A goal of nurturing spirituality in the workplace is to help provide an environment that provokes our sense of connectedness, meaning and purpose in who we are, and what we do.
In terms of ourselves and God, this means not only excellence in what we do in our profession, but also an encounter between God and our self. Chaplains can help grow this unique potential, bringing about a greater life-giving, soul satisfying centeredness in wholeness and well-being.
Often it’s through a range of day to day issues, especially as they relate to the unique dynamics of military service, that personnel are encouraged to deepen their faith. Life issues such as marriage and relationships, children, parents, friendships, finances, postings, working in a team, loneliness, grief, exposure to trauma, command, deployments, health and work-place stress can cause personnel to be overwhelmed.
Talking with a Chaplain can help take the sting out of present circumstances, but also be a compass to strengthening character, increasing resilience, and growing a healthy well-being through connectedness with God.
Contact with Support Services
In order for personnel to gain their best, at times (with permission), Chaplains may engage with Command and other Support Services such as:
• Medical/Regional Health Services
• Defence Community Organisation
• Defence Families Australia
• National Welfare Coordination Centre
• External faith communities
At all times Chaplains are expected to undertake their ministry ethically and with a duty of care for Defence members and their families.
How to contact a Chaplain
Chaplains are located at Air Force bases across Australia and overseas. Chaplains have permanent postings at all Australian bases except for Learmonth (WA), Curtin (WA), Scherger (QLD), and Woomera (SA). There is also a permanent Chaplain at Butterworth (Malaysia).
To contact a Chaplain, call the Defence Switchboard on 1300 333 362 and ask for the Duty Chaplain at the Base closest to your home.
Alternatively, feel free to email raaf.chaplains [at] defence.gov.au
Chaplain Code of Conduct (Safe Ministry)
Air Force Chaplaincy is characterised by good ministry practice, and the Chaplain Branch aims to maintain healthy and appropriate ethical conduct.
Chaplains are required to adhere to Defence Force Instructions and Standards and Codes of Conduct set by their respective faith group. The Chaplain Branch also has a stringent ‘Statement of Expectations’ that further require ethical conduct and responsibility of each Chaplain. Often the Codes of Conduct include areas of behaviour considered 'acceptable' in general society but 'of higher discipline' from a faith group perspective. A selection of the Codes of Conduct can be found on the websites of the following groups:
• Catholic - Catholic Church in Australia
• Anglican - Defence Anglicans
• Presbyterian - Jericho Road
• Uniting - Uniting Church in Australia
• Baptist - Baptist Union of Victoria
• Australian Christian Churches (NSW)
Should a person have concerns about a Chaplain’s conduct, abuse or inappropriate behaviour they may contact the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.