Meet the Wellbeing Team

Found in: Swan News

Click to view fullsize image

Swan Christian College works diligently to create a safe and nurturing environment that provides students with the opportunity to flourish. Our staff provide pastoral care and ensure the provision of support measures to address the holistic wellbeing of each student.

We strongly believe that investing in the wellbeing of our students will not only achieve superior academic outcomes but will furthermore equip students with wellbeing strategies and a better understanding of our changing world, preparing our students for life beyond school.

We wanted to take the opportunity to introduce each of the staff members on our Student Services team who play an important part in making your child feel like they belong:



Deb Schorer Junior School Student Services Officer

Deb Schorer looks after Student Services and First Aid in the Junior School. She supports students, parents and staff with any needs, questions and queries they may have throughout the day. Deb regards it as a privilege to be part of a caring and friendly environment. She believes that genuine care, support and a listening ear are invaluable to students as they navigate the junior years. Deb can look back on a rich family history with Swan Christian College: she graduated from the College in 1995 and her three sons currently attend the Junior and Senior School. In her free time, Deb likes spending time at the gym and supporting her family in their sports.



Penny Bruce First Aid Officer

Penny Bruce looks after our students as the First Aid Officer. Having grown up in the country, Penny can draw on a wealth of experience from working in shearing sheds to bookkeeping and reception positions before joining the Student Services team. A versatile worker, she enjoys working as part of a team and loves helping students through their day at school by providing them with help and care “whether they are having a good day or a bad day”. Penny values honesty, integrity, kindness and being servant-hearted. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, painting and spending time in nature.



Laura Buttress Attendance Officer

Laura Buttress serves our College community as the Attendance Officer. She ensures that all students are accounted for and communicates with parents to solve unexplained absences. Laura also takes care of students who find themselves at Student Services during the day: sometimes because they’re feeling unwell and other times they just need somewhere quiet during their busy days. Laura has 10 years of experience in administrative roles including as a Personal Assistant at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. She is driven by the values of respect, kindness and humility and aspires to be servant-hearted in all aspects of her life. In her free time, Laura enjoys yoga and HIIT workouts, singing and spending time at the beach.



Paul Whitfield Chaplain and Counsellor

As Junior School Chaplain and Counsellor, Paul Whitfield provides support for students in the social and emotional aspects of school. He meets with students individually as well as running small groups and speaking to the whole Junior School about life and the hope that Jesus offers. Paul studied Psychology and Theology, and later on worked as a church pastor. Immediately before joining Swan Christian College, he led a network of people in Perth who were investigating Jesus and his claims. Paul says that working with students in the Junior School is a huge joy: “Their love for life is infectious and they treat you like a rock star!” When he is not at work, Paul loves surfing, playing the guitar and spending time with his teenage kids.



Victoria Jayawardene Chaplain

Victoria Jayawardene is one of our Senior School Chaplains at Swan Christian College. Victoria values the opportunity to come alongside our Senior School students to offer them support and loves that she has the chance to share the hope she finds in Jesus with students. As part of her role, she facilitates our Christian Union lunchtime club to provide an opportunity for students to build relationships while discussing and growing their faith. Prior to commencing at Swan Christian College, Victoria finished her Bachelor degree in Youth Work whilst working in Children’s Ministry at her church.



James Ellis Chaplain

James Ellis is one of our Senior School Chaplains. Through counselling, sports activities and camps, James aims to meet students where they are at and show them that they are not alone in the good times or the bad. James has been working with teenagers for more than ten years and loves being a chaplain at our College for many reasons. He says that his story comes down to one simple truth: his love for Jesus and desire to emulate the way he lived. He is passionate about helping young people find a solid platform to ground their identity on and loves helping teenage guys grow into good men. As he grew up chasing brumbies in the snowy mountains, James loves riding horses and enjoying the outdoors.



Josephine D’Arrigo Psychologist

Josephine D’Arrigo is one of our College Psychologists with almost 20 years of experience. She has worked in private practice and in a number of primary and secondary schools that are part of the Swan Christian Education Association. Josephine assists students, staff and families with social, emotional and educational needs. Over the past 10 years at Swan Christian College, she has enjoyed working with staff who genuinely care for their students and provide opportunities for learning and growth. Spirituality, integrity and collaboration are values that guide Josephine’s work and life. When she is not at work, she enjoys family time including spending time with her two young children and reading.


Jody Sims Psychologist

Jody Sims supports the wellbeing of our students and families as one of our College Psychologists. Jody completed her Master of Psychology at UWA in 2010 and has been utilising her specialist knowledge in Specific Learning Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders at Swan for more than nine years. Jody enjoys working with other staff with a similar outlook on life and being able to share her faith with those who are struggling with their mental health. She regards it as a privilege to be part of our students’ journey and to see them thrive in a supportive environment. Honesty, integrity, compassion and respect for the individual journey of each student are the values that drive Jody in her daily work.



Mr Simon Bergin
Head of Wellbeing

Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn