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Community partnerships

Chaplaincy Service

Highland Reserve State School employs a Chaplaincy program to service the school community two days a week. It is a government and community funded service, backed by the Parents and Citizens Association, providing support for students, families and staff in three key areas:
  • Social
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
The program at HRSS is headed by Sharleen Firth, known as 'Chappy' to the students. Sharleen's role is to provide a listening ear and a caring presence for children in crisis, and those who just need a friend. She works out of the withdrawal room in B Block, upstairs between HASS and Music, on Tuesdays and Fridays. She can be contacted by email at or by dropping in to her room on her work days. Students and families can also request for support through Admin and teaching staff.
HRSS values the support of students through the Chaplaincy program to enhance their learning and holistically support their growth and potential. Chaplains help students find a better way to deal with a range of issues including family breakdown, loneliness, anxiety, confusing relationships, peer pressure, bullying, self esteem, grief and other issues. Sharleen is on hand to support students facing difficult issues and collaborates with the Support Team to deliver assistance where needed. The chaplaincy service is provided for all students, staff and their families regardless of race, religion or values. All matters raised are treated in complete confidence without judgement.
The Local Chaplaincy Committee overseeing the service at HRSS are actively involved in forming connections between the school and local churches, businesses and organisations to provide assistance to families in times of need or crisis. This supportive team of people help with the events and fundraisers that raise awareness and funds to continue the service at HRSS.

Getting to know our Chaplain:

Chappy Sharleen was born and raised on the Gold Coast and lives in Ormeau:
  • She is a family person who adores her two children.
  • She loves being outdoors, running, walking and being amongst nature.
  • She attends Beachside Christian Church in Palm Beach/Currumbin.
  • She has been a Chaplain for 10 years, previously working in a high school.
  • She also has a background in tourism, beauty therapy and pharmacy.
  • She has worked with children and young people for 13 years in youth groups, small groups and mentoring.
  • She has a passion for community, social justice and supporting people in emotional and circumstantial distress.

A message from our Chappy:

It is my privilege to walk alongside children, families and staff who are facing different difficulties, so they know they are not alone and have someone to journey with them. I am a safe, warm and open person, so please feel at ease to approach me at any time, regardless of your own personal beliefs or diverse religions. I love promoting and fostering a caring environment and providing proactive events or activities to highlight unity and respect for all member of our school community. I also run programs at different times, targeting groups of students going through similar social or emotional struggles, such as boys and girls programs. I provide one on one support for children who have been referred to me and enjoy seeing them express themselves and work towards growth. I also support anyone seeking spiritual support, wanting to talk about their journey, however I do not teach Religion Instruction (this is provided by local church members through RI classes). I love HRSS and its community and am happy to help in any way I can.
School Chaplaincy Snapshot​ ​