Professional Readings via EBSCO

This term's selection of journal articles are listed below. As a member of SCPA NSW, you can access all of these articles for free through our EBSCO subscription. To do this, visit the Members Area of the website. Happy reading!

  1. Stefanopoulou, E., Hogarth, H., Taylor, M., Russell-Haines, K., Lewis, D., & Larkin, J. (2020). Are digital interventions effective in reducing suicidal ideation and self-harm? A systematic review. Journal of Mental Health, 29(2), 207-216.
  2. Evans, R., Parker, R., Russell, A. E., Mathews, F., Ford, T., Hewitt, G., Scourfield, J., & Janssens, A. (2019). Adolescent self‐harm prevention and intervention in secondary schools: a survey of staff in England and Wales. Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 24(3), 230-238.
  3. Robinson, J., & Clarke, A. (2019). Commentary: Adolescent self‐harm prevention and intervention in secondary schools: a survey of staff in England and Wales – a reflection on Evans et al. (2019). Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 24(3), 239-241.

Follow us:

Share this:

2022 Annual Awards

As the year draws to a close it is time to reflect on what has been achieved this year for School Counsellors and Psychologist working in schools in NSW. This year we plan to announce award winners on School Counsellor and School Psychologist Recognition Day (Thurs 10th November). The awards are designed to recognise some of the many outstanding practitioners of the NSW school counselling and school psychology service.

Candidates can nominate for one of the following:

  • Practitioner of the Year
  • New Practitioner of the Year
  • Innovator of the Year

For more information, please visit our website.

2021 Winners (left to right): Catrin Martin, Alice Scott-Wells & Lauren Brincat

Share this:

School Counsellor and School Psychologist Recognition Day

SCPA NSW will again be presenting School Counsellor and School Psychologist Recognition Day, a day to recognise and celebrate the unique role we play in supporting students, families and schools. This year's Recognition Day will take place on Thursday 10th November and will have the theme ‘Contribution, collaboration, and care’. For more information, please visit our website

As part of the lead up to School Counsellor and School Psychologist Recognition Day, there will be an online chat held on Thursdays from 1:00pm-1:30pm for the first four weeks of Term 4 to connect with other school counsellors and psychologists. The chats will be linked to the theme this year of Contribution, Collaboration and Care. The chat will be hosted by committee member Melissa Moss and will feature past Annual Award winners as well as SCPA members to celebrate the work that we do. For more information, refer to the flyer below.

Share this:

2022 Fellowships

Applications are open for our annual fellowships. We are looking for members willing to share their knowledge and skills with other members by preparing a recorded presentation (45-60 mins in length) on a school counselling and psychology topic of their choice. You could present a therapeutic model or activity that works well in schools, considerations for a particular presenting problem or diagnosis, an assessment, ethical decision-making, collaboration or supervision approach, or something else entirely! Applications are due by 21st October 2022. Successful applicants will have until 17th Feb 2023 to produce their presentation and be awarded $800 in recognition of their efforts. We would love you to apply and encourage colleagues whose insights you think should be shared to apply too! We are looking forward to seeing the diverse interests of our membership.

For more information, please visit our website. You could also contact

Share this:

2022 Webinar series

Our final free member webinar for the year is titled 'Working with young people who self-injure in a brief intervention context'. It will be presented by Garry King, and will take place on Thurs 3rd November 6:30pm-8:00pm. 

In the webinar, the following will be covered:

  • Understand differences and links between self-injury and suicidal behaviour.
  • What to look for and what to say.
  • Reasons why young people self-injure.
  • Identifying those most at risk of self-injury.
  • Risk & protective factors for self-injury behaviour.
  • When is treatment needed?
  • What counselling therapies are most effective?
  • What therapies should not be utilised?
  • Practical examples and easy to implement strategies

Garry King

Garry King has extensive experience with working with young people encountering difficult issues including self-harm and suicidal behaviour. This experience is the result of having worked as a teacher, youth worker and counsellor; and is complimented by degrees in welfare and education as well as Masters degrees in counselling and suicidology. He has worked as the youth welfare consultant for the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention. He was appointed an adjunct lecturer, youth welfare at the Central Qld University and is the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to the USA. Garry has written several books on youth welfare and is a speaker at national conferences. His latest book “School Crisis Prevention & Intervention” is a best seller in the USA. He presently is an adjunct senior lecturer at the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, a part-time school counsellor, professional supervisor and a workshop presenter.

A reminder that recordings of our previous webinars from 2021 and 2022 are located in the Members Area after you log in.

Share this:

‘Memory Mates’ for teachers working with students with a disability

Memory Mates provides primary school teachers and students with a framework for teaching and learning. The focus of Memory Mates is on attention and working memory, supported by targeted strategies to allow students to approach their learning independently.

The third booklet in the Memory Mates series has been completed and will be available on the Memory Mates website: This booklet, specifically aimed at teachers and other personnel who work closely with students with a disability in school contexts, serves as a supplement to the booklet written for teachers entitled Memory Mates: A Classroom-based Intervention to Improve Attention and Working Memory in Primary-aged Students

Although focussed on classroom settings, parents of a child with a disability may find aspects of the content of this new booklet helpful, in conjunction with the Parents’ Guide: Memory Mates for Working with your Child at Home.

Teachers might work in support classes in regular schools or teach a student with a disability and/or attention and working memory difficulties in their inclusive class. Teachers in Special Schools can also use this booklet, with appropriate adaptations depending on the needs of the student groups or individuals they teach. Importantly, although Memory Mates is focussed on attention and working memory, all the strategies are relevant and appropriate for most aspects of learning in classroom contexts. School counsellors and psychologists are in an excellent position to share these materials within schools with the students, teachers, and parents they work with, noting that every person must separately accept the terms and conditions before downloading the materials.

Importantly all the Memory Mates booklets and resources are available free to persons accepting the terms and conditions as the work is trademarked and copyrighted.

If you require any further information or are interested in presentations by the Memory Mates team, please contact Dr Susan Colmar:

Susan Colmar

Share this:

From the Communications Coordinator

Welcome to the SCPA NSW Quarterly newsletter for Term 3, 2022. As this term draws to a close, we hope that you can look back on the term and feel a sense of fulfilment.

On 18th August, SCPA NSW had its first AGM under our new name. It was exciting for the committee to look back at the achievements of the last twelve months and plan ahead for the next twelve months. There’s lots to look forward to as members of SCPA NSW.

On a personal level, looking back at the last twelve months has reminded me that last year’s Term 3 was spent at home, supporting students and schools remotely. I remember thinking/reading/learning a lot about loneliness and the concept of ‘belonging’. I also remember thinking/reading/learning a lot about the concept of ‘coping’ and what inner resources could be talked about with young people when counselling sessions resumed. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of the Quarterly, which contains (among other things):

  • an announcement about Memory Mates 
  • info about next term’s webinar 
  • info about School Counsellor and School Psychologist Recognition Day

Shirley Lu

SCPA NSW is seeking expressions of interest to join our general committee and/or associated working groups. Those who are interested can visit our committee meetings and get a feel for the volunteer roles. Please send expressions of interest to Lauren Brincat (Secretary) at

Share this:

Professional Readings via EBSCO

This term's selection of journal articles are listed below. Two of the articles focus on mental health in refugees and asylum seekers. The third focuses on effective supervision. As a member of SCPA NSW, you can access all of these articles for free through our EBSCO subscription. To do this, visit the Members Area of the website. Happy reading!

  1. Hodes, M. (2022). Editorial Perspective: Mental health of young asylum seekers and refugees in the context of COVID-19. Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
  2. Vostanis, P. (2014). Meeting the mental health needs of refugees and asylum seekers. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 204(3), 176-177.
  3. Guiney, M. & Newman, D. (2021). A grounded theory of model school psychology internship supervision. School Psychology Review, 1-15.

Follow us:

Share this:

School Counsellor & School Psychologist Recognition Day 2022

Our second annual School Counsellor & School Psychologist Recognition Day is on Thursday 10th November 2022 (Term 4 Week 5). The theme this year is:

Collaboration, Contribution and Care

School counselling and psychology is all about working as part of a team in schools providing psychological services, consultative advice and true multidisciplinary collaboration, keeping our students’ wellbeing at the heart of our decision-making and actions.

SCPA NSW is looking for members to join a small ‘SC/SP Recognition Day’ working group to develop resources, promote communication to executive staff and associated professional organisations, and become ‘champions’ of the initiative. If interested, please email Time commitment is from July to October, 1-2 hours a month. Looking for those with social media, advocacy and copy/written promotion skills; or just enthusiasm and interest! 

Share this:

2022 Webinar series

Our next webinar will take place at 6.30pm AEST on Tuesday 16th 2022 (Term 3 Week 5) with Dr Judith Locke presenting: “Are we inadvertently encouraging children to over-think moods into permanent trails?”

In the current environment of altered definitions of ideal care, changed parental and teaching approaches, and a transformed landscape of external providers, we talk about moods and mental health in children much more. But in all of this  acknowledgment and assistance, might we be inadvertently amplifying and  accommodating temporary moods to an extent they risk developing into a  permanent trait? And if that is the case, how do we turn it around? 

This 90-minute webinar session (including question time) focuses on the current care environment for children in homes and schools, and the impacts of increasing expectations of constant happiness and success for children. Practical solutions will be explored, particularly designed for school counsellors and school psychologists, including solutions to some classic scenarios occurring as a result of the above issues.

Dr Judith Locke is a registered clinical psychologist, former teacher, school  counsellor and workplace trainer. She is the Director of Confident and Capable®,  an organization specializing in delivering psychological training solutions for  parents, children, teachers, and other employees. Judith also provides clinical  assistance for families and individuals in her private practice in Brisbane. 

Judith has undertaken research investigating modern parenting, family wellbeing,  and academic environments. Her psychological commentary features regularly in  the media, including a weekly parenting column for The Sunday Mail. Judith is the author of two books, The Bonsai Child and The Bonsai Student. She is a member of both The Australian Psychological Society (the APS) and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.

Share this:

Peer consultation groups

Peer consultation groups have been meeting once or twice a term. I have been lucky enough to attend one of the provisional psychologist peer consultation groups this term and join in the lively discussion. I have reached out to group members for some feedback about the peer consultation groups. One group member wrote, “I’m loving the peer consultation group. We have met twice so far and I’m learning from the other members of the group and sharing some of my knowledge too. It is great to be in an environment where we can share & discuss topics, to gather knowledge from others’ experiences, differences of opinions, to get suggestions of where to look for further learning, or the sharing of resources. I also enjoying hearing about the other members experiences in the different regions to where I work.”

Peer consultation chairs reflected:

“I’ve been finding it really enjoyable to learn from my peer group as a facilitator as well as a peer. We use a combination of reflective practice and direct guidance in order to delve into deep discussions on a variety of subject matter. We have been focusing on trauma in the last six months using case discussions and a variety of resources. It has been really useful and I really wish I could schedule more time so it could occur more regularly. The benefit of having it via zoom also means you learn about different parts of Sydney and the ways different schools work.” 
— Eleni Caldis

“The provisional psychologists’ group has been meeting twice per month to discuss aspects of the NPE curriculum as they relate to both the school counselling role and psychological practice outside of what we are most familiar with. I have really enjoyed meeting colleagues from across NSW. Our profession is full of knowledgeable, thoughtful, hard-working practitioners, and sharing ideas and experiences is so valuable.” 
— Isobel Burchett

Thank you to all the chairs and peer consultation group members for sharing their time and experiences with colleagues to enrich the practice of all. These groups embody this year's School Counsellor & School Psychologist Recognition Day theme.

Melissa Moss

Share this:

‘Growing stronger together’ through effective supervision

This year the Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW) held their annual conference “Growing Stronger Together” featuring a range of presentations relevant to their members working in schools. SCPA NSW was invited to participate. I presented on using supervision well. The focus of the presentation was to highlight the importance of supervision as a priority practice for psychologists and counsellors working in schools. 

Focus included the role of supervisors, supervisees and the active participation in the process of supervision. I explored the role of vulnerability, bravery and courage as unique qualities that enable clinicians to explore and reflect on their practice to develop their skills and knowledge around supporting students. In addition to this, I provided practical guidance to actively engaging in the practice of supervision. Self-care was also identified as an important component to seeking supervision given the complexity of our role working with complex cases, multiple clients and a variety of stakeholders within the school and wider community.

The experience of presenting to colleagues from the independent school sector has been a privilege and demonstrates the potential for SCPA NSW to provide guidance and support for psychologists and counsellors working across all school settings within NSW. 

Ally Robinson

Share this:

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is held on 20th June every year. It is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the world. The tagline for 2022 is: “Whoever, wherever, whenever — everyone has the right to seek safety.” People all over the world are being displaced because of war, persecution, natural disasters, climate change. For more information about the right to seek safety, visit the UN Refugee Agency's website

Other recommended resources:

Refugee Week is coordinated by the the Refugee Council of Australia to include World Refugee Day. For more information about this annual activity, visit the Refugee Council of Australia's website

Share this:

From the Communications Coordinator

Welcome to the SCPA NSW Quarterly newsletter for Term 2, 2022. This has been a busy term for counsellors and psychologists in schools. We hope that the final few weeks of term go smoothly, and that the winter break is one of rest and relaxation.

This month's newsletter is being published on World Refugee Day (Mon 20th June 2022). According to the Refugee Council of Australia, over 17000 people seeking asylum are currently living in NSW. Of these people, more than 1800 are below the age of 18. As counsellors and psychologists working in schools, it is important for us to know how to support these young people, which might include learning about the impact of trauma and building our cultural competence. This edition of the Quarterly features information about World Refugee Day as well as recommended reading about refugees, asylum seekers, and mental health.

This edition of the Quarterly also celebrates the work that SCPA NSW is doing in relation to supervision. One of our committee members, Ally Robinson, was invited to present at the Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW) School Counselling Conference. She spoke about the importance of supervision. She reflected on the experience of presenting in an article below. We also asked Melissa Moss, the organiser of SCPA NSW’s peer supervision groups, to write an article about the project and what participants are getting out of it. SCPA NSW is proud to be providing high-quality supervision opportunities to its members.

Shirley Lu

SCPA NSW is seeking expressions of interest to join our general committee and/or associated working groups. Our AGM will occur later in the year. However, there is an opportunity to visit our meetings and get a feel for the volunteer roles. Please send expressions of interest to Lauren Brincat (Secretary) at

Share this:

Reminder about our Members Area!

Check out our Members Area for all your member benefits. To get there, log into the SCPA NSW Website and click on "Members Area" in the Quicklinks section (top-right corner of the screen). If you're having difficulties logging in or accessing the Members Area, visit the Contact Us page and select "Account or Technical Issues".

Follow us:

Share this:

Professional Readings via EBSCO

This term's selection of journal articles are listed below. We have selected three from Q1 journals and one from a Q2 journal. Two of the articles focus on Closing the Gap and two focus on supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a member of SCPA NSW, you can access all of these articles for free through our EBSCO subscription. To do this, visit the Members Area of the website. Happy reading!

  1. Schmid, L., DeMoss, L., Scarbrough, P., Ripple, C., White, Y., & Dawson, G. (2020). An investigation of a classroom-based specialized music therapy model for children with autism spectrum disorder: Voices together using the VOICSS ™ method. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 35(3) 176–185.
  2. Anderson, C., Smith, T., & Iovannone, R. (2018). Building capacity to support students with autism spectrum disorder: A modular approach to intervention. Education & Treatment of Children, 41, 107-138.
  3. Mitrou, F., Cooke, M., Lawrence, D., Povah, D., Mobilia, E., Guimond, E., & Zubrick, S.R. (2014). Gaps in Indigenous disadvantage not closing: A census cohort study of social determinants of health in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand from 1981–2006. BMC Public Health. 14(1), 1-17.
  4. He, V.Y., Nutton, G., Graham, A., Hirschausen, L., & Su, J. (2021). Pathways to school success: Self-regulation and executive function, preschool attendance and early academic achievement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in Australia's Northern Territory. PLoS ONE. 16(11), 1-24.
Share this:

SCPA NSW Fellowships 2022

SCPA NSW is excited to again offer fellowship opportunities for our members in 2022. Five successful applicants will be invited to produce an audiovisual presentation on an area of professional interest to be shared with SCPA NSW membership and will be remunerated $800 for their efforts. This initiative celebrates the diverse strengths of SCPA NSW members and promotes the sharing of experience and expertise among members for the benefit of our practice, our students and our profession as a whole. Information about the application process and timeline will be emailed to members in Term 2.

Share this:

SCPA NSW Peer Consultation Groups 2022

SCPA NSW members received an email about peer consultation groups, a new initiative offered this year. We have started with four peer consultation groups offered at different times of the day and week for one hour. Groups are planned to consist of six members, with each group facilitated by two chairs. Groups will meet online using whichever platform works best for the group members and will select topics of interest to the group to discuss.

The four groups running so far:

  • Mondays 2pm (once per term)
  • Mondays 4pm (twice per term) 
  • Wednesdays 9am (twice per term)
  • Wednesdays 4pm (once or twice per term)

To join one of these groups, email Melissa Moss -

Peer consultation groups specifically for provisional psychologists commenced on Wednesday 23rd February from 3:30pm - 5:00pm. This group will provide SCPA members who are provisional psychologists with opportunities to share insights and seek peer support on topics pertinent to their internship. Keep an eye out for info about the Term 2 group. Registration will be through Eventbrite.

Share this:

Talk to SCPA NSW

‘Talk to SCPA NSW’ is a service that will provide high-quality professional learning in line with member needs, PsyBA core competencies and legislative requirements. The service provides members an opportunity to speak with a committee member. This can be to:

  • discuss a professional matter of concern
  • choose therapeutic techniques/programs
  • brainstorm work challenges.

This is an opportunity to talk to a committee member who will provide a fresh lens outside your regular network in a confidential setting.

Additionally, ‘Talk to SCPA NSW’ will assist with maintaining strong transparency with members about SCPA NSW decision-making processes - members can also speak with a committee member about SCPA NSW matters.

More information and a portal to submit a request to meet is accessible via the Members Area section of the website upon logging in. The Members Area can be found in the Quicklinks section (top-right section) when logging into the website. Alternatively, you can click here where you will be prompted to log in.

Receipt of your form will be acknowledged by a committee member. Confirmation of a date and time will be provided one week prior to the scheduled week of appointments.

Share this:

2022 Webinar series

Our next webinar, Supporting children with Autism in the school environment, is on Thursday 19 May 2022 at 6:30 – 8:00 pm AEST. It will be presented by Emma Spencer.

This one-hour seminar will aim to provide counsellors and psychologists in schools with the basic knowledge and skills required to support children with an Autism diagnosis in the school environment. Neurodiverse children within the mainstream school environment have unique needs and this training is aimed at equipping attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary to support these children effectively.

Topics covered will include:

  • signs and symptoms unique to the classroom and playground environments
  • primary school vs high school challenges
  • how boys and girls present differently
  • what does a good assessment look like
  • how can you as a school counsellor support assessment
  • practical strategies and supports that can be implemented in the classroom, playground and school counsellors office including social skills strategies and emotion regulation strategies
  • useful resources

Emma Spencer.

Emma Spencer is a clinical psychologist and the CEO of Spencer Health, a group of private practices in Sydney's Northern suburbs with a niche focus on the assessment and support of children with neurodiverse presentations, giftedness and learning issues. She has specific knowledge relating to “High Functioning” Autism, how it presents in boys vs girls and how to assess for and support the child and family using a variety of therapeutic modalities. Her current focus is on up-skilling other health professionals in understanding how High Functioning Autism presents, and providing supports to these professionals so they feel confident in supporting children and young people with this diagnosis. For more information, visit Spencer Health's website.

Share this: