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Student Support

Student Support

Chaplaincy Program

Chaplaincy Program

Towards the end of 2006, the Australian Government allocated funding for a National School Chaplaincy Programme “to provide pastoral care, general religious and personal advice and comfort to all students and staff.” They recognised the important role that schools play in “providing support and assistance for all students as they cope with the challenges and stresses of life.”

At the beginning of the 2008, Holy Spirit Catholic School received funding for this programme to support the needs of students, staff and the wider school community. Each school Chaplaincy Program that has a Chaplaincy role, will structure it according to the needs of their school and its community.

At Holy Spirit Catholic School, Father John Madappallil fills the role of Spiritual Chaplain. We see the role of the Pastoral Chaplain, in partnership with the Parish and the school, as a support in the following areas:

  • To provide pastoral support and work in partnership with Holy Spirit staff and its parish community in all areas of school life.
  • To create opportunities for faith development of students and their families.
  • To advance the religious life of the school.
  • To foster the spirit of community in the school.
  • To engage the school community in social justice and social action.
  • In times of need, to connect families, students and school with the appropriate agencies.
  • To provide an important link and build relationships between ‘our’ school, ‘our’ community,'our’ parish and ‘our’ families.
  • To enhance our special religious characteristics.
  • To celebrate the ‘joys’ of life.

This year Mrs Kerry Donlan will be the Pastoral Chaplain for our school community. 

For further information about the National School Chaplaincy Programme please visit the website at or telephone the hotline on 1300 363 079.

Education Assistance Scheme

Education Assistance Scheme

Parents may need to access the Education Assistance Scheme.  A service provided where the Defence Force Will fund tutoring for students who have changed schools due to a Defence posting.



There are a broad range of programs and other services to support ADF personnel and their families. For more information contact Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS) on 4753 6539 or visit Nathan Business Centre, Cnr Ross River Rd and Nathan St, Cranbrook 4814.

The programs below are held regularly for children:

Medals Program: (Managing Emotions During Absence and Learning Skills)

A 5 week program for children, to assist them in adjusting to change and family disruption.

Roller Coaster of Deployment:

1 day program for teenagers to develop coping strategies to cope with separation.

Family Centres

Family Centres


A family centre located at Lavarack Barracks to provide support to Defence members and their families with the challenges of service life.

Tropical North Family Centre:

A family centre located at Townsville RAAF Base, Garbutt to provide support to Defence families.

Defence Member and Family Support (DFMS)

Defence Member and Family Support (DMFS)

Defence Member and Family Support offers a broad range of programs and services to help Defence families make the most of the challenges and opportunities provided by the military way of life.



KidsMatter Primary is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children. KidsMatter Primary provides the proven methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids.

For more information please visit the KidsMatter website

Defence School Mentor

Defence School Mentor (DSM)

Holy Spirit Catholic School has supported defence families successfully since 2002 and continues to support the DSM program and defence families in all areas of school and community life. This is achieved on a whole school level by regular participation in special events which highlight the selflessness of members of the Australian Defence Force from our past and in present day situations.

The program provides support for students and their families by:

  • Welcoming defence families into the school community.
  • Following up with students finding it difficult to settle into their new school environment.
  • Providing support to students transferring to another school due to posting.
  • Making weekly visits to students when a family member is on overseas deployment or away on Defence related separations.
  • Continually updating the school newsletter and school website with Defence news.
  • Keeping up to date with resources and events in the Defence community by attending regular network meetings and professional development.
  • Maintaining contact with families and students on a regular basis.

Holy Spirit Catholic School has a Defence School Mentor who has many years experience with students support and Defence related-matters. She looks forward to supporting Defence children and their families while at Holy Spirit Catholic School, while continuing to ensure that all members of the community are given the opportunity to support each other in everyday life.

For more information about any of our services, please contact Haylie on 4779 4255 during school business hours or email