Reflections On Our School Chaplain

2014

Student

"You're such a friendly happy face that I love seeing around the school! Always know I'll have a good chat when I run into you and you always lend a hand when I need one."

Parent

"I have two children, a son who has experienced 5 years of Andrews's cadet program and a daughter who is finishing her third year of the same program.

Andrew is an incredible man; at least once a term we watched him load buses and cars full of all sorts of kids and gear and pack them off to all corners of the state. He gives up his weekends and family time to do this. He creates an environment that encourages cadets to be themselves and safely explore worlds outside their comfort zone. This environment allows them to develop the greatest skill of all. How to learn!

Largely the cadets of these programs are 12 to 18 years old. They are in their most impressionable years and under Andrews's direction they develop self-belief and self-confidence, negotiation and conflict resolution skills, the desire and ability to tackle and break down barriers. They discover that it is ok to make mistakes and that mistakes are another learning tool.

Under the guise of environmental management, Andrew teaches them leadership skills, first aid, resource management, cooking skills, bush skills, time management and problem solving by thinking outside the square.

Through Andrews example the Cadets learn how to work in a team, how to teach and pass on skills and information, how to set an example, how to take instruction, how to laugh at themselves and how to give back to the group and the community.

So much of what they learn is life skills and generic skills that can be applied to whatever career path the cadets choose to take and because these participants now believe in themselves and have a strong desire to have a successful life they will go on and be the best that they can be.

Andrew achieves all of this without a classroom in sight and largely without the cadets even knowing that they are leaning. They are just having fun and experiencing the world.

With so much thanks to Andrew's influence they emerge from this cadet program wise beyond their years and highly sort after as employees even at their young age.

Andrew is so unassuming; he does what he does so quietly and inconspicuously. Andrew fully supports family values and the needs and priorities set from the cadet's home. He is also flexible and accommodating the busy schedules of today's high school children.

Most of us can only aspire to leave the world a better place when we leave but Andrew can aspire to and does leave each life he touches a better life."

Staff

"Thank you for everything that you do for our school, in particular your daily demonstration of care, compassion and joy in working with our school community … and thank you so much for your support of me."

Staff

"Forever grateful for your energy & kind spirit."

Student

"Andrew has helped and inspired me toward what I want to do with my life. Watching what he does and learning from time spent with him has helped me to realise the sort of person I want to be; someone who gives back without a second thought, someone who gives without expecting to be acknowledged, someone who supports people without having to think about it, someone who is always there to help no matter how busy they are."