Counselling & Support
The school counselling service is part of the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Team at MacKillop Catholic College (MCC). Pastoral Care refers to all actions taken within a school to promote a climate of care that enhances the personal, social, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of students and staff. The counselling service provides specialist support to the MCC community to better understand and manage student mental health and wellbeing issues, with a view to improving student outcomes. The service spans from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and provides direct support to students as well as preventative programs and assessments.
Ms Samara Stark is a Psychologist, who brings over 20 years of experience to the school. Ms Stark has clinical experience working with infants, children, young people and adults, in various settings including health, education and private practice. She is experienced in diagnostic assessments and treatment, using evidence-based interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Mindfulness. Ms Stark is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), as well as a Board Approved Supervisor. Ms Stark has worked in the secondary school full-time since 2016, however, in 2023 she will be working part-time while completing a Masters Degree.
Ms Maryanne Baker is a Provisional Psychologist who temporarily joined MacKillop counselling team last year. Ms Baker has completed her Masters Degree and has now returned to the Mackillop counselling team permanently. Ms Baker has been trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness. Ms Baker’s previous experience involved working with adolescents as a youth mentor in multiple high schools throughout Sydney. Ms Baker is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS).
Miss Abbey Smith is a Registered Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). During her work in private practice, Miss Smith developed a keen interest in working with adolescents and young adults. Miss Smith continues to work within a private practice setting in addition to her role as a school counsellor at Mackillop Catholic College Warnervale. She has experience working across the lifespan, seeing clients with a range of presentations from early childhood through to late adulthood. Miss Smith has experience in the administration of psychometric assessments as well as delivering evidence-based interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), alongside interpersonal skill development. Miss Smith is joining MacKillop as part of the secondary school counselling service.
Ms Jade Kremer is an experienced mental health clinician who has worked in services supporting children and adolescents presenting significant mental health concerns, behavioural challenges and neurodevelopmental disorders. Ms Kremer has been working as a primary school counsellor in a number of schools in the diocese prior to commencing at MacKillop in 2023. Ms Kremer works directly with children, school staff, parents and carers to enhance the wellbeing of primary students.
Ms Angela Lykousis is a Child and Family Therapist with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work, and a Masters in Counselling. Ms Lykousis’s experience has included working in contexts of Child Protection, Foster Care, Domestic and Family Violence, Mental health, and Childhood trauma. Angela’s therapeutic approaches are guided by an understanding of the neurobiology of attachment and trauma, child development, body-based therapies, expressive arts, and play-based therapy.
Secondary students can self-refer to the counselling service or be referred by Parents/Carers and/or Pastoral Leaders. A referral form is required for all secondary referrals, please contact the school to access these. Counselling appointments are made with students during school hours, Monday-Friday.
Referrals to the Primary Counsellor can be initiated by Parents/Carers and Teachers and are processed through the Principal. This intervention is short-term and requires Parent permission. A referral form can be accessed via the Class Teacher. Please return the completed forms to the Class Teacher or Principal.