Save Our School Chaplains was a public relations campaign launched in 2019 to overturn a decision by the ACT Government to opt out of the National School Chaplaincy Program. We were commissioned by Mercer PR and Scripture Union ACT to create an impactful online video series highlighting why chaplains are important to the school community.
The needs of students were at the centre of this campaign so our solution was to hear from those who had benefitted from having a chaplain at school. Due to a tight deadline, limited filming time and no access to schools we proposed to fly to Canberra, hire a studio and invite students along to tell their stories. We developed the questions and key messages in close collaboration with Mercer PR and Scripture Union ACT. The responses from the students were not scripted.
We created a number of videos from the footage we captured. First was a two minute video that combined all of the interviews. It was used as part of the launch for the campaign, which received widespread coverage in Canberra. We then created 60 second profiles of five of the students. These were distributed on a weekly basis following the launch to help maintain the campaign’s momentum.
The Save Our School Chaplains campaign highlighted the benefits chaplains bring to schools and students. It prompted parent groups to call on the government to rethink its decision and hand the choice back over to parents. Despite this, the ACT Government pushed ahead with its plan and opted out of the National School Chaplaincy Program in 2020.
"I’m not sure if I would’ve finished school without a chaplain. I don’t think I ever would’ve turned to a teacher or a counsellor because I didn’t feel as comfortable in those situations."