Student Wellbeing Services
Brookside College’s Student Wellbeing Services primary responsibility is to promote the academic, personal, and social development of all our students. Brookside College works with the school community as well as other services and agencies to support our students in being responsible and productive citizens. We pride ourselves on having a positive and supportive learning environment which focuses on the development of the whole child. We are able to offer support to students and their families through involvement in a range of individual, group and family support work.
Student Wellbeing Services has a dual focus, addressing both educational support as well as therapeutic needs. Student Wellbeing Services are provided by professional staff with qualifications and expertise specific to the area of wellbeing and service may include a range of group-based and individual support, student capacity building and the provision of specialised services.
Student Wellbeing Services are provided to students and families by the Student Wellbeing Team. This team consists of Keda Meagher (Assistant Principal for Inclusion, Wellbeing and Engagement), Gretel Van Wyngaarden (Leader of Engagement and Wellbeing P-9) and Student Wellbeing Leader (clinical) Raj Kandasamy, a Wellbeing team consisting of onsite school counsellors Claire Volpe, Sandra Pham and Kristienne Martin.
Assistant Principal Keda Meagher supports the Principal and other Assistant Principals in the overall leadership and management of our college. Keda is responsible for the overall development of school policies and practices relating to inclusion, student wellbeing and engagement, and the management of school wide positive educational practices. Keda works closely with the Leader of Student Engagement and the Wellbeing team to ensure comprehensive care and monitoring of student progress and wellbeing. Keda’s role also includes overseeing the school’s Child Safe policies and procedures as the college’s nominated Child Safe Officer.
Engagement and Wellbeing Leader Gretel Van WynGaarden is leading the implementation of our whole college approach to Respectful Relationships and the Berry Street Educational Model. Gretel is instrumental in helping to lead our college towards building a culture of respect and equity. In her role as Leader of Student Engagement, Gretel works closely with a number of teams across the college in the implementation and ongoing development of our Respectful Relationships, Berry Street Education Model and School Wide Positive Education Initiatives.
Wellbeing Leader (Clinical) Raj Kandasamy works collaboratively to ensure the provision of clinical wellbeing services and programs for all students at Brookside College. Working together with academic staff by providing social emotional and psychological support for all students to achieve their full potential during the academic year. The development and implementation of all wellbeing programs and initiatives, individual and group counselling, working together with external agencies within the college, are built with strong collaborative partnerships with families and the wider community to improve learning and positive wellbeing outcomes for all students and staffs.
There are numerous services in our community that are available to assist families, many free or low cost. Through consultations with Brookside’s Student Wellbeing Services, allied health professionals can be accessed such as doctors, paediatricians, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, behavioural optometrists, counsellors, and specialised educational services. Additional supports also include mental health services, family support services, parenting assistance, financial assistance, legal information and advocacy, and disability services. Access to Brookside College’s Student Wellbeing Service is a free service and the information provided is kept private and confidential. In addition, through our Student Wellbeing Services, students and families at Brookside College can access additional support for our Out of Home Care (OOHC), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families, or families from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island Background.
Our SCHOOL COUNSELLORS are staff with specialised qualifications in counselling and therapeutic practice. Our school counsellors work closely with our leadership teams & provide individual and group support, parent support and consultation, and linkage to community services. Individual work includes counselling, anger management, social skills development, conflict resolution, physical and mental health support, school attendance and linkage to community services. Group programs may include social skills groups, conflict resolution, anger management, grief and loss, and P-9 specific programs.
Allied Health Professionals Consultation: Brookside College will consult with allied health professionals such as Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy. We identify students who may present with communication difficulties including articulation, language and social difficulties and provide individualised wrap-around supports. Occupational Therapy consultation may include the development of programs that will assist students in developing skills and supporting participation in everyday activities that are appropriate for a student’s age and their abilities. This may include fine motor skills programs that are important for success with daily tasks such as holding a pencil, handwriting and readiness to write, drawing, hand-eye coordination, cutting with scissors and doing up buttons and zippers, gross motor skills that are necessary for a stable posture for sitting, skipping and ball skills, sensory needs, attention and concentration and organisational skills. Consultation with allied health professionals enables us to work collaboratively with to support student’s educational goals and meet student’s specific needs.
Inclusions Practice Leader Becky Huddlestone coordinates the PSD program and works closely with DET’s Student Support Services allied health staff and Brookside staff who support our students daily in the classroom. Becky has experience working in special education schools, with a specific focus on Autism. This important role focuses on the development and delivery of specialised learning programs for our students who have a range of learning needs. Becky works alongside staff to assess our students’ skills that inform the development and implementation of inclusive practices to support individual student needs.
If you require any further information regarding any of the student wellbeing services offered at Brookside College, please do not hesitate to contact member of the wellbeing team.
Brookside College whole school and Student Wellbeing Service Programs:
- Individual Counselling
- Group Work
- Restorative Practices
- Transition Programs
- Student Leadership opportunities
- Student Representative Council
- Bike Education
- Lunch time activities
- Hands on Learning
- After School Study Clubs
- Before School Sports Programs
Where possible, the home group teacher should be the first point of contact at the school.
If parents have a concern about a wider issue they can contact one of the Domain Leaders of your child’s year level:
- Prep – Jelena Brkljacic
- Year 1 – Brooke Anderson
- Year 2 – Fiona Houston
- Year 3 – Denay Sesto
- Year 4 – Chris Cameron
- Year 5 – Sarah Hafoka
- Year 6 – Sarah Brennan
- Year 7- Mel Casha
- Year 8 – Demi Geary
- Year 9 – Grant Puxley
For more confidential issues please contact a member of leadership:
Karen Jackson (Assistant Principal Prep- Year 2)
Brooke Gillis (Assistant Principal Years 3-6)
Keda Meagher (Assistant Principal Years 7-9)
Gretel VanWyngaarden (Leader of Engagement and Wellbeing P-9)
Violeta Dellidis (College Principal)
Support for families
Brookside College appreciates that families may sometimes experience financial difficulty in meeting payment requests and have arrangements in place to assist families experiencing financial hardship. A number of support options are available to parents who have difficulty making payments including instalment arrangements, buy/swap/sell sessions for uniform/text books, State Schools Relief and the Camps, sports and Excursions fund (CSEF).
Camps, Sports & Excursion Fund (CSEF)
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund is provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities for their children.
School camps provide children with inspiring experiences in the great outdoors, excursions encourage a deeper understanding of how the world works and sports teach teamwork, discipline and leadership. The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund ensures that every student will have the opportunity to join their classmates for these important, educational and fun activities.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or you are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible. The allowance of $125 per primary school student or $225 per secondary school student is paid to the college for each year of eligibility, to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
To apply, complete the application form below and hand it in to the general office along with your eligible concession card. Applications must be submitted by the 30th of June.
Sale/Purchase of secondhand textbooks and uniform
Clk2sell is an online market place developed to assist parents to buy and sell pre-loved school uniforms and text books. It is a free service created by State Schools’ Relief and is very simple and easy to use. Simply download the app, snap a photo of your items, then with one click they are uploaded to a streamlined marketplace. This is an entirely free service – there are no listing fees.
For more information about the app please visit the Clk2sell website
Sustainable School Shop
The Sustainable School Shop website is available to families to buy and sell second hand uniforms and textbooks, as well as other school items such as scientific calculators, sporting goods and musical instruments. The system is simple and easy to use. If you don’t have a computer, internet access or an email address, please call the Sustainable School Shop for assistance. Registration is easy and searching is free. Items can be listed for sale from as little as $1.50 per ad.
Visit the Sustainable School Shop website
Please note: For parents wishing to purchase textbooks and novels second-hand, please ensure that you match the book ISBN number you are purchasing to the ones listed below. This will ensure you are purchasing the correct edition.
Year 7 novels:
Wonder (ISBN: 9780552565974)
Year 8 novels:
Two Wolves (ISBN: 9781742973951)
Year 9 novels:
Twelve Angry Men (ISBN: 9780143104407)
Pieces of Sky (ISBN: 9781760112486)
State schools relief
State Schools Relief is a charitable organisation which assists eligible families with the costs of uniform and school shoes.
Applications for assistance from State Schools Relief are made by the College on behalf of the family. Please contact the College’s welfare team on 7379 1555.
The College offers payment plans for families experiencing financial difficulties. Please contact our Business Manager on 7379 1555 if you wish to discuss a payment plan.
Other financial assistance
Parents can seek financial assistance and support from other agencies. A list of agencies that may be able to offer assistance follows. Parents should contact the agencies directly.
(Community based no interest loan scheme)
Small interest free loans supported by Good Shepherd Microfinance..