March 17, 2019

Director of Student Wellbeing

Dear Families, Students and Community Members,

With the new school year in full swing I thought it was time to bring you up to date with what’s happening with Student Wellbeing at Mordialloc College. Evidence tells us that students who are happy and feel a sense of connectedness to school are better placed to be able to achieve their personal best. We are therefore very happy and proud of our ‘attitudes to school data’ that places us above the state average indicating students are feeling happy and connected at Mordialloc College. However, we are always working on ways to continue to provide a school where connectedness and belonging is a priority.

Whether you are a new family to the College or have been with us for a number of years I would like to introduce you to the Wellbeing Team. The team consists of myself, Ann, Lana and Janet.

Ann Marsh works 2 days a week in the position of Adolescent Health Nurse and is involved in a variety of activities and supports around topics of  health: physical, sexual and mental health. Ann continues to run the Respect group on regular Tuesday  lunchtimes with a keen group of students from across the College. This group promotes the celebration of all types of diversity in our community with a focus on sexual and gender diversity. The group will organise and celebrate Rainbow Day – (International day against homophobic and transphobic bullying).

Lana Paten is the School Chaplain and works 3 days a week. Her focus is counselling and facilitating a number of programs across the College. Supporting the Year 7s to have  a positive transition is a key focus for her, and this has included facilitating some Year 7 lunchtime groups. These have provided a great opportunity to support all Year 7s to feel connected to their peers.

Janet Edlinger has joined the team this year Janet was previously working with Kingston Youth Services. It is great to now have her on board with the Wellbeing Team. One of her areas of focus  has been the Peer Support Program. This has involved training a group of Year 10 students as Peer Support Leaders to work with the Year 7 Home Groups to deliver the Peer Support Program. This has been very well received by the Year 7s, and is a great opportunity to meet and build positive relationships with students from Year 10.

One of my key roles is the management of the Program for Students with Disabilities and Special Needs. We now have a team of 12 Integration Aides supporting students from Years 7-12 and facilitating a Literacy and Numeracy Intervention program.

Aside from the Wellbeing Team and our ability to offer counselling support as required we also have a positive connection with Engage 1on1 Psychological Services – Kathy  can provide free counselling support through the Mental Health Care Plan program.

A key focus for the Wellbeing Team this year is to build our opportunities for parent engagement with the College. The  Parents’ and Carers’ Marquee at the swimming sports was a wonderful opportunity for a group of Year 7 parents to gather and watch their child  competing while enjoying conversation and refreshments with other parents. Recently a group of Year 7 parents met the Wellbeing Team and enjoyed some morning tea together. We look forward to other monthly events for parents and carers to develop their connection with the College – stay tuned.

All students are welcome to drop by the wellbeing room if there is something they would like to discuss with the team. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss the different support services we have available at the College as part of the wellbeing program and the wide range of agencies we have links with in the community.

Di Douglas

Director of Student Wellbeing