School Wellbeing Leader - Sarah Foley (Mon-Fri based at Ocean Grove)

Mental Health Practitioners


Renae Schomacker Mental Health Practitioner

Sarah Muling
Mental Health Practitioner

Wellbeing Staff

Nicole Wirth
Student Wellbeing

Kate Daley
Student Wellbeing

Merryl Arnold
School Nurse

Jan Bowes
Student Wellbeing

Kate Grinter
Student Wellbeing

Jen Brown
Disability Inclusion

The Student Wellbeing team work holistically alongside students, families, community organisations and staff at Bellarine Secondary College. The team is made up of a range of staff who have different expertise and work in collaboration across the two campuses to provide education, health promotion and support to students and families where needed.

Parents and Carers can contact the appropriate House Leader to discuss concerns regarding their child. The House Leader may consult Leadership and/or Wellbeing for further support options. Parents can also contact Student Wellbeing directly if you have concerns for your child via the front office contact 52519000.

School staff submit all wellbeing referrals via Compass. Each campus wellbeing team meets once a week to discuss incoming referrals and determine the most appropriate supports which may include:   

  • Wellbeing support
  • School Nurse
  • Mental Health Practitioner
  • Or referral to external supports, such as Headspace, Barwon Health, BCYF.

Student Wellbeing focuses on proactive education to support young people in the form of resilience, safety, skill building and education relating to their own and broader mental health.

Student wellbeing work alongside the broader staffing group, students, and guest speakers to promote National health promotion days/events such as R U Ok day, Mental Health week, IDAHOBIT day and facilitate small group programs.

College-wide Student Wellbeing team consists of:
Ocean Grove- Nicole Wirth, 5 days a week
Drysdale- Jan Bowes, 5 days a week and Kate Grinter, 3 days a week

Wellbeing support may involve:

  • Short term counselling/support
  • Programs co-facilitated with City of Greater Geelong Youth Team
  • Act upon information to keep our students safe
  • Assessment to determine what support is required, including safety and risk assessment
  • Referrals to community support services such as mental health, family support and allied health services
  • Communicating with parents and teachers to achieve the best outcomes for students to support them to engage in learning, feel valued and part of our community. We help build their confidence and help them identify and support them with barriers that they could be hindering them to live healthy and happy lives.

Merryl is our school nurse and is based at the Ocean Grove campus on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The role includes providing individual student health counselling. The wellbeing team will determine student eligibility and refer to the School Nurse.

If staff believe a student would benefit from a student health counselling session please submit a regular wellbeing referral via compass with as much information as possible.

Supporting whole school adolescent health initiatives is another major component of the role.

Jen and Tesni are our Mental Health Practitioners. Tesni is based at the Ocean Grove campus, and  Jen is at the Drysdale campus. MHP’s form part of the school’s existing wellbeing team, and the Department’s broader Health and Wellbeing Inclusion Workforce.

MHP scope of practice:

  • providing direct counselling support and other early intervention services for individual students identified as at-risk and/or experiencing or demonstrating mild to moderate mental health concerns
  • providing direct counselling support and other early intervention services for small groups (where appropriate)
  • coordinating supports (both within and external to the school) for students with critical and complex needs, including proactively working with regions and other health professionals to engage further support as required
  • enhancing mental health promotion and prevention activities in the school by contributing to whole school health and wellbeing plans, building the capability of teaching staff and school leadership to manage student health and wellbeing, and helping to embed mental health promotion and prevention programs and strategies in the school.

In order for students to access support through the MHPs, they must have signed parent consent forms before engaging with the MHP, the wellbeing team will organise this. If you believe a student needs mental health support, please submit a regular wellbeing referral via compass with as much information as possible.

Families requiring financial assistance are directed to Business Manager Kerri McClusky.

Bellarine Secondary College are dedicated to ensuring all students have equitable access to learning resources.

The wellbeing team hold some resources that they can give out (spare exercise books, pens, pencil cases, 2nd hand uniform, and target vouchers) however please direct requests for all major resources to Kerri. The library holds a ‘wellbeing collection’ that students in need can borrow from, however the collection does not hold every textbook on the booklist. The school is able to direct families to external services providers

BCH – Bellarine Community Health Drysdale and Ocean Grove Headspace – 52530400
Headspace Geelong –  5222 6690
Suicide Line – 1300 651 251
Suicide Call Back Service –  1300 659 467
Lifeline – 131114
Grief Line –  1300 845 745
Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
MensLine –  1800 551 800
Beyond Blue –  1300 224 636
Barwon Health Mental Health Triage –  1300 094 187 – contact this number if you  have concerns of your child’s risk to self. If in immediate danger contact 000

BCYF – Barwon Child Youth and Family -Phone: 03 5226 8900 ask to speak to the intake worker who will undertake an assessment and provide advice, support and discuss intake process.  (this service if not for emergencies if you are concerned for your child or a young person in relation to their physical health following use of drugs or alcohol please call an ambulance or Barwon Health.

Breakthrough Geelong – Tuesday, 26th July, 2022

Brief Intervention: Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Counselling Service

Free Mental Health, Drug, and Alcohol Counselling

The following resources are available for student access.


All fact sheets, help tips and contact details are contained on this link.

Please type in area of interest i.e depression, anxiety, bullying, parental separation, how to support your child, how to talk to your child about suicide.  Some examples are below.

Headspace Fact Sheet – How to Help a Friend Going Through a Tough Time

Understanding bullying

Headspace Fact Sheet – Understanding Grief and Loss

Headspace Fact Sheet – Learn How to Handle Tough Times

Kids Helpline for Teens and Parents

Character Strengths free profile:

The following resources are designed for Parents to assist with Wellbeing.

Headspace Fact Sheet – Information for Parents and Carers

Kids Helpline for Teens and Parents

ReachOut Parents – One on One Suport – To Help your Teenagers through a rough time

This resource is free. Provides an online component you can do in your own time and coaching with a reach out staff member online or over the phone.


Parents/Guardians and young people can make a direct referral to BCH/Headspace on the below link. Referral takes approx. 5 minutes and the service will contact your nominated number directly for an appointment.

Parent Line Victoria

Parent line is a state wide telephone counselling and support service for all Victorian parents and carers of children from 0-18 years.
Experienced social workers, psychologists and family therapists can give you counselling and information around a wide range of parenting issues.

Parent line Victoria 13 22 89

The Resilience Project

The resilience project has great resources for parents and young people. The project is designed to support positive mental health through practical every day guides focussing on Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. The resilience project sells 21day and 6 month journals, books and also have a great podcast. The journal is also available via an app.

Hope Bereavement Care

Offers free information, support and counselling when grieving the death of a child, the sudden and unexpected death of an adult and those experiencing loss after suicide

Call: 03 4215 3358   EMAIL:

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Internal Programs 

The College Wellbeing Team offers a variety of internally run programs throughout the year. Members of the Wellbeing Team lead the referral process for these programs, and may reach out to House Leaders and Sub School Leaders to ascertain students who may be appropriate. An outline of these internal programs is provided below.  

Drum Beat (by Holyoake)   Drum Beat is an evidence-based social and emotional learning program. The program is cofacilitated with COGG. Two trained facilitators from the college and COGG lead the program for period of 8 weeks. The program is aimed at building student resilience and self-esteem, increasing connectedness with both peers and wellbeing staff, and supporting personal and social development through the use of Djembe drumming and structured course discussions. The program runs at both campuses. 

Skate Group  

This program is cofacilitated with the COGG Youth Development Team. The program focuses on strength-based resilience building, however young people who undertake this program do not need to have a background or skills in skating. Skate Group is an engagement program that promotes leadership, mentoring and building capacity. This program runs at the Ocean Grove campus.   

Standout Group 

Stand Out group is a group that focuses on inspiring and creating student-led LGBTQIA+ inclusion, including challenging homophobia and transphobia, changing language, and highlighting the importance of friends and supporters. Stand Out Group is for students who are allies, same sex attracted, transgender or questioning who wish to promote safe school practices and educate others. The program runs at both campuses. 

Mentoring Program 

The Mentoring Program includes volunteers from the community who invest a period a week with one or more students at the College for the purpose of mentoring. The program runs at both campuses.  The mentors will undertake a variety of activities with their nominated student such as cooking, games, social skill building and educational support.

Seasons for Growth  

The Seasons for Growth program is designed to offer young people a safe space to come together, and share their experiences of change and loss. Wellbeing team members lead the program for students who have experienced a death of a parent or sibling. This is an opt in program with activities and events running throughout the year. The program runs at both campuses.  

Bike Group 

This program is cofacilitated with the COGG Youth Development Team. The program is designed to engage young people who are interested in bikes and bike maintenance. This program is aimed at students who may benefit from making further connections with others and feeling success at school. Students involved in the program may have an interest in learning about bikes, working in the bike industry or are involved in biking for recreation. This program runs at the Ocean Grove campus.   

Chill Out 

Chill Out is an internally delivered program that is designed for students to learn strategies related to stress and anxiety management. Students meet and work with a small group of peers over the course of the program. It is facilitated by the Mental Health Practitioner and School Nurse. The program runs at both campuses.  

EMP – Empowerment Group is an internally developed program for a max of 8 students per group. This program focuses on building confidence, resilience, challenge activities and building positive relationships within the group and with the facilitator. This program is ran over a term with an agreed community project as a key goal to be completed at the commencement of the program. This program is designed to be run in separate gender groups.


This program is cofacilitated with the COGG Youth Development Team. The purpose of this program is to broaden THE education of students related to current issues pertaining to youth such as inclusiveness, diversity, self-esteem and body image. The program also has an element of activities designed to challenge students and encourage them to get out of their comfort zone. This program enables personal growth, knowledge and development. The program runs at both campuses.  

Term 1 – Harmony Day
National Day against Bullying and Violence
Term 2 – IDAHOBIT day – International Day Against Homophobia, Bi Phobia and Transphobia.
Term 3 – R U OK day
Term 4 – Mental Health Week

Orange Door

Orange Door is a local service based in the CBD of Geelong who specialise in family/children support. Orange door is also the first connection to link families to the appropriate service within the region. Orange Door supports adults/families/children who are experiencing family violence, who feel unsafe and are at risk of harm. Orange door also support families in the area of

  • financial
  • legal
  • health
  • substance misuse
  • housing
  • employment 
  • education

The Orange Door Barwon   
1800 312 820
9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays)
83 Moorabool Street, Geelong 3220

Drummond Street Family Support Services

Drummond Street Family Support Services provides early intervention support with young people and their families. Drummond street website has an extensive range of fact sheets, information for young people and parents/carers.

Address 337 Ryrie Street Geelong
Phone 96636733

BCYF – Barwon Child Youth and family


BCYF – Offers an array of services for families from early years supports, Youth Justice, Youth Homelessness, Youth Alcohol and other Drugs, Headspace Geelong and The Geelong Project. In addition to the specialised Youth Support programs BCYF offer family support and targeted support in for young people who are experiencing emotional regulation issues/anger management in the form of the Step up program.

Please get on their website to self refer,call them for advice or  please speak to a member of the Bellarine Secondary College Wellbeing team for further advise support in accessing this service.
Phone: 03 5226 8900

Bethany Family Services

Bethany Family Services provide a range of services in the area of family support, housing and disability.  Bethany work along side Orange Door in ensuring families support needs are met.

Bethany have multiple locations in the Geelong region. Contact details:

P: (03) 5278 8122
F: (03) 5278 6382


Our services provide Aboriginal families living or in transit in Wathaurong’s traditional boundaries with assistance, increased and improved access to a range of culturally appropriate health, housing, education, employment and cultural services; contribute to improvements in community wellbeing; and build the capacity of the community to control its own affairs and achieve self-determination.

Administration, Community Services, Family Services
Phone: 03 5277 0044
Fax: 03 5278 4123
Address: 62 Morgan Street, North Geelong VIC 3215
Postal Address: PO Box 402 North Geelong VIC 3215

Health Services
Phone: 03 5277 2038
Fax: 03 5277 3537
Address: 62 Morgan Street, North Geelong VIC 3215
Postal Address: PO Box 633 North Geelong VIC 3215

Children’s Services
Phone: 03 5292 9800
Fax: 03 5278 4123
Address: 62 Morgan Street, North Geelong VIC 3215
Postal Address: PO Box 402 North Geelong VIC 3215


The GASP project is Geelong’s safe and inclusive space for young people aged between 12-25. Since 1996, the GASP project has been working to support same-sex attracted, transgender, gender diverse, and intersex young people who live, study, or work in the Geelong and Bellarine region. GASP run weekly youth/peer sessions.
03 5272 6120 – ask to speak to a GASP worker


For Barwon support

Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24 Hours): 1800 806 292Safe Steps (24 Hours): 1800 015 188

Our service is open and available to support people impacted by sexual assault and women, children and young people experiencing family violence.

If you, or someone you know, needs support, we encourage you to reach out. We know how difficult making the first contact can be. We are here to help. You can contact us via phone, email, webchat or in person at our offices.

When you contact our service we will ask you about your current situation, talk to you about any safety concerns or risks you are facing, and help you to decide what support you would like. You can contact us during business hours to receive information, talk to one of our Counsellor Advocates or Case Managers and discuss strategies and help available.

Please contact SAFV if you are concerned about inappropriate sexualised behaviour of your child. This service can provide support or relevant links to alternate services.

Geelong SOCIT – Sexual offences Child Investigation Team

SOCIT receive and respond to allegations of sexual offences, family violence and Child Protection Concerns. SOCIT work closely with SAFVS and Child Protection in response to allegations and support victims of these crimes and in some cases charge offenders.

Barwon MDC
Level 1, 59-63 Spring Street, Geelong West 3218
(03) 5223 7222

Quick Help Links


DOVE OP SHOP – Dove Op shop Ocean Grove generously sponsor wellbeing programs annually– Seasons camps/activities across both campuses

Feed me Bellarine generously supply items to support the weekly free breakfast at Ocean Grove campus.


Country Womens Association – CWA Ocean Grove Branch generously support the students at the Bellarine Secondary College with a donation of $1500, specifically for the purchase of student IT devices held in the school library and used in class or on semi-permanent loan

Target annually provide back to school vouchers to our school community to support families in need who may need support buying stationary or uniform items.

The lions club provide support to Bellarine Secondary College in the form of attending fundraising days in providing sausage sizzles free of charge. A select number of Lions Club members also provide student mentoring. 

Whats On !!