My name is Vaughan Willis and I’m the new chaplain at Success. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa in my early 20s. My wife is South African and we lived there until 22 years ago when we migrated to Australia. I have two adult children and 3 teenage grandchildren.
I served an apprenticeship as a hot metal compositor and ended up as a typesetter/graphic designer. I was working in my own business in Johannesburg when my wife and I felt the need to go into church pastoral work. We came to Australia with our two small children and I studied theology for 3 years, returning to South Africa where I pastored several churches, the last one in Cape Town. In 1995 we were invited to join a church in Brisbane, accepted and migrated to Australia.
In South Africa I was heavily involved in Youth Work and was appointed the national youth director of the organisation I worked for. I also worked with street children in Cape Town. One of the things I loved doing was taking groups of 20-30 young people on 3-5 day bush hikes. In Australia my wife and I undertook respite fostering for 5 years.
This term is my first in chaplaincy. I got into this role by accident as I was working as a cleaner for a large mining company in Perth at their head office. I was looking for another job to get out of nightshift and was encouraged to apply for chaplaincy. I was accepted, undertook the training, and here I am. On my first day at school I realised I had done the right thing and am now building relationships with the pupils of this great school.
You might see me standing at various gates with my pink fluoro vest before and after school. If you see me please take the time to introduce yourself and if you’d like a chat over a cuppa you can ask at reception for them to contact me. I’m at school on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.