School Chaplain


Mr. John Vander-Velde, or Mr. Vann as he has become known, is an integral member of our school wellbeing team. He is employed by ACCESS Ministry through the National School Chaplaincy Program and we are fortunate to have his support and expertise for two days a week. John’s passion has always been working with children and families. He and his wife Val, have been foster parents in crisis care for over 20 years.

John works closely with teachers and the Student Wellbeing Coordinator Cath Buckland to obtain the best possible outcome for the wellbeing of our students – spiritually, emotionally and socially.  He is sensitive to the multi-faith, multi-cultural school community and is available to support all students, parents and teachers in a safe and confidential setting. John works with individual and groups of students on issues related to: grief and loss, family separation, social problem solving, conflict resolution and the management of strong feelings such as anger and anxiety. Through referrals to appropriate community agencies, he is able to access support for families facing difficulties with parenting, health, finance and housing. John‘s role is supported by the Chaplaincy committee who also raise funds to assist our more vulnerable students and families.

John is available on Wednesdays and Thursdays and contact can be organised via the school office.

An equally important member of our school wellbeing team is our counsellor Brian Dalton. Brian counsels individual students in response to referrals from parents and teachers. He works closely with parents and his experience and expertise with primary aged students has been invaluable. Brian is available at Bimbadeen Heights on Tuesdays and at other times by appointment. Contact can be organised through the school office or via the Student Wellbeing Coordinator.