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Hume Anglican Grammar School

In this edition of ‘Meet the Team’ we are speaking with Damian Mahony who joins our Donnybrook Campus in the role of Student Counsellor.

Damian is a Social Worker and Counsellor with over 34 years’ experience working with children, adolescents and families in a variety of settings.

Damian Mahony - MASocWk (Advanced Practice)

What do you like most about working at Hume Anglican Grammar? 

What I already like about Hume Anglican Grammar are the people here - the children, their parents and the very welcoming and friendly staff!     

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?
Although I am working my way up to a typical day, my days will be quite varied and so my working week will look something like:
•    Checking my calendar for students I plan to see in counselling and provide class passes for them, as well as notifying teachers. 
•    Holding counselling sessions with up to 15 students a week. 
•    Visiting classrooms to talk about my role, the range of feelings we experience etc. 
•    Ringing parents to engage with them to collect background information about their child, to provide support.
•    Meeting with parents.
•    Contacting external therapists or organisations with whom I may collaborate in my work with students.
•    Running a small group for students identified as having social/emotional problems.
•    Running games groups with Year 7 students.
•    Eliciting from and/or providing feedback to teachers about students I am seeing.  
•    Undertaking class observations. 
•    Providing class presentations eg. diversity training, dealing with anxiety, bullying etc. 
•    Writing case notes and other administrative work.
•    Meeting with the counselling and psychological services team to discuss clinical and administrative matters. 
Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why? 

A number of people have had a big influence on my career. Firstly, Professor Dorothy Scott from the University of Melbourne for her teaching on families and systems theory and secondly, Sherie Coote a former CEO at Kildonan Family Services, who believed in the potential for highly at-risk families to be able to keep their children with the right intervention. 

Fast Four:

If your friends could describe you in one word, what would it be? 

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? 
Nelson Mandela

Favourite travel spot? 
Queensland Sunshine Coast

What is one thing most people don’t know about you? 
That my family and I met the surviving ‘Munchkins’ from the film The Wizard of Oz in 2005

Damian Mahony