At Merici College we have a large defence community. To accommodate the needs of our defence students, we have a Defence School Mentor, Kate Friend. Kate works Monday-Thursday and can be contacted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone (6243 4190). DSMs are funded by the Department of Defence through Defence Members and Families Support Branch (DMFS) and employed as a member of the school staff.
Our program complements the College’s Pastoral Care program. Kate is part of our PC program and is another access point for contact. She can work with your daughter’s PC teacher in identifying opportunities for your daughter to feel that she is an important member of the school community. Kate can also provide some family access points for support for those new to Canberra.
Kate is very active in our school community and runs a number of activity groups throughout the school term. These activities are published in our fortnightly What’s On newsletter, as well as information being emailed to the students.
Please do not hesitate to contact Kate for any further information or support.
Telephone: 02-6243 4190
In the role of DSMs, Kate assists with:
- Settling in: Transitioning into a new school can be stressful for some students. Understandably, the reasons are often not knowing anyone and having to make new friends or adjusting to a different educational system. Kate will work on helping your daughter feel that she is an important member of the school community and develop friendship and support networks as quickly as possible. Kate also supports the College Pastoral Care Program and is a key staff member for you to contact regarding specific Pastoral Care matters. Kate can provide information on educational allowances provided by the Department of Defence, should your daughter require extra tuition.
- Further Support: Kate can provide information on educational allowances provided by the Department of Defence, should your daughter require extra tuition in combination or in addition to the educational support Merici offers, including peer, homework club to name a few.
- Deployed parent/Absent from Home (courses or MWDU): Family separation affects all members of the family and young adults’ behaviour can sometimes alter as they adapt to the changes in home life. Defence students often enjoy and benefit from joining the weekly ‘Defence Catch Ups’ when they have a family member away. It reminds them of the additional support and that usually someone else at Defence Catch ups are experiencing the same situation. It is highly recommended you connect with Kate to let her know if your family has a serving member about to leave, is away or an impending return. She will contact your daughter’s teachers to let them know so that additional support can be offered if we notice any changes in behaviour.
- Posting Out: Most young adults adapt well and see moving as an adventure. Others need extra encouragement and positive thinking strategies. Kate works with students who are posting out of Canberra to farewell their current friends and talk through preparing for their new school.