Our Wellbeing

Our Key Structures and Wellbeing Staff

All students enrolled at St Joseph’s College have the right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse. We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety. Learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked - students learn best when their wellbeing is optimised, and they develop a strong sense of wellbeing when they experience success in learning. St Joseph’s College is committed to creating positive respectful school cultures and embedding student wellbeing in all aspects of school life through connecting the learning environment, curriculum and pedagogy, policies, procedures and partnerships enabling all to have life in abundance
(John 10:10).

Whilst it is the role of all staff members to foster the wellbeing of our students, each Homeroom in Waterford and Westcourt are part of a year level under the care of two Year Level Coordinators. The vertical house system in Mt Sion means the senior students maintain their homeroom teacher from Year 10-12 and are led by a House Coordinator. The Homeroom teacher will usually be the first point of contact between home and school where there is a concern about a student’s welfare or progress, or for the explanation of a student absence. The Year Level/House Coordinator oversees the general wellbeing and behaviour of the cohort who are supported by the Heads of Waterford, Westcourt or Mt Sion respectively. The Deputy Principal Student and Staff Wellbeing provides the next level or support and leadership in our Wellbeing structure. Staff Wellbeing Representatives in each sub school provide support with wellbeing initiatives and guidance for staff with wellbeing concerns.

Staff Wellbeing Representatives

Our Support Services

The Head of Wellbeing is a leadership role that is designed to write and implement our wellbeing program and provide a link between our Wellness and our Wellbeing Teams.

The Wellness Team

Our Wellness team consists of three Psychologists one Youth Worker and a College chaplain, who are an integral part of the Wellbeing Team. Specifically the Wellness Team provide:
• Initial assessment and mental health support
• Consultations with parents and staff
• Targeted programs to meet student needs

• Provide support to students and families who are school refusing

• Provide guidance and support with out of home care students

• Provide a link between our wellness and wellbeing teams

• Advice about and referral to support services available in the community
• Support to Student Welfare Action Groups (SWAG) and Student Support Services

Enrolment at the College indicates parental consent for student access to all student support services. Referrals to the Wellness Team are often made by staff and parents, but students are also welcome to self-refer. Frequently, contact is made with parents, and if there is serious risk of harm, steps are always taken to ensure the student’s safety.

How do students meet with a College clinician?

The college clinicians are located near the Career’s Office. Students can ask their Homeroom teacher or member of staff to assist them to make contact with the college clinicians. Students or their parents/guardians can phone or email them directly.

Learning Diversity

Our Learning Diversity Team proudly imbues our Edmund Rice philosophy of an inclusive approach, being respectful of diversity and the “profound belief in the equal dignity of persons.” This translates to championing all students regardless of background, ability or difference in ability. The establishment of this supportive and respectful environment is paramount to creating a framework for all students to thrive in both their learning and social interactions.

SJC education aims to develop a school culture that reflects care, concern and respect for diversity and learning.

Funding to support these goals is received from the Catholic Education Office through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) process. This funding supports those who have a diagnosed or imputed disability which impacts on their learning in the regular classroom. Adjustments within the classroom occur to allow individual students to achieve and reach their potential in learning and their social connectedness with our SJC community.

Teachers and Learning Diversity Officers working in the area of Educational Support, assist students by supporting individual, groups and teachers within the classroom.

The College has a diverse Learning Diversity Team which consists of a Head of Learning Diversity, Learning Diversity Leaders (at each sub-school), Learning Diversity Officers and an NCCD Coordinator. With our ever increasing need to support students across the College, their vast experience, care and professionalism in working with our parents and students is a living example of St Joseph’s College strong commitment to Pastoral Care and our EREA touchstones.

NCCD (Nationally Consistent Collection of Data)


The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) takes place every year. The NCCD is a collection that counts:
• the number of school students receiving an adjustment or ‘help’ due to disability
• the level of adjustment they are receiving to access education on the same basis as other students.

Students are counted in the NCCD if they receive ongoing adjustments at school due to disability. This ‘help’ allows them to access education on the same basis as a child without disability. The NCCD uses the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Schools provide this education to educational authorities.

What are the benefits of the NCCD for students?

The information collected by the NCCD helps teachers, principals, education authorities and governments to better support students with disability at school. The NCCD encourages schools to review their learning and support systems and processes. This helps schools to continually improve education outcomes for all students.

For further information, go to www.nccd.edu.au or contact the NCCD Coordinator.

SWAG (Student Welfare Action Group)

Fortnightly SWAG meetings are held per year level/house consisting of the Year/House Coordinator, Head of School, Wellness Team member, Careers and Ed Support staff. Proactive discussions about boys who are experiencing welfare issues are had and actions are taken from certain staff. Secure minutes are taken and certain staff action.

Our Wellbeing Program

Learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked - students learn best when their wellbeing is optimised, and they develop a strong sense of wellbeing when they experience success in learning. St Joseph’s College is committed to creating positive respectful school cultures and embedding student wellbeing in all aspects of school life through connecting the learning environment, curriculum and pedagogy, policies, procedures and partnerships enabling all to live life to the full. (John 10:10). All students enrolled at St Joseph’s College have the right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse. We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety.

Our Wellbeing program is essentially designed to celebrate and foster young people’s learning in ways that are consistent with the Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Touchstones: the pillars of our learning and identity Inclusive Community, Justice and Solidarity, Gospel Spirituality and Liberating Education. These Touchstones further inform acceptance of diversity, and a sense of responsibility towards others’ experiences of injustices and hardship in the world around us. Our Wellbeing program also underpins the principles set out by the Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools that focus on the capacity to ‘enable, connect, engage and learn’ in programs and practices that seek to work not only with the young person, but also with the young person’s family and carers. Our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is derived from the Victorian Respectful Relationship’s program where we have engaged as both a Lead and a Partner school since 2017.

Teaching wellbeing in schools enables safe and respectful school communities; connects children, young people, families and staff through collaborative and caring relationships; engages students through experiences that motivate, empower, and inspire; and reframes the learning of wellbeing as an integral component of broader academic learning. Wellbeing lessons take place in our three sub-schools of Waterford (Years 7 & 8), Westcourt (Year 9) and Mt Sion (Years 10-12). The following depiction hopefully provides our community with an overview of our programs that are taught in class by the homeroom/wellbeing teachers. Wellbeing is a moving landscape and our program often needs to be adaptive and flexible to cater for current societal wellbeing issues.



We have named our Year 7 & 8 sub school as Waterford. Waterford in Ireland is the town where Edmund Rice education began. We have twelve homeroom classes in Year 7 and in Year 8 with the homeroom teacher teaching Religious Education and Wellbeing.

Year 7 

Year 7 students are encouraged to recognise, nurture and develop their own strengths, and recognise the potential that exists in the space between themselves and their new community members at the College. They are introduced to the EREA Touchstones and they engage with The Resilience Project.

Wellbeing lessons specifically derive from the Victorian Curriculum Respectful Relationships program; students look outwards towards sustainability issues and awareness of the challenges of our First Nation’s people in their ‘guardians of the planet’ study. They are introduced to ‘Careers,’ essentially understanding what subject choices and career pathways might look like as they progress through secondary schooling.

Term 1: Introduction to myself, others and SJC

  • Developing connections in the homeroom
  • Learning about themselves and developing organisational skills
  • How to connect with others and healthy friendships
  • Learning to live in our SJC community- compassion, integrity and innovation

Term 2- In person and online wellness

  • The Resilience Project launch- students learn gratitude, empathy and mindfulness
  • Beginning to develop study skills- how to consolidate classwork
  • Learning to navigate wellness and safety in the digital realm- including Vic Police presentation

Term 3 Nurturing myself, my future and my relationships

  • Students begin learning how to care for themselves and their mental health, and then how to be kind to others- through the lens of the Resilience Project
  • Careers program launched- students consider strengths and areas of interest and who they want to be in the future

Term 4 The journey to gratitude, empathy and mindfulness and how to build a positive future

  • Students delve further into the Resilience Project curriculum. They practice mindfulness skills and discuss mental health
  • Students explore their goals for next year- who would they like to be
  • Particular focus on gratitude and reflection as the year finishes.

Year 8

The Year 8 students will engage in a second unit of The Resilience Project, developing stronger team strategies to recognise emotional reactions in both themselves and others. The Life Changer program, our focus in Term 2, aims to develop a sense of self-fulfilment and self-empowerment through a mentorship program where the Year 8 students are guided by trained senior students in the development of self-fulfilment and self-empowerment.

In second semester, the students are taken through the ‘Cyber Safety’ unit, with lessons designed to teach them the importance of awareness and diligence in their online activity. A Careers unit is delivered later in the year, to encourage the boys to consider the pathways that they may want to pursue and the subject choices appropriate to those pathways. We endeavour to open the ‘curious’ learner up to an understanding of their place in and their footprint on our soil. Transition to Westcourt will be the focus in Term 4.

Term 1 Enhancing Emotional Literacy and Celebrating True Bonds

  • Students learn how to identify emotions and express them in a healthy way through the Resilience Project
  • Exploration of resilience continues- learning skills to overcome life’s challenges
  • Students begin to learn active revision and consolidation strategies

Term 2 Fostering Online Safety and Celebrating Ourself and Difference

  • Resilience Project continues- focus on empathy and kindness
  • Students learn about the legalities of online behaviours and the harm of cyber bullying
  • Year 8's join with the Year 7's Victoria Police information session for safe interactions online
  • Planning, goal setting and reflection to further develop as a learner
  • Lifechanger Program

Term 3 Mindful expression- Language, Inclusivity and Inner Liberation

  • Continue lessons from the Resilience Project Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness.
  • The focus shifts this term to expression- how our language impacts ourselves and others
  • Self expression, gender and how to celebrate individuality
  • Students also begin to consider their future selves through career exploration

Term 4 Mastering Emotional Literacy and Empathy Across Diverse Realities

  • Students develop further emotional literacy skills and practice how to actively listen and respond to friend's concerns
  • Students learn more about mental health and how to improve their wellbeing
  • Through the lens of refugees students learn how to empathise with others
  • Students reflect on the year, set goals for the future and consider career options.

Year 9


The Year 9 students begin to focus specifically on ‘masculinity’ – who they look to as role models, what they believe the man of the 21st Century should look like and the challenges before them in claiming their very own individual sense of self as ‘male.’ They are encouraged to celebrate themselves as people, as boys, and to accept the diversity within their own group. They engage in a program that looks at how – as boys grow – they tend to feel the pressures of consistently exposing tough exteriors when faced with challenges. They are encouraged to be open and honest about how they react to those challenges in their world, and support each other.

Second semester looks towards the relationship’s boys form with others - appropriate sexual relationships, legalities and care for the people they might engage with in a sexual way. Awareness around drug and alcohol use is a focus of this semester, again focusing particularly on legalities and dangers. Central to the units in this semester is respect: for self, for others, for all.

Term 1: Discovering Me: Embracing Strengths, Understanding Self, and Responsible Choices

  • Settling into the Westcourt community
  • Developing the learner, and positive connections with peers and staff
  • Drug and Alcohol Education

Term 2: Mental Health First Aid

  • Delivered by accredited MHFA trainer staff
  • Educates the importance of good mental wellbeing, identifying what poor mental health can look like in our peers and responding to concerns about someone's mental health

Term 3: Charting the Course: Career Exploration, Future Planning, and Embracing Gender Identity

  • Exploring everything the next steps into the senior school and beyond, whilst developing skills to support employment
  • Students participate in the 'man box' program exploring healthy masculinity, healthy relationships and authentic gender expression.

Term 4: The Journey to Empowerment: Camp Adventures, Sex Education, and Respectful Consent

Students participate in a camp preparation and camping experience

Students explore consent education and respectful relationships

Years 10-12

Mt Sion

The vertical structure of Homerooms at Mt Sion encourages cohesion between the senior year levels of our College. Year 10, 11 and 12 students are allocated to Homerooms according to House rather than designated academic progressions, allowing opportunities for bonds to be strengthened across the year levels. The Wellbeing program essentially fits neatly into this structure, promoting consistent values and learnings across the campus as the boys progress from Year 10 to Year 12. There are occasions when individual programs require a separation of the group to focus particularly on exam, GAT or careers and VCAA preparation, as well as renewals specific to each year level. These are managed within the Homeroom classroom.

We build upon what has already been established in the lower year levels – a strong sense of self, the ability to accommodate the sense of self others share with you, and the male identity that best promotes individual wellbeing. We question the stereotypes that have locked away a more holistic sense of ‘strength.’

The Building Respectful Relationships program (BRR) is the basis of our Gender, Power and Media units that question stereotypical representations of men and women, and by extension, attitudes that underpin these societal representations. Students also explore consent education and how to have safe, respectful and fulfilling relationships.

Students need to learn to critically reflect on their own emotional responses to challenging situations, and to be empathetic to the responses of others. The need to engage in conflict resolution in a range of contexts is considered, and the effects of actions that repress human rights and limit the expression of diverse views is questioned. The focus continues to be on positive and respectful relationships that honour the rights and responsibilities of individuals.

As well as nurturing critical understandings of self, and of others in their immediate circles, students continue to consider the challenges of marginalised others and act in accordance with the Ricean teachings that honour the rights of all people.

Term 1: How to be the best version of yourself- the best learner, the best cognitively, the best person to others, the best future you.

  • Team activities that establish strong connection for students as they become part of the vertical homeroom structure
  • Students learn about child safety in the senior school setting
  • Building positive mindsets- how to be kind to yourself
  • How to embrace individuality in others, show empathy and spread kindness
  • How to reflect upon study habits, set goals for the future and consider career pathways

Term 2: Developing healthier technological habits, eembracing healthy masculinity, Consent/ sex education and how to have fulfilling relationships

  • Learning how to ‘control your scroll’ – healthy habits around phone use and screen time
  • Students learn what to expect from respectful romantic experiences including the harmful impact that certain media platforms have on their expectations.
  • Students learn the pillars of consent and how to have safe and respectful romantic experiences, including breaking down of unhealthy gender stereotypes in romantic relationships
  • Learn about socializing online- image based abuse
  • Embracing healthy masculinity and how to celebrate authentic gender expression
  • Career progression continues to be explored

Term 3- Mental health and future choices

  • Students learn about the impact of social media on Mental Health- such as body image
  • Impact of addiction, drug use and safe partying
  • RUOK day and a further understanding of depression and anxiety
  • Students learn how to make considered choices about their behaviour, future and career

Term 4- Mental health, reflection and gratitude

  • As the Year 12’s come to their final term there is reflection on the year- they offer words of advice to younger year levels, reflect on their progress and how they found their path, what they hope to pursue in the future
  • Movember allows the students to continue learning about mental health, how to check in on others and support services
  • Students continue to learn revision strategies and study techniques to assist them in their exam preparation.

Our Respectful Relationships

St Joseph’s College Geelong has taken a lead role in Victoria in helping educate students on the importance of Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships. Respectful Relationships is about tackling family violence through education. St Joseph’s College has a Respectful Relationships team which includes members form the wellbeing leadership team, general teaching and support staff from several campuses and student representatives. This team meet collectively each term to explore and implement Respectful Relationships focuses initiatives throughout the College.

Respectful Relationships Team

- Click for information

The SJC Child Safety Team also meet each term including Child Safety Officers from each sub school. This committee also promotes student voice and has membership from the Inclusive Community Touchstone leaders.

Child Safety Officers

- Click for information

Our Behaviour Support

Positive Tracking

Waterford, Westcourt and Mt Sion have each developed a set of ‘Values in Action’ that is age appropriate which set clear expectations for the students and teachers. We have a positive tracking system whereby teachers can list achievements and good behaviours linked to the set of norms which are usually recognized with certificates, vouchers at gatherings and assemblies. The tracking records will also guide leadership when selecting students for College Special Awards. The learning and behavioural norms are attached from Waterford, Westcourt and Mt Sion.

Waterford Values In Action

Westcourt Values in Action

Mt Sion Values in Action

Demerit Tracking

Our behaviour support involves a range of approaches including a behavioural tracking system whilst adopting a restorative approach to dealing with unacceptable behaviour or conflict. Restorative practices underpin all our thinking around student wellbeing with the focus being on students taking responsibility for their actions and repairing relationships that have been harmed. The behavioural tracking system is a strategy that is used in conjunction with Restorative Practices as a support mechanism that reminds students that some actions have consequences. 0-2 points may be given for tier 1 behaviours, 0-4 maybe given for tier 2 behaviours, 0-6 maybe given for tier 3 behaviours. Our behavioural support flow chart is attached.

Behavioural Support Flow chart

When continual indiscretions result in an accumulation of six points in a term a Thursday detention will be issued. Twelve points will incur a Saturday detention which takes priority over sporting and part-time work commitments. Half or full day detentions and parental interview are held on student free days in lieu of Saturday detentions for more serious behavioural incidents and/or a student has accumulated 20 demerit points. Students revert to zero points at the start of each term Detentions would normally follow a restorative discussion outlining why the particular behaviour is unacceptable and encouraging students to think about their actions and the impact they have had on themselves and others, and to think about what needs to happen to make things right. Parents will be informed if their son has accumulated points and is required for detention. Provisional enrolments may be issued when the College feels all of the above is not working. This is signed off from Deputy Principal - Students and Staff Wellbeing, the student and as a mechanism to have a positive impact on the behaviour standards.
A good way of developing a better learning environment is for everyone to show respect for the rights of others. The rights and responsibilities of students at St Joseph’s College are attached.

Our Commitment to Child Safety

How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Therefore, the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 36:7)

All students enrolled at St Joseph’s College have the right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we have no tolerance for child abuse and are committed to implementing the Victorian Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order 1359 (MO 1359). We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety. There is particular attention paid to the most vulnerable children, including First Nations children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with a disability.

Our commitment to our students:

  • We commit to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people enrolled in our school.
  • We commit to providing children and young people with positive and nurturing experiences.
  • We commit to listening to children and young people and empowering them by taking their views seriously, and addressing any concerns that they raise with us.
  • We commit to taking action to ensure that children and young people are protected from abuse or harm.
  • We commit to teaching children and young people the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and maintain their personal safety and wellbeing.
  • We commit to seeking input and feedback from students regarding the creation of a safe school environment.

Our commitment to our parents and carers:

  • We commit to communicating honestly and openly with parents and carers about the wellbeing and safety of their children.
  • We commit to engaging with, and listening to, the views of parents and carers about our child safety practice, policies and procedures.
  • We commit to transparency in our decision-making with parents and carers where it will not compromise the safety of children or young people.
  • We commit to acknowledging the cultural diversity of students and families, and being sensitive to how this may impact on student safety issues.
  • We commit to continuously reviewing and improving our systems to protect children from abuse.

Our commitment to our school staff:

  • We commit to providing all St Joseph’s College staff with the necessary support to enable them to fulfill their roles. This will include regular and appropriate learning opportunities.
  • We commit to providing regular opportunities to clarify and confirm policy and procedures in relation to child safety and young people’s protection and wellbeing. This will include annual training in the principles and intent of the Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct, and staff responsibilities to report concerns.
  • We commit to listening to all concerns voiced by St Joseph’s College staff, clergy, volunteers, and contractors about keeping children and young people safe from harm.
  • We commit to providing opportunities for St Joseph’s College school employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy to receive formal debriefing and counselling arising from incidents of the abuse of a child or young person.

Child Safeguarding Policies

Child Safeguarding (Safety and Wellbeing) Policy

Child Safeguarding (Responding and Reporting Obligations) Policy

Child Safety Code of Conduct Policy

Student Child Safeguarding Code of Conduct Policy

Child Safeguarding Complaints Management Policy

Child Safeguarding Record Keeping Policy

Student Participation and Empowerment Policy

Family and Community Involvement in Child Safeguarding Policy

First Nations Students Policy (Child Safeguarding)

Students from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds Policy (Child Safeguarding)

Students with Disability Policy (Child Safeguarding)

LGBTIQ+ Inclusion Policy (Child Safeguarding)

Child Safeguarding Risk Management Policy

SJC Online Learning - Student Code of Conduct

SJC Online Learning - Staff Code of Conduct

Child Safeguarding Codes of Conduct

Child Safety Team

SJC Child Safeguarding Code of ConductChild Safety Team 2024
SJC Parent Code of Conduct

Guiding Legislation and Documents

SJC Student Code of Conduct (Child Friendly)MO 1359 Child Safe Standards
SJC Volunteer Code of ConductChild Safe Standards Information Sheet

    Our Child Safe Policies

    Child Safeguarding Codes of Conduct Policies and Procedures