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Counselling & Support

School Counsellors

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 wellbeing 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 assessment.

The MCC counselling unit has two experienced Psychologists, Ms Samara Stark and Ms Beth Marsh, who are members of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), as well as Board Approved Supervisors. Combined they bring over 30 years of experience to the school and have experience working with infant, child, youth and adult populations, in various settings including health, educational, vocational and counselling psychology. Ms Stark and Ms Marsh both and use evidence-based interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Positive Psychology and Mindfulness. Ms Stark works in the Secondary school, while Ms Marsh works in both the Primary and Secondary school. They are in a position whereby they can collaborate to provide transition support for students who move through the K-12 setting, providing continuity of care and support. Ms Stark and Ms Marsh also act as referral points to agencies and specialised support services outside of school.

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 schools 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.



During terms 3 and 4 in 2022, the counselling service have a third team member. Maryanne Baker is a Provisional Psychologist currently studying Master of Professional Psychology at Macquarie University. She has been trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Her previous experience has involved working with children and young people. Most recently, Maryanne has been a youth mentor at different high schools across Sydney.


Family Support is available for all parents and carers should they have any concerns, need advice or would like to get involved with College programs or events from our Family Liaison Officer, Natasha (Tash) Harman, and Josephite Social Justice, Sister Marea Ross. Volunteering is a great way to meet new friends, help the College and support your children. Our Family Liaison Officer can be found in the Library between Monday, Wednesday and Friday, however this is subject to change depending on College events. Our Josephite Social Justice can be found in the Front Office.