MANEA Senior College has broken with convention by opting to choose a youth worker over a chaplain as the support centrepiece for its students.
Youth worker Adrienne Hill took the position at the college three years ago under the Federal government’s National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program.
College principal Paul Mathews said bucking the trend of taking on a chaplain was a choice that fit his students.
“I’m not criticising the decision of other schools to go with a chaplain – it was the best way to go for Manea as a school community with Year 11 and 12 students,” Mr Mathews said.
Almost 20 Greater Bunbury schools have chaplains on site to provide support for students.
Miss Hill studied social work at university with a special interest in counselling.
“My role is more than just a person to talk to – it’s about focused specialist counselling where I can either help a student with their problems or direct them to a higher level of support,” she said.
Miss Hill said she was often booked with back-to-back appointments and on one day last week, she had five cases of students needing immediate help.
“These kids can not be put on a waiting list, that’s why it’s important I’m available and their problems can be dealt with straight away.”