Student Counselling Service

Supporting students to thrive at Notre Dame

Welcome to the Student Counselling Service on the Fremantle campus.

Our purpose is to help students thrive while at Notre Dame. This might include helping you to:

  • Transition to university
  • Stay engaged with your study goals;
  • Manage difficulties affecting your academic and personal progress;
  • Remain mentally well while studying or on placement; and
  • Enjoying your university experience while at Notre Dame.
  • Services

    To help you thrive while studying we provide the following services:

    • Friendly and professional reception services to help you book, reschedule and cancel appointments;
    • Evidence based, short-term and solution focused counselling to help you manage difficulties affecting your study and achieve your academic and personal goals;
    • Information about accessing external agencies when longer term and specialist counselling is required;
    • Tele-counselling for Broome students and students completing a practicum.
  • Appointments

    • All currently enrolled students can access 6 counselling appointments per semester.
    • Appointments are 50 minutes.
    • Appointments are in person at our office in ND5/100 or by tele-counselling for students studying online only courses, students completing a practicum, have flu like symptoms or are affected by COVID19 restrictions.
    • Appointments are usually scheduled fortnightly but at peak times, such as exam periods, you might have to wait longer for follow up appointments so that other students can also access the service in a reasonable time frame.
    • If you DNA the appointment you did not attend will count as part of your 6 available sessions.
    • We appreciate 24 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend a booked appointment so that we allocate the free appointment to another student.
    • Unfortunately clients may not bring their children to counselling appointments unless they are under 1 year old. Please discuss with reception your desire to bring your under 1 year old to an appointment.
    • Appointments can be made at reception on (08) 9433 0580 or fremantle.counselling@nd.edu.au
  • Meet our team

    Counselling coordinator

    Gillian Dixon (Counsellor/Psychotherapist).
    Gillian has been involved in tertiary education for over ten years, lecturing and providing pastoral care and counselling to students throughout this time. Gillian is a psychotherapist and counsellor who helps people to understand their emotions and thoughts. Counselling enables clients to eliminate and regulate symptoms to increase their ability to function well and improves how they relate to self and others. Psychotherapy is a process which assists in making the unconscious conscious through the therapeutic relationship. Gillian enjoys assisting people in their journey with the problems and difficulties of life, including mental ill-health, emotional difficulties and exploring challenging issues.

    Gillian has an undergraduate degree majoring in counselling, a Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling, and is currently working towards a Doctorate of Counselling specialising in mental health issues pertaining to tertiary students. Gillian is a compassionate therapist who values the development of a warm and trusting therapeutic alliance to journey through therapy together. In her spare time Gillian enjoys being a mother to her fun loving young adults. She loves the beach (any day of the year!) and attending live music events.

    Counsellors

    Philippa Colgan (Counsellor and Psychotherapist)
    Philippa has strong ties to Notre Dame, as a graduate of the 2015 Master of Counselling cohort and also as a member of the Student Counselling Service since 2017. She works with students to discover more about themselves, in supportive and exploratory ways. She believes in lifelong learning and as such, is a member of the current group of practitioners in the 5-year training programme in psychoanalytic psychotherapy (APPWA).

    Administration Officer

    Hilda Bolmanac
    Hilda manages the services reception services and provides administrative support to our counsellors. Hilda worked as an administrator in the New Zealand education system before joining the counselling team in 2014. Hilda enjoys exploring new walking trails and enjoying the Freo lifestyle. She is also passionate about volunteering and currently volunteers at a local primary school with the Good Start Breakfast Club and with an aged care facility. Hilda values creating a safe and friendly reception and waiting environment for clients where each person is treated with respect and kindness.

  • Location

    ND5/100, P&O Hotel
    (entrance via laneway at 20 Mouat Street)

  • Opening Hours

    9:00am - 4:30pm from Monday to Friday (except for public and university holidays)

  • Counselling appointments

    Confidentiality
    All information collected in counselling will be kept confidential in the counselling services own database.  The only exceptions to confidentiality are if you are considered at risk of harming yourself or if required by law;

    Sharing Information
    Consistent with privacy legislation, no client information can be provided to any other person without written consent. In circumstances where it is useful to share information you can choose to sign a Consent to Release Information form giving your permission to share information with a third party.

    Counsellors
    Our counsellors are registered Psychologists with the Psychology Board of Australia and/or members if the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia or the Australian Counselling Association.

    We also host Postgraduate Students from other universities completing their final placements with the service. You can choose whether to see a student counsellor or a permanent counsellor.

    Your counsellor will:

    • Listen to your experiences;
    • Establish goals with you to work towards;
    • Help you identify ways to address your concerns and achieve your goals;
    • Introduce you to other on campus and external support services;
    • Help you access external specialist or longer term counselling if required.

    In your appointment your counsellor may:

    • Take notes;
    • Ask you to complete psychological assessments;
    • Invite you to participate in exercises;
    • Ask you to complete tasks during the week;
    • Recommend that you see a specialist external service.
  • Other Counselling Services

    If you would prefer to see an external counsellor, please speak with your GP about a Mental Health Care Plan  and referral to a psychologist or contact one of the Perth services below:

  • Urgent Support

    If you are distressed, feeling unable to cope or are experiencing suicidal thoughts please call reception or come into the office and make an appointment to see a counsellor.

    If a counsellor is not immediately available our reception staff will assist you to:

    • Contact a support person to come and collect you;
    • Attend a local GP practice;
    • Attend the nearest hospital emergency department; or
    • Call emergency services for you.

    24 hour Crisis Support Services

    Other counselling services that may be able to provide appointments in a crisis situation

    • Centrecare + 61 8 9325 6644
    • Relationships Australia 1300 364 277
    • Men's Line 1300 879 978
    • SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) 1800 199 888
    • Alcohol and Drug Information Service + 61 9442 5000

    What do I do if I feel at risk of being harmed by someone or that someone is at risk of harming others?

    If you are concerned that someone will harm you or others, try and ask someone for help immediately and call the Police 131 444 or 000.

  • Online Resources

    If you’re trying to improve your own mental health, or support somebody else with mental health issues you can use the government Head to Health search engine to find trusted Australian online and phone supports, resources and treatment options. We have also listed some helpful sites below.

    Healthy Living

    Supporting Your Mates

    Alcohol & Other Drugs

    Healthy Workplaces

    • Heads up (Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance & beyondblue)

    Managing Relationships

    Loss & Grief

    Mental Health & Families

    Depression

    Bipolar

    Anxiety & Panic Disorders

    Trauma

    Eating Disorders

    Stress

    Bullying

    Anger & Violence

    Learning Disorders

    ADHD

    Disability

    Deliberate Self-harm

    Suicide

    Internet Safety