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Guidance Department




Jin Tai                      Counsellor

Dave McMillan         Counsellor

Valenisia Sinisa        Counsellor (Part-time)



At Avondale College we have a team of four Counsellors. All have post-graduate counselling qualifications, and all are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. We abide by the Code of Ethics of this association which means that confidentiality is maintained unless there is imminent risk to safety.

The Counsellors work in the Deans’ Corridor adjacent to the Health Centre. All of the Offices are clearly marked with the counsellor’s name. There is also a waiting room for students, however if you know the counsellor’s name, you can go straight to his/her office. 

Referrals are welcome from students, from parents and from staff. An appointment system is used to enable Counsellors to give our students uninterrupted sessions. Counsellors offer individual and small group counselling, mediation and advocacy. They share a commitment to working towards a socially healthy and emotionally safe school.

Over 100 students attend counselling each week for a wide range of issues. Students are represented from all academic levels, and from all ethnicities and year groups.

If appropriate and with parental consent, students are able to be referred free of charge to either the Kari Centre or Marinoto for psychological support. This may be recommended when students face depression, anxiety, panic attacks or other mental health issues.

Itinerant counsellors from Auckland Sexual Abuse Help also work from our premises from time to time, as well as counsellors from Altered High which is the youth section of Community Alcohol and Drug Services. Students sometimes request these services, and it is easier if they can be seen at school.

Making an Appointment


For students: You can drop into the counselling area at the start of the day (between 8.00 and 8.45) to make an appointment with a counsellor of your choice. An appointment box with slips is located just inside the door of the waiting room. The department is also open during the lunch hour.

You are also welcome to email us directly.

For parents: Please email or phone to make an appointment.

Jin Tai

(M. Counselling) Hons, University of Waikato, MNZAC, Counsellor

Ph. 8201713

Email: tai@avcol.school.nz


Dave McMillan

(M. Counselling) Hons, University of Auckland, MNZAC, Counsellor

Ph. 8201076


Valenisia Sinisa

(M.Counselling) Hons, University of Auckland, MNZAC (provisional), Counsellor


Email: sna@avcol.school.nz

Out of School Help

Recommended telephone lines:


·       Youthline: 0800-376633 or txt 027 4 youths


·       Chinese Lifeline: 0800 888880


·       Domestic Violence Centre: (24 hour line) 3033939


·       Sexual Abuse Help: (24 hours) 6231700


·       Pasifika Health Services 8284307


Recommended websites:


For sexuality issues: www.theword.org.nz ; www.rainbowyouth.org.nz ; www.genderbridge.org.nz


Drinking and drugs: www.alteredhigh.com and www.trippin.co.nz

Body image and eating issues: www.eden.org.nz

Internet safety: www.netsafe.org.nz


Autism Spectrum Disorder: www.autismnz.org.nz


Safe School Leaders

To learn effectively, students need to feel emotionally safe at school. Harassment, bullying and shaming can cause long-term psychological damage, and hence are unacceptable. At Avondale College we take harassment seriously. We don’t believe it is a “normal part of growing up”, we don’t believe it’s helpful to ignore it, and we don’t think “it’s just a friendly bit of mocking”. We pro-actively try to stop it.


As a result, every year we choose between 25 and 30 senior students to be our Safe School Leaders. These students are chosen because they show a determination to work towards creating and maintaining a safe school environment for all of our students at Avondale College.

Their role is taken seriously at the school and they are all involved in training in conflict resolution skills with the aim of supporting their fellow peers in reducing incidences of bullying.


At the beginning of the school year the student leaders are presented to the school assembly where the message is shared about the impact that bullying has on students at school, as well as the importance of having a safe school environment.


The Safe School Leaders are rostered to be on duty every lunch time to ensure that if there are any incidences of bullying or harassment, they can be dealt with immediately.


Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day is a national campaign aimed to raise awareness about the power to prevent bullying. Pink Shirt Day aims to reduce bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting the development of positive social relationships. An annual event celebrated throughout New Zealand and the World, Pink Shirt Day helps to create a New Zealand where all people feel safe, valued and respected. The event began in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007, when a group of students stood up to defend a young person who was bullied because he was wearing a pink shirt. The students took a stand by all wearing pink shirts to show solidarity, and handing out pink shirts to their classmates.

Pink Shirt day has been celebrated in New Zealand since 2009, and the event grows stronger every year. In recent years the day has been well supported by  Avondale College, with hundreds of students and staff showing up to school wearing all shades of pink. Proceeds from the mufti day are donated to Youthline.

Pink Shirt day tops off a week of events, which begins with Youthline representatives speaking to the school assembly and culminated in the school-wide mufti day. There is a bake sale held in the lunch hour and Youthline staff is present to hand out pamphlets, talk about the work they do with youth and answer any questions. It is a great event to promote the bully-free position at Avondale College.

2009 Avondale College Victor Street, Avondale, Auckland New Zealand
Tel: +64 9 828-7024   Fax: +64 9 820-0183   Email: admin@avcol.school.nz