Published On: 31 May 2024Categories: Stories

Chaplain Julie McLean has way more passion and vision than time.

The Leighland Christian School chaplain works two days a week, filling them with a mix of formal activities and spontaneous care.

The mum of six started back as chaplain at Leighland in 2024, although she is well known to many at the school as a result of her nine years as a teacher’s aide. She also served last year as a chaplain at Ulverstone Secondary College before returning home.

“This is my passion,” she said.

“Even as a teacher’s aide, it was more relational than academic.

“I’d much rather wipe a tear away than help with maths.

“I want students to know that they are special and have a unique gift that’s for a special purpose.”

Julie’s wide experience as a counsellor, pastor, life coach and personal trainer helps with a demanding and varied role.

She runs futsal competitions, a boys’ resilience course, Bible studies, the breakfast club, and helps kids in the gym. She has a hygiene course ready to go, and is organising a random acts of kindness event for students to bless the teachers.

She is an integral part of the school’s care community, which includes two counsellors.

Based in the primary school, Julie admits she spends most of her time with the younger students, solely due to time pressures.

“I’d certainly love to do more days to be able to help the older students as the needs are just as great there.”

By Paul O’Rourke

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