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Captain Rob Champion joined The Salvation Army Westcare in February 2015. Rob is now in his 5th year at The Salvation Army and joins Westcare after supporting at-risk and homeless adults, teenagers and children in St. Kilda.

What strikes you the most about Westcare’s environment and the people it supports?

 You can really feel the Love, everyone here is so supportive and nurturing of each other, and this reflects on how young people are nurtured  in our care, Everyone here is so passionate and focused to provide the best possible opportunities and outcomes for all.

Why is the role of chaplaincy important to you?

Chaplaincy contributes to a healthy organisational culture and just being available and accessible is key to the role. Caring for the whole person is so important. Chaplaincy is about empowering people to be fully human. To be fully human, one must function as well as possible: cognitively, physiologically, psychologically, emotionally, societally, and spiritually in an integrated manner.


What is the most fulfilling part of your chaplaincy position?

Being there for others, contributing as part of the team and seeing positive outcomes in people’s lives, Embracing the essential dimension of chaplaincy through spirituality care. I define spirituality as the amazing capacity of the human spirit to be able to create meaning and purpose in every life event. At the core of our humanness, we are meaning makers. Consequently, every person lives spirituality. Every human has a need for meaning; for purpose; for belonging and to live with a sense of hope.


Which of your own personal qualities are most valuable to your role?

Some say I have the gift of Friendliness.


What experience do you bring with you in joining the team at Westcare?

10 years of being involved with disadvantaged youth through youth programs and mentoring,4 years as a youth refuge and outreach Chaplain.30 years of parenting experience of my own 5 children and a number of others I have been privileged to raise along the way.


What is the most challenging part of supporting vulnerable young people in Victoria’s West?

Advocating for young people in overcoming stigma to create opportunities for them  to improve their skills, get experience, and satisfy their desire to contribute to their local community which leads to a deeper sense of belonging and personal achievement.


Why is being a part of The Salvation Army important to you?

The Salvation Army was there for me as a young person and I never forgot the compassion and practical help I received. I like that the Salvation Army’s values align with the fulfilment of life or the appropriate response to the divine would be found in compassion and a concern for social justice.


What change and/or positive impact do you hope to bring?

My commitment is to serving Westcare by establishing holistic support and care for young people, staff, volunteers and families through myself and the establishment of a wider chaplaincy and volunteer network. I will work collaboratively with our local community towards proactive and life changing solutions that will support a positive and vibrant future for all.

Rob as a child in 1966

Rob and his Foster Family

Rob & his family with General Eva Burrows

and Major Brendan Nottle