Inaburra students and families have a supportive network of Home Group teachers, Year Advisors, Wellbeing staff, peer leaders and School Counsellors available to assist them.

School Counsellors work with individual students and families as needs are identified by the parent, Year Advisor, teacher or the student themselves. They address areas such as anxiety, depression, school refusal, behaviour, motivation, family and relationship difficulties. Our Counsellors also facilitate referral to psychological and educational assessments for individuals or groups as required.

School Counsellors offer a free service and are available during school hours. Appointments can also be made for parent meetings before and after school. Our counselling service is professional, non-judgemental, short-term, and confidential.

Students may refer themselves to the School Counsellor and appointments can be made directly through them. Counsellors will try to arrange sessions so that there is minimal disruption to a student’s class attendance.

Senior School Counsellors

Mrs Michelle DeRieve  BSW, AssocDipSocSc (YthWk), GCert (YthMentalHlth)

Member of the AASW, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and Inaburra’s Counselling Team Leader.

Michelle values the opportunity to support Inaburra students and their families. Michelle has previously worked in private practice, homelessness, and mental health services. Michelle is trained in CBT, DBT and IPT-A, and works 1:1 with students, and liaises with school staff and external support providers to promote positive communication and best outcomes for students.


Mrs Tracey Borst  MPsychotherapy, Couns, CMHN, RN

Tracey has over 20 years of experience working in various mental health settings (public, private, inpatient, outpatient, not-for-profit organisations) and school settings. This work has supported children, adolescents, adults and families to better understand their mental health and work towards feeling more empowered and hopeful, during times of change, uncertainty, adjustment and stress.


Mr Paul Smith BSocSc (Counselling), Cert IV Management, Cert III Supervision. Member PACFA, CCAA

Mr Smith known to many students as “Smitty” has a special interest in positive psychology and strength identification, which has led to working with young people facilitating individual and group strength coaching sessions in the education system and in private practice individual counselling. Paul’s role at Inaburra seeks to empower students towards positive self-esteem and confidence enabling students to be the best version of themselves.

Paul works from a Person-Centred framework, whilst integrating techniques from Cognitive Behavioural, Narrative, Reality, Solution Focused and Positive Psychology therapies including mindfulness strategies that can assist in the negotiation of psychological distress.


JasminMrs Jasmin Vanderjagt  MSW, BSocSc, AssocDipSocSc (Welfare), Cert IV TA, AASW, ATA
Mrs Vanderjagt has a special interest in children and their families, and is passionate about providing solutions focused and strengths-based support to students.  Her extensive 20 plus years’ experience has included practising in a variety of fields, with some highlights being Child and Family Case Manager in a Humanitarian Resettlement program, Domestic Violence Community Group Facilitator, Child and Family Therapist for children experiencing court ordered family divorce counselling, Child and Family Case Worker at Villawood Detention Centre, and Drug and Alcohol Case Worker in Kings Cross.

Referrals in Senior School

Senior School Counsellors are available to assist Year 7-12 students and their families. Students can request a referral through the Home Group teacher, Year Advisor or Wellbeing team. Members of staff may identify a need and refer the matter to the School Counsellor. Parents may also identify a need and request assistance. Students in Years 11 and 12 are encouraged to use study periods for counselling appointments in preference to coming out of formal classes, unless the matter is urgent.

Junior School Counsellor

Mrs Joanne Wyles  BSocSt, Cert IV Assessment & Training
Mrs Wyles is a mental health professional and is available to assist Junior School students and families each week from Mondays to Wednesdays.

Referrals in the Junior School

Referrals are made in consultation with the child’s teacher and the Head of Junior School. Students must have written parental permission in order to be seen by the Junior School Counsellor, unless there is an emergency, in which case verbal permission will be sought.