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Guidance officers

​​​​​​​​​Guidance Officers are fully qualified teachers with post-graduate degrees in education and counselling.

The Guidance Officers at Varsity College focus on providing support for students so they can reach the best educational outcomes on an individual level. To do this our Guidance Officers will support the mental, social and emotional health of our students and assist in students maximising their potential in the areas of educational, vocational and personal counselling.

The Guidance Officers at Varsity College will work with teachers, parents and community members to support students. We use evidence-based practices and maintain data to ensure accountability. Further, we provide confidential services, in accordance with education policy and legislative requirements, in assessment, psycho-education, career counselling, supportive counselling and referrals.

In our practice we endeavour to nurture the individual, encourage a growth mindset using a strength-based approach in order to foster resilience, solid problem-solving and decision-making skills: ultimately our aim is to support our students to flourish.

Primary school (Prep to Year 6)

Entering formal education can be really challenging for young children. Children are required to develop new relationships that sit outside their family structure whilst exploring the academic expectations of schooling. Connections and positive relationships with the students and families are key in making this a positive and rewarding experience. The guidance service in the Primary school provides support for the development of competent and resilient children to achieve academic success, psychological health and social and emotional wellbeing. We seek to intervene early in the development of student difficulties through assessment, education, linking with school and community supports, advocacy and counselling. These interventions involve working directly with students, parents and teachers.

Junior secondary school (Years 7 to 9)

Today's students moving through junior secondary schooling are very different from those we have previously taught in our schools. They are able to access immediate connections with the global community; they engage with information and communication technologies as primary learning and networking tools both within and outside their homes and classrooms. More than any other generation, they are more aware of their individual capabilities and the expectations placed upon them by their peers, parents, teachers and the communities in which they live, work and play.

At the same time, students in the junior secondary phase are experiencing very important stages in their development. Their futures depend on the current quality of their relationships, the degree to which they engage with learning and their feelings of self-worth.

The junior secondary team help young people to develop personal responsibility and accountability, personal achievement and leadership, emotional and social wellbeing and a sense of meaning and purpose.

Senior secondary school (Years 10 to 12)

These are the years when young people are really finding their feet as they move towards adulthood. In amongst this transition our young people are setting and pursuing their future goals via engagement in the various academic and vocational pathways we offer at Varsity College. This is not always an easy period as they deal with the pressures of academic requirements, social interactions and relationships, part-time employment, extra-curricular endeavours and the like.

Young people may need support with study habits and time management, dealing with stress and sometimes anxiety as well as other presenting issues.

Our guidance and support services team is well equipped to support our young people with strategies and referrals to other qualified professionals for further assistance.

Personal counselling

From time to time we all experience difficult events in our lives. Childhood and adolescence can be a period when there are ups and downs in moods and attitudes, coupled with the process of transitioning into the adult world and the challenges that comes with that. The Guidance Officer can help young people deal with these confronting periods in their lives through providing some counselling support and help direct the young person and their family to professional external support agencies.

Some of the types of issues that we can assist with include:

  • Grief
  • Anger management
  • Mental health Issues
  • Friendships/relationships
  • Bullying
  • Absenteeism
  • Family issues
  • Harm issues
  • Self-esteem
  • Stress management
  • Time management

To assist our students and parents navigate the myriad of issues which may manifest in the child and adolescent years we have included some support service websites and phone numbers under the banners of mental health and wellbeing.

Our secondary campus guidance service covers

Educational counselling

The Guidance Officer assists individual students, their families and groups of students via programs in the following areas:

  • Subject selections
  • Subject changes
  • Exploration of pathways, pre-requisite subjects and skill development
  • Study skill sessions
  • Educational assessments and development of individual programs to personalise students' specific learning needs

Career counselling

The Guidance Officer plays a key role in the school to assist each student to plan for a future career path. Exploration of possible career paths happens extensively in the Year 10 career and Senior Education and Training (SET) Planning and in the Year 12 Future Pathways program. Included in these programs is the opportunity for students to investigate possibilities beyond school via university, TAFE, Australian Defence Force and other providers presenting on our campus and excursions to their campuses.

The Guidance Officer can assist students to pursue scholarships, enrichment courses at university (e.g. guests at Griffith University, Head Start at Southern Cross and Student for a Semester at Bond), the school's program at TAFE and early/direct entry into university and TAFE.

Furthermore, students and their families can book individual sessions with the Guidance Officer in order to discuss and explore career pathways; simply call the office to organise an appointment time.

To assist the exploration process the Beyond Varsity Portal provides links to a variety of career-based services, universities, TAFE and financial assistance sites.