Overnewton provides an exceptional level of care for our students, parents and staff. We know that when individuals are well supported, they have the opportunity to thrive both academically and socially. We aim to provide a safe and caring environment where personal growth and a positive self-esteem are nurtured and where students are proud to belong to the College community. We accept that all people are different and acknowledge that everyone has a right to feel safe, supported and respected in his or her own right. Our foundational belief is in Christianity and this binds our values together. We believe it is the responsibility of all members of the Overnewton community to work collaboratively to ensure that this happens.
In the classroom, every student from Prep to Year 9 has a Home Group Teacher, who is primarily responsible for their academic and pastoral care matters. For Senior School students in Years 10 – 12, House Mentors are the first contact point for pastoral issues and they work in conjunction with the Heads of House. Each school is supported by a Deputy Head of School (Pastoral Care) and the Head of School who have overall responsibility for the welfare and pastoral care of students in their area of the College.
Overnewton has a range of support staff who provide professional support across the College community. School Counsellors provide guidance and counselling to students, parents and staff and refer and liaise with external health professionals where necessary. Together with the Head of Student Services, they support the pastoral care program across the College. School Nurses provide first aid medical support to students, staff and visitors to the College. There is a nurse based at both campuses. In addition, the School Nurses provide education sessions on first aid, CPR and anaphylaxis to members of the Overnewton community and oversee various immunisation programs.
The Chaplains at Overnewton Anglican Community College provide spiritual companionship and pastoral care throughout the students’ journey at the College.
From Prep to Year 12, each student is drawn into a worshipping community in weekly Chapel services, where students are encouraged to explore and express, through prayer and action, what it means to belong to a community of faith, and be Christian in our modern world. Students gain experience, first hand of the love of God as expressed through care of one another, for the wider world, and as taught through the scriptures. They learn more about the person of Jesus, and what it means to live a life which reflects His example and honours His gift of life.
Chaplains offer a ministry of hospitality and welcome, and are delighted to share the journey of our students, their families and college staff through difficult days and in times of celebration and as a companion as they learn and grow.
Overnewton College receives Australian Government funding through the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program to supplement the services which have been provided by campus Chaplains for many years.
Chaplains, the Rev Helen Dwyer (Keilor Campus: firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Rev Dr Pene Brook (Taylors Lakes Campus: email@example.com), each provide 10-11 hours per week of service which is funded by this program. The remainder of their work is funded by the College.
Services covered by this funding are those which are offered outside of religious education or the leading of Chapel or other compulsory worship services. Participation in any services offered under this funding is voluntary, and students may choose not to participate or opt out at any time. Services provided by our chaplains which are covered by the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program include one-to-one, family or group counselling, providing students and families with support and referrals to external services, opportunities to take part in preparation for baptism or confirmation into the Anglican church, participation in camps and excursions, recess or lunchtime activities, mentoring or coaching activities and facilitating activities connecting students with other members of the community.
The chaplains work alongside Heads of Schools, pastoral Deputy Heads of Schools and members of the Student Services team to provide pastoral support to students and families; this is particularly valuable when a student or family is facing crisis or difficulty. The chaplains can be approached directly, or a Home Group Teacher or a House Mentor can arrange for a student to access their services.
Any concerns or complaints about the services provided under the program can be brought by students or parents to the relevant Head of Campus or Head of School for follow-up.
The College Board and the Parents and Friends Association represent the College community in endorsing the provision of services under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.
Chaplaincy services at Overnewton College offered under the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program are funded by the Australian Government Department of Education.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department of Education.