Jane Sutcliffe joins SMC Counselling team

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in News, Timeline

Welcome to the 2020 school year.

St Mary’s College is excited to introduce and warmly welcome our new Year 7–12 Counsellor, Jane Sutcliffe, pictured, who will be working on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Jane comes to us with a Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours and a Master of (Clinical) Psychology, University of Tasmania.

Role of the School Counsellor at SMC

There are many new families to St Mary’s College and we thought it would be a good idea to introduce ourselves and provide you with information about our school counselling service.

Who are the School Counsellors, when are they available and how can a booking be made? 

We, the School Counsellors, each work at SMC three-days-a-week. Gai generally supports the Junior School students and Jane generally supports the Senior School students, however we each have clients in both sections of the school. Please add us to your list of people you can turn to when your child needs help. If your child is finding difficulty in coping with any of life’s challenges (it does not have to be a school-based problem), we are available each day of the week. Booking is easy. Please email Gai at gbath@smc.tas.edu.au or Jane at jsutcliffe@smc.tas.edu.au or phone Student Services on 6108 2560 to contact us. Your child can also approach us in person or via email, speak with the office staff or talk to their class or Homeroom teacher about an appointment.

What can we help with?

We provide a confidential service where we listen carefully to every concern and work with your child, and sometimes you, to find a good solution, or at least a way to cope with the difficulty.

Parents of Junior School students are always phoned prior to a child engaging in counselling. If we have any concerns about your child’s health or wellbeing we will contact you by phone. We keep information provided in counselling confidential, however, if we believe someone is at risk of being harmed we are required by law to make a report (mandatory reporting).

Chances are that whatever the problem, we have helped someone else with a similar one before. In our training (Gai – Bachelor of Education and Master of Counselling, University of Tasmania; Jane – Bachelor of Psychological Science and Master of Psychology, UTAS) we focused on child and adolescent development, how to listen and respond to children and teens, and how to help them learn to solve problems, build positive relationships, make decisions, cope with stress and be assertive. We are experienced counsellors and can provide options and ideas for a myriad of issues. We are also able to refer students and their families to outside resources. In any given year we see approximately 20 per cent of students in both the Junior and Senior Schools in a one-on-one setting in our capacity as counsellors.

Given that BeYou Australia tells us that at any given time one in five young people are experiencing mental health difficulties of some kind, this is not an unusual statistic.

We also occasionally address classes on topics related to wellbeing and we organise guest speakers and special days such as ‘Bullying. No Way!’ and the Bravehearts presentations. A current major focus is the formation of a wellbeing team to audit all aspects of wellbeing at St Mary’s, collect data from all stakeholders, including families, interpret the results and establish the areas in which we can improve mental health, relationships at school and assistance for students.

Ultimately, we are about helping to make your child’s school experience the best it can be and creating a positive environment for everyone at school.

In each fortnightly edition of The Fountain newsletter you will find an article ‘From the Counsellors’. Over the years, this has developed into a vast resource for parents and carers. All past articles can be found on the SMC website at www.smc.tas.edu.au/your-mind-matters/parent-matters/

Developing leadership skills at home – parenting ideas

The following link outlines some simple things that parents can do to help children’s potential for leadership: www.parentingideas.com.au/blog/developing-leadership-skills-at-home

Podcasts that may interest you – Generation Next

Topics include: Kids, Consumerism & Materialism, Sexting – Why Do Young People Do It and What Are the Consequences?, Supporting Children with Anxiety, Could It Be Asperger’s?, Encouraging Boys to be Respectful and Caring, Conversations We Should be Having with Teens About Mental Health, Gorgeous to Grumpy – Motivating Early Teens and many more. For more information, visit the Generation Next website.

Enjoy the learning while reading and listening. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you or your child would like an appointment.

Gai Bath (Kinder–Year 6) and Jane Sutcliffe (Year 7–12)
SMC Counsellors

Families welcome event, 19 February

Written by Shelley Medhurst. Posted in News, Timeline

Save the date for a social evening to warmly welcome new families to the St Mary’s College community on Wednesday 19 February on the College Green.

This event is a wonderful opportunity for new and existing families of the College to meet and mingle with one another and make some new friends.

Please refer to the below invitation for more information and RSVP details.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

St Mary’s College students make the top 100

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in News

Congratulations to Year 12 graduates Eloise Clark, Chloe Cooper, Eloise Deconinck and Saakshi Dhakal who achieved a Tertiary Entrance Score in the top 100 in Tasmania.

We are very proud of our students who completed their Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE) and these young women have achieved exceptional results.

We wish all our graduates every success in their future endeavours and a well-deserved break over the Christmas holiday period.

Joly Karabite gets shipshape for big sea adventure

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in News

Thank you to everyone who purchased raffle tickets in our recent College fundraiser to provide Christmas hamper donations and support student, Joly Karabite (Year 11) in the Windeward Bound Trust Youth Leadership Challenge.

The fundraiser has supplied Joly with the required equipment to help undertake her journey, departing today, Wednesday 11 December.

Along with the cupcakes sold last month (pictured), Joly and the College raised $562, thanks to the support of Dee Spaulding.

Thank you to the generous sponsors who donated raffle prizes: Great Bay Construction, Edge Living, Lost Freight Café, Frances Mann, Wendy Forsyth and St Mary’s College.

Kindness at Christmas

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in News

St Mary’s College Junior School was honoured to be invited to prepare the Christmas decorations for this year’s Henry Jones Art Hotel Christmas Tree. As part of their Christmas program, Henry Jones Art Hotel gifted St Mary’s College with $1,000 to donate to the charities of their choice. The students selected the Catholic Care Family Assistance Christmas hampers initiative and the Sacred Heart Catholic School Geeveston fundraiser for bushfire affected families in Queensland and NSW. 

Pictured below: Mrs Ruth Prichard, Junior School Religious Education Coordinator and Year 1 Teacher accepts the donation cheque on behalf of St Mary’s College.

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