Guidance Officers are experienced teachers who have completed postgraduate qualifications in guidance and counselling. They also undergo training in other areas such as family therapy, grief counselling, mental health issues and career development. Each high school has at least one Guidance Officer who works within the school.
The Guidance Officer works in a team with members of other student support services. They also work closely with administration and staff to ensure that the welfare needs of students are met.
Guidance Officers provide a direct service to both individuals and groups of students. Students may self-refer or be referred by parents, teachers or members of the school administration. Guidance Officers provide counselling and advice on personal issues, resources and advice on careers and courses, personal development and mental health issues. They are also involved in behaviour management and give advice to parents.
Although a member of the school staff, they are able to extend beyond the teacher role and handle sensitive situations in a confidential manner. They also maintain links with and can refer to outside agencies.
Areas of Operation:
The role of a Guidance Officer is very broad and they are involved in many areas. Some of the common ones are:
assisting with behaviour management (only if a mental health concern becomes evident)
study skills development
verification of students with special needs
career counselling and advice
overseeing tertiary applications through QTAC, QCAA, ATAR and AARA
information on jobs and how to get them, interviews, resumes etc.
Students may make appointments directly with the relevant Guidance Officer at J Block.
Parents may telephone to either
make an appointment or to speak to the Guidance Officer on the telephone. If he is not available, a message can be left at the office.