The College Chaplains aim to support students' social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing through small groups, one-on-one conversations and targeted intervention programs. College Chaplains liaise with parents/guardians, College staff and external agencies.
The Junior, Middle and Senior School Chaplains are key members of our pastoral care team, working closely with our psychologists. All services provided by our Chaplains to members of the College community are done so on a voluntary basis. Students can contact the Chaplains through Students Services. Click here to learn more about our pastoral care and wellbeing program.
Meet the Chaplains
Mr Paul Whitfield - Junior School Chaplain (Kindergarten to Year 6)
Paul considers it a joy and a privilege to work with the open minded, passionate students of the Junior School. Paul has studied Psychology and Theology and loves supporting students in the joys and struggles of life. In partnership with teachers, he meets with students one to one and in small groups, providing evidence based programs and pointing people to the hope Jesus’ provides. Paul has worked as a pastor in a suburban church and with networks of politicians and professionals, so finds it refreshing when kids say, ‘I don’t understand what you just said’. Paul’s own sons are now in high school but are still willing to play cricket and go on hikes with their rapidly aging Dad.
Mr James Ellis - Middle School Chaplain (Year 7 to Year 9)
James has been working with teenagers in some capacity for more than ten years. Because of this there are many stories he could tell about why he loves being a chaplain at Swan Christian College and how he ended up here. He says that at the end of the day his story all comes down to one simple truth, his love for Jesus and desire to emulate the way he lived. Jesus cared for people holistically. For James, this means wanting to help people with their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. James loves working at Swan because he gets to serve families associated with the College, and occasionally families in the wider community, every day. Through counseling sessions, sports activities, and camps, James aims to meet students where they are at and let them know that they are not alone in the good times or the bad. He is passionate about helping young people find a solid platform to ground their identity on (nothing being more solid than an eternal relationship with Christ) and loves the challenge of helping teenage guys grow into good men, a resource that the world is finding increasingly difficult to utilise. James says it is his privilege to serve the College as the Middle School chaplain and he is eager to see how the College will develop and grow into the future.
Mrs Rachel Thyer - Senior School (Year 10 to Year 12)
Rachel first joined the Pastoral Care team at Swan in 2013 and has returned in 2020 after a year of maternity leave. She enjoys the opportunities that Chaplaincy provides to support the growth and development of our young people at Swan. Rachel is involved in running lunch time Christian Union groups and believes this is a valuable opportunity for students to build relationships while discussing and growing in the Christian faith. Rachel has completed studies in Pastoral Care and has embarked on Theological studies. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve the community at Swan.
The Chaplaincy Project is partially funded by the Australian Government Department of Education under the School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.