Arrangement to allow us to invoice for NSCP funds every six months in 2022. This will save both schools and SU quite a lot of administration costs. We’re grateful for this.


We are so excited to have recently wrapped up our Spring Camping season. Hundreds of young people were able to experience and discover joy, meaning and purpose over the school holidays. For your easy reference, we’ve  rounded up some camping statistics from the 2021 calendar year to share with you. 

Since January, SU’s North and East Zone collectively reported the following: 

  • 67 camps held
  • 2,676 participants
  • 1,100 volunteers, 

These are such encouraging statistics, and we’re looking forward to seeing more camps birthed to give more children and young people across our region opportunities to grow and thrive, particularly as we work more closely with and learn from other SU teams around Australia. 

We’ve been really encouraged by some of the stories we heard from this last season.

Spring GENTS Camp Director, Nic Kuipers, has been involved for 12 years, and can’t get enough of GENTS camp.

“The thing I love about GENTS Camp is the community. I first came along to GENTS in Grade 9, and I remember sitting down on the bus next to this skinny boy – and we’ve been best friends ever since. It’s really cool that these camps can create lifelong friendships for young people. Over this spring season we had 74 campers and it was fantastic! I’m excited for next year already.”

Welcoming new FDMs in the East Zone

Since becoming SU Australia in June, we have been growing in our capacity to meet the needs of more children and young people across the country. At the same time, change can sometimes signify the end of a season for some. At this time I want to acknowledge Bob Britton and Andrew Boardman who have so faithfully served their teams as Field Development Managers for Western Downs and Maranoa and Moreton Bay South East, respectively. While we are sad to say goodbye, we are grateful for the legacy they leave and we wish them all the very best as they now look to their next exciting chapter.

They now pass the baton on to  Lilyan Flett for the Western Downs and Jennifer Nel for the Moreton Bay South East district. Both of these women bring a variety of field experience and skills to this role and we are really looking forward to all they will bring to their communities. We trust that you too will be blessed by them. 


Sadly we were not able to hold our Frontline Fundraising Event this year, because we felt gathering so many people together in one place would be unwise in the current climate. While this will be disappointing news to many, we are hearing great stories about school fun runs and LCCs getting back into fundraising at a more local level. We are so grateful to you for all the effort you’re putting in to grow your local chaplaincy services. Don’t forget  when you register your event through SU, we can provide you with all the latest COVID safe plans. 

Updated Privacy Policy

One last thing to mention is an important update to our SU Australia privacy policy. Click here for more information on what this means for you.

That’s all from me. I wish you all the best for this final term.


Jenni Dobbin