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Welcome back

Welcome back to all our students and families, and a very warm welcome to all the new families joining us this year, be that Year 7, or through the levels.

There have been some staff changes in the Wellbeing Team for 2023. We farewelled Amal Saleh-Zada, our amazing and much-loved Student Wellbeing Coordinator (SWC) at the end of last year after 3 years in the SWC role and a previous 6 years in the Integration Team before that. Whilst we were sad to see him leave, we wish him all the very best for his new appointment. You may recall my name – I have been in the Mental Health Practitioner (MHP) role at the school for the last 2 years and this year have stepped into the SWC role as Amal’s replacement. I am really excited to be taking a broader role in overseeing the wellbeing supports available to our students. We would like to welcome Mariani Lim our new MHP.  We still have Gail, our incredible School Chaplain with us 2 days per week and will continue to have counselling interns with us on rotation throughout the year to provide extra support for our students.

The start of term saw us busy getting to know our Year 7 students and families. The Year 7 Induction program gave our students and parents an opportunity to get to know each other, some helpful hints for living with high schoolers and some reminders about healthy routines for successful learning. The day ended with a fun session of Zumba in the courtyard for students and parents as a reminder about the importance of keeping active for good physical and mental health.

As a team we look forward to supporting our students and families through 2023 through counselling, groups, in-class wellbeing and mental health education and whole school awareness raising and mental health promotion campaigns and activities. Watch the wellbeing space!

Please read on to learn about accessing wellbeing support and some of the wellbeing supports available in Term 1.

Peta Cartwright | Student Wellbeing Coordinator

The Team

Student Wellbeing Coordinator – Peta Cartwright/ Social Worker (3 days per week – Mon (Wk2), Tues Thurs, Fri)

School Chaplain – Gail Ackroyd/ Counsellor (2 days per week – Mon/Tues)

Mental Health Practitioner – Mariani Lim (2 days per week)

Counselling Intern – Eliza Wade (2 days per week- Tues, Thurs)

Counselling Intern – Sarah Ardiente (2 days per week – Tues, Fri)

Accessing support through Wellbeing: Students

The Wellbeing Team can support students to navigate challenges that may be impacting on their ability to engage in learning or general feelings of wellbeing. This can include: transitions and adjusting to change, family or relationship difficulties, grief and loss, mental health concerns, drug and alcohol concerns, and many other challenges that young people encounter.

An initial appointment with a member of the wellbeing team will be an assessment of need with the student or family which will help to decide the best support option for the student. Support options available through the Wellbeing Team are:

  • Individual short term counselling, psychoeducation and skills development
  • group programs
  • referrals to external support agencies.
  • students may also be encouraged to access self-help strategies or resources.

Referrals to see someone from the team are made through year level leaders. Parents, students or teachers with concerns are encouraged to speak to their year level leader. Students or parents can also make an appointment directly with someone from the Wellbeing Team by attending the Wellbeing Centre, calling the school office or contacting us via email at wellbeing@fairhillshs.vic.edu.au

Year level leaders who are made aware of concerns by a teacher will always endeavour to make contact with parents before referring a student to the Wellbeing team.

All counselling sessions with students are confidential and information is only shared if a student is deemed to be at risk of harm.

If you or anyone you know needs immediate support, please contact kidshelpline or lifeline on the numbers at the bottom of this page.

What’s on in Wellbeing?

The Wellbeing Centre is open at recess and lunchtime for students who need a quiet, safe place to regulate or access support. The centre is also used for lunchtime group programs which are advertised through compass or on notice boards.

Q-Squad, our LBGTQIA+ group runs every Thursday lunchtime.

More groups to come!

Accessing Support: Families

Most families, at some stage, need a little extra support to manage the normal challenges of life as well as the more difficult situations that arise. If you are experiencing hardship, stress or circumstances that are impacting on the wellbeing of your family life or your ability to cope, the Wellbeing Team can help to connect you with community services that can provide support. Please contact the Wellbeing Team via the school phone number or via email at wellbeing@fairhillshs.vic.edu.au

Breakfast Club

With the support of volunteers from local churches- Knox Baptist and Hillsong Church we are able to provide a breakfast club 5 days a week for our students, including a Pancake Breakfast every Thursday morning. All students are welcome.

Food Support for families in need

Each fortnight on a Tuesday after school from 2.48- 3.08pm we have food support available for families who may be in need, for whatever reason. We have a selection of frozen meals and pantry items that families can collect from the former school canteen area without question or judgement. We know that access to food can be a real challenge for some families and we feel strongly about supporting the basic needs of our students and families. Watch out for compass posts each fortnight.


External Food Support Options




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