The Wellbeing Department encompasses counselling services, support and resilience building programs, the Disability Inclusion Program, student support within and beyond the classroom, a Koorie Engagement Support Officer, a Mental Health practitioner, School Chaplain, classroom aides, staff activities, Breakfast Club, Immunisation Program, the school Sick Bay, Doctors in Schools initiative and explicit links with outside services.
We believe that students who are mentally, emotionally and physically balanced, are happy, able to deal positively with life’s challenges, and are well placed to develop into well-balanced, motivated and resilient young adults.
The Swan Hill College community recognises and values all student individualities, differences and diversities. We encourage leadership and participation in all levels of school life.
The College aims to provide a positive accepting and respectful culture where bullying is not accepted, and in so doing, all will have the right of respect from others, the right to learn or to teach, and a right to feel safe and secure in the College environment.
Learning Support Officers
Doctors in Schools Program
In 2018, Swan Hill College began providing the Doctors in School’s (DIS) program. This service is available to any student who is enrolled at the College. Students are able to access a GP and Nurse in a safe and confidential environment. DIS is a free service, students and their parents/guardians/carers do not incur any out-of-pocket expenses for consultations with the GP. DIS can assist with a range of physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health issues. Here at the College, we believe DIS is an invaluable and positive program that is essential in a rural setting such as ours.
Swan Hill is fortunate to have a School Chaplain as a part of our Wellbeing team. The Chaplain at our College is funded through the Australian Governments National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program and Swan Hill College contributions.
Chaplaincy is a unique service that is of great value to our students, staff and parents; offering care, building the social skills of students and encouraging positive behaviour and life choices to our young people. Our Chaplain works as an integral part of our Wellbeing Team. Together they offer individual support referring out to appropriate services when required, the chaplain plans and implements Wellbeing programs across the curriculum, participates in a broad range of school coordinated activities such as school excursions, camps, sports coaching and events, lunchtime activities, breakfast program and assemblies. During times of crisis, trauma, loss and grief the Chaplain is called upon offering pastoral care, comfort and support to students, staff, parents and the broader school community to through these difficult times. Engagement in this program is of a voluntary nature.
Core of Life with year 10’s
The Core of Life Program (COL) was developed in 1999 on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria by midwives, Deb Patrick and Tracy Smith, who were concerned about the minimal education available to teenagers and the wider community prior to pregnancy.
They felt Education, run by Registered Nurses, would assist teenagers to make informed and responsible choices about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, how to keep healthy and early parenting.
The Year 10 double period highlights the physical, emotional and social consequences of pregnancy and parenthood, focuses on aspects of a healthy (and unhealthy) pregnancy, and provides localised information on health and community services available. And has shown that the program helps reduce teenage pregnancy rates.
SEED program with year 7’s
The SEED (Self, Empowerment, Engagement, Drive) Program has been established by the Wellbeing team for all of our year 7 students. The program aims to encourage students to reflect and unpack important concepts over the course of 4 weeks of term 3 & 4.
Week 1 – focuses on Self with key topics including personal strengths, roles models, values and identity.
Week 2 – focuses on Empowerment with key topics focusing on how to build and maintain a healthy friendship, emotional resilience, bullying/bystander/up-stander theories and peer pressure.
Week 3 – focuses on Engagement with key topics including the importance of connectedness and engagement in the community.
Week 4 – focuses on Drive including topics including Motivational theory, growth vs. fixed mindset review, goal setting and resilience.
The lessons are fun, engaging and informative for all students. We use a range of activities to help the students discover their strengths and to help develop a positive self-image.
SHINE program with year 8 girls
This program is run jointly with Wellbeing staff and Junior Sub School staff. The program aims to support year 8 girls to build their confidence, self-esteem, resilience and social skills. There is an emphasis on improving attendance, building self-esteem, and providing a supportive environment for all students involved in the program. These sessions are typically run during lunch time and include a range of activities to get the students out and about. Activities which have occurred through the program has been self-defence classes, healthy body image workshops and resilience building activities. Throughout the week we will ‘check in’ with your child to see how they are feeling, and guide them through any concerns.
SOAR program with year 8 & 9 boys
SUVIC, through their school’s program Elevate, together with Southern Lights Swan Hill has developed an Adventure-based program (SOAR) that works with at-risk youth within schools. The program framework has been derived from an extremely successful Adventure-based program in Queensland, called the Connect Program. The SOAR Program will be able to help students who are at risk of being excluded from their schools, who are in conflict or crisis within their families or peer groups, or suffering from depression or demoralization. The 6-month long program, supported by our local community, is a cost effective way to make a difference to the lives of our SHC students in our schools.
Through the SOAR program, chaplains, youth workers, teachers and adult mentors work with small groups of at-risk students. Group participants, their teachers and their families are asked to set their expectations and goals before the program begins, to ensure SOAR’s maximum effectiveness. Students then work towards reaching these goals during weekly challenges and 3/4 three-day adventure camps during the school year.
The camps create a close community and caring setting in which students feel safe and valued. They create a natural setting for students to be stimulated to learn and examine their own personal values and world views.
Physical challenges – such as abseiling, rafting, hiking and ropes courses – provide opportunities for adventure-based counseling and experiential learning. A vocational camp challenge allows young people to see what they can achieve through hard work and determination. Students learn by doing, reflecting and observing throughout each challenge. By the end of the 6 months, the students will have learned essential life skills that will then help them cope better with their school and home environments, developing positive life decisions and relationships.
SOAR aims to develop partnerships with local community groups and businesses, to help fund programs, provide positive role models for students and possible future job.
Doctors In School – Swan Hill Primary Health
Health Promotions (dieticians, occupational health, support with LGBTIQ+)
Clinic 60 (youth sexual health clinic)
Liz McDonald Counselling Services