Guidance and Student Support Service

Francis Douglas Memorial College School Counsellor is Mr Hamish Kerr.

Mr Hamish Kerr our trained Counsellor at the College. 

Mr Kerr is available to students who have concerns or want to discuss the concerns they have at school, at home, in their wider life, or for any matter at all.  Students can make an appointment or drop by to see Hamish at any time.  This service is free and confidential.  

The College Counsellor also interacts with other community providers and agencies.  He can also refer to other Counsellors outside the College for free appointments if that is the student's preference.

As a school counsellor, Hamish's role is to support and guide the students through their adolescent years and help them over any hurdles or personal issues that may arise. Hamish's door is always open to any students, staff, parents or members of the wider community whether they need someone to talk to, to seek advice, or need help with more complex issues.

How Can I Make an Appointment?

This can be done in a number of ways:

  • leave a message at the college office
  • ask your Vertical Form teacher, Year Level Dean or another member of staff you trust
  • place a note with your full name and year level under my door
  • email
  • phone the College on 06 753 6149 Ext 828 and leave a message

The Guidance Office

The guidance office is located through the left entrance of Brother Oliver Lodge in the same building as Matron. This is a place where all students can freely share their concerns and struggles in a safe and supportive environment.

Parents and caregivers often find it useful to talk through issues on the phone and use Hamish as a resource person. Hamish has a good knowledge of other agencies and is able in certain circumstances to make referrals.

Hamish also interfaces with external agencies, such as medical, social welfare, mental health, counsel for the child and other government and non-government agencies.

Please feel free to contact Hamish if you have any concerns or would like further information on the services he can offer.

What happens in counselling? 

In counselling, you can talk about problems and concerns in a safe place with somebody who will support you.  Counselling is free, voluntary and confidential.  You can decide what works for you, how frequently you attend appointments and for how many sessions. Sometimes a member of staff or someone from outside the school may refer you to see the counsellor.  You will be given an appointment time and after this first meeting, it is up to you whether or not to take full advantage of this opportunity.

You are entitled to a counsellor who:

  • is non-judgmental and who you can trust and be open with
  • will try to see things from your point of view
  • will support you to make your own decisions
  • will support you with any changes you decide to make
  • will refer you to others for help if you wish
  • How can counselling help?

A counsellor can help you to: 

  • improve how you feel about yourself
  • think about things in new ways
  • reduce stress
  • explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviours
  • get to know yourself better
  • equip you with tools to help you deal with challenging life situations
  • improve your relationships
  • do things differently
  • plan and set goals 

Counselling can also help you if you: 

  • are having trouble getting on with some people
  • are worried about things that are happening at home
  • need help with study techniques and managing your time
  • want help with making an important decision
  • have experienced the recent death of someone in the family or close to you
  • are having boyfriend/girlfriend problems
  • are getting into trouble because of your anger
  • find it difficult to say ‘No’
  • want to stop some bullying
  • want to talk about some abuse that has been going on – with you or with someone else
  • have an alcohol or drug problem
  • feel lonely or that everything seems pointless
  • want help in choosing subject options 

What about confidentiality? 

Whatever we talk about is completely confidential. This means not telling your parents, your Dean, teachers or friends without your permission or knowledge. 

I may need to talk through with you about how best to support you. At times this could include involving someone else, with your knowledge and permission. 

The only time I will break this rule of confidentiality is if you or someone else is in danger. Then I have a duty to prevent harm. If at all possible I would talk this through with you before acting.