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Introducing Chappy Nick

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“Be the change you want to see in the community”.

Is a motto that Beenleigh local Chaplain and social worker, Nick Carroll lives his life by every single day, being a positive role model for the youth of Beenleigh.

Chaplain Nick Carroll or ‘Chappy Nick’ as he’s fondly called, has been a positive influence for the youth of Beenleigh and the surrounding areas for over 9 years.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do because when I was roughly 21/22 years old, I became a Christian and that was a life-defining moment for me. Since then, I have wanted to give back and help others; whether that be through community development, creating programs to include other people to create community and belonging or through mentoring to offer guidance and friendship.

What drew you to become a Christian?

I was feeling very lost and I didn’t know where my place was in the world. I ended up meeting someone that went to a local church in Beenleigh, where I heard the Gospel message and went from there. To a sense of belonging and knowing I was created with a purpose and with gifts in life. I have now used those to make the world within our local area a little bit better.

What lead you to become a Chaplain?

At the time I was doing a lot of volunteer work in the Beenleigh and Eagleby areas. I was helping with local community groups and was running a Friday Youth night; where we were getting up to about 30 kids a Friday night in the local halls.

At Eagleby State School, there was a really good Chaplain but she moved on to another position and the role was made available. So, I gave it ago and I have been there for 9 years.

Where did your nickname ‘Chappy Nick’ come from?

Chappy is short for Chaplain, however, because I am sort of everywhere in the area, with the Eagleby Giants and other programs I run, the name sort of stuck and I’ve just become known as Chappy everywhere I go.

Although it was a bit strange at first adapting to a new nickname, I am proud of it as it shows that people recognise me in the area because of what I do.

What are some of the programs you have developed?

There are a few programs that I have developed and implemented in the local community.

There is the Kindness trail. That is where I take students on a little walk along the bush track at Eagleby State School, where students learn three values including gratitude which is gratefulness, empathy which is kindness and mindfulness which is just being present in the moment to relax.

Another one is the Mental Strength program, which has been developed from a 12 steps program called ‘Grow’ that run in Eagleby every week. We touch on things like personal value, the principle of ordinariness, what is it that I really want and responsibility.

In addition to this, I also run a lot of lunchtime activities across both schools (Beenleigh High and Eagleby SS) like soccer, board games, cricket, games room and even a woodwork program that we run in collaboration with the Palm Lakes Resort. I also coordinate two Breakfast Clubs that run 5 days a week at both schools.

Furthermore, I am also taking a group of 14 to 17-year-old boys through training during the off season; to help with their physical and mental strength.

How important to you is being a positive role model in the Beenleigh community?

Very. In life, everyone just needs one champion. Everyone needs that one person that will just believe in them and cheer them on to keep going. Our community needs positive role models especially for the younger generation as you can’t be what you’ve never seen.

It’s those positive role models in the community that people look up to and aspire to be. That’s how it all started for me; it was one person that saw I had become a little lost finding my place in the world as a young person. They took me aside and championed and mentored me. Now I repay the favour whenever I can.

As a fourth-generation Beenleigh local, how has the town developed over the years?

It has evolved from a small country town to become a modern city. It has had growing pains over the years, however, the key to Beenleigh is that it has always been able to adapt for the next generation. With markets, activities, great cafes and fantastic produce, Beenleigh is booming. For a town that started out small and has been slowly adapting, we are producing some amazing things.

What (changes) would you like to see implemented in the Beenleigh community?

I think that we need to keep being positive as a community and build each other up to keep our community spirit alive.

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Emily Stack
Emily Stack
Editorial Team
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