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Stock up for hope

Neil Flynn on Scripture Union’s Stock Up for Hope Charity Drove in Casino, NSW. Photo courtesy of SU QLD chaplaincy
SCHOOL CHAPLAINCY in regional and rural Queensland received a massive boost of funds and awareness thanks to a cattle drove through central Queensland in October.

The third biennial Stock Up for Hope Charity Drove, presented by Medibank, connected kids, chaplains, cattle producers, chefs and city slicker corporates to raise $300 000 for Scripture Union Queensland (SU QLD) school chaplaincy.

Drove Director, Duncan Brown, said the event was a unique way for the community in the bush to support their young people, many of whom are battling issues of isolation, family breakdown, depression and suicide.

“We recognise the incredible challenges the next generation is facing, especially out in the bush, and Stock Up for Hope is
a great way for cattle producers and others to give back into their community, through school chaplains.

“The Drove has captured the hearts of people from all walks of life and while it can be diffi cult to get a cheque out of a cattle producer, we’ve found they’re often willing to donate a head or two of cattle for a cause like this.

“One or two head of cattle may not sound like much to city dwellers, but that translates to a donation upwards of $700 per

“When we get a mob of 400 together, like we have this year, then it’s a great boost for school chaplains,” said Mr Brown.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and SU QLD patron, John Anderson and his family joined more than 50 city slickers on the Drove, rounding up cattle on horseback, sharing bush poetry around the campfire and sleeping in swags under the starry sky.

The city slickers got up close to the cause, seeing the challenges young people are facing in regional areas.

Many spoke of gaining a greater understanding of how school chaplains are providing a listening ear and a caring presence for kids in crisis and those who just need a friend.

“Australia has an enviable economic and employment record, but we have failed to invest in our young people,” said Mr Anderson.

“This is not just a Government problem, but an issue that the community needs to step up and address.

“That’s where Stock Up for Hope, through school chaplaincy, has a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of thousands and help shape the next generation.”

The $300 000 raised will support individual chaplaincies as well as fund support workers throughout regional Queensland
to ensure the longevity of chaplains in the bush.

SU QLD is the largest provider of state school chaplains in Australia, with more than 500 chaplains in over 600 schools.

For more information visit stockupforhope.org.au

Photo : Neil Flynn on Scripture Union’s Stock Up for Hope Charity Drove in Casino, NSW. Photo courtesy of SU QLD chaplaincy