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From the Deputy Principal – Students, Ms Gabby Smith

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Gabby Smith

Deputy Principal - Students, Ms Gabby Smith

SchoolTV Special Report: The Wellbeing Barometer 2024

The Wellbeing Barometer survey has proven to be an invaluable tool for schools, providing insights into the state of youth mental health and wellbeing. Whilst last year’s results focussed the spotlight on areas of concern, there were also many highlights that demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of students and emphasised the necessity of prevention strategies.

Participating in this year’s survey, will assist in identifying areas of strength and concern, as well as pinpointing opportunities for early intervention. Previously gathered information has helped support families as they navigate difficult conversations that enable understanding and foster connections to build relationships.

This survey is part of an ongoing, longitudinal study, with the results being instrumental in tailoring support for students and their families. Participation is strongly encouraged, as it provides a comprehensive view of students’ experiences, challenges, and achievements over the past year. Its aim is to capture a comprehensive picture of young people’s lives, allowing for a tailored approach to enhance mental and emotional wellbeing.

Wellbeing Barometer 2024

Image: courtesy SchoolTV

We encourage you to take a few moments to complete a survey for each of your children. This will help us determine the nature and extent of your concerns and how best to support families in the months ahead. Responses remain anonymous and will only be reported on an aggregated basis. You are asked to base your responses on observations made in the last 12 months.

Acquiring the skills for future independence, taking healthy risks, and giving young people the opportunity to emancipate from parents, are key developmental tasks that are essential if we are to stave off the impact of mental illness in the future. Please reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.

If this raises any concerns for you or your child, please reach out to the school or seek professional medical advice.

Here is the link to your Special Report.

Wellbeing Barometer Secondary

Image: courtesy SchoolTV

Year 10 Presentation with Guest Speaker, Daniel Merzer

On Wednesday, 14 February 2024, students in Year 10 attended a presentation with student wellbeing specialist, award-winning speaker and author, Daniel Merzer. Daniel speaks at many schools across Australia and internationally.

Daniel challenged students to reflect on what has been holding them back in achieving their goals and aspirations. He then walked them through some tips and tricks on how they can actively strive to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives. Students left the presentation armed with practical tools and strategies to empower them in their lives both inside and outside the College gates.

Special Guest Daniel Merzer

Special Guest Daniel Merzer

Wellbeing at Waverley

Part 1 – Introduction and Kanyini

In 2024 the Wellbeing structures and programs at Waverley College will enter a new phase, as new structures and initiatives are rolled out across the College. These changes are the result of over 12 months of hard work by the Heads of House and Wellbeing Team to ensure that all students are supported by age-appropriate, context driven and research-backed programs that meet the needs of the Waverley student and their families.

The new developments in Wellbeing at Waverley will be rolled out throughout 2024 and will cover a range of different areas. These include; our new Kanyini Program in Years 7-9, our revamped Wellbeing Time now dubbed Connection, Culture, Communication (CCC) Time, a refresh of our overall Wellbeing Framework in conjunction with the AIS, and a new position within the College being the Head of Student Wellbeing. All of these facets are underpinned by the vision of the Wellbeing Team, which is to ensure that Waverley College is a safe and supportive community, where all individuals are known, valued and challenged, allowing them to reach their full potential.

The next few issues of Nurrunga will place a spotlight on these different facets of Wellbeing at Waverley and outline what they are, how they will work, and what they are aimed at achieving. This first edition will cover our new Kanyini program of Pastoral Care lessons. Here Mr Scott Coleman (Head of Green House) outlines the program and the focus of this program, created by the Heads of House.

Kanyini Lessons:

Fortnightly Pastoral Lessons created by Waverley Heads of House for Waverley College students. 

What is the Kanyini program?:

Kanyini is a Pitjantjatjara word meaning inter-connectedness; to care for, to support, to nurture and protect. Kanyini is best expressed in English as the combination of the two words ‘responsibility’ and ‘love’, but it is actually a relationship; it is an enormous caring with no limit. The teaching of Kanyini comes from Robert James Randall (1934 – 2015) also known as Uncle Bob, who was an Aboriginal Elder, singer and community leader, and part of the Stolen Generations. 

The purpose of our wellbeing program revolves around the profound concept of Kanyini, which encapsulates the interconnectedness of individuals and the values of caring for, supporting, nurturing, and protecting one another. Kanyini, a word deeply rooted in Indigenous Australian culture, surpasses the translation of “responsibility” and “love” in English; it represents a relationship characterised by boundless care. Through the Waverley College Kanyani program, we aim to foster a strong sense of connection – ensuring that each young man is known and valued, celebrating diversity, and facilitating open and empathetic communication, ultimately promoting holistic wellbeing and a sense of unity within our community. 

Wellbeing Centre

Wellbeing Centre

What will students be learning in the Kanyini program?:

This year, in the Kanyini program, students will embark on a holistic journey to enhance their wellbeing and personal growth. This will encompass essential life skills and values, starting with the cultivation of a growth mindset, and empowering students with resilience and self-worth. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, address bullying, and embrace inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration. This program also focuses on mental health, emotional intelligence, and self-care, emphasising the importance of positive emotion and promoting strategies for stress management. Students will discover the significance of quality sleep, and mindful breathing, along with nutrition and hydration, ultimately fostering a strong sense of personal power, connection, and self-awareness.

What do we hope to achieve with the Kanyini program?:

Through our Kanyini program we hope to achieve a range of outcomes for all students in Years 7-9, namely;

  1. Facilitating social and emotional learning – Focusing on organisation and strengthening student self-regulation, while also linking to enhancing understanding of sleep, screen time and hydration.
  2. Creating a consistent Head of House touchpoint for all students in Years 7 to 9.
  3. Harnessing opportunities to react to student demands and needs as they arise through the year.
  4. Supporting study skill development – Explicitly developing organisation and study skills to improve academic performance and classroom confidence.
  5. Supporting students’ sense of belonging – Providing opportunities for students to be known, valued and challenged to reach their potential by their Heads of House in a classroom environment.
  6. Supporting student Mental Health – Improving the mental health of all students at Waverley College through education and early intervention.


Mr Scott Coleman (on behalf of the Heads of House)

Head of Green House


In the next Nurrunga, we look forward to outlining how we are using our new Connection, Culture, Communication (CCC) Time program to further enhance our wellbeing outcomes and support student belonging.


Ms Gabby Smith

Deputy Principal – Students