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At Northcote High School, we recognise that students learn best when they feel happy, engaged, connected, healthy and safe. We promote the development of each student by placing emphasis on personal development, self-esteem and social responsibility.

We also understand the issues and concerns that young people face, and have created a caring environment where our students feel valued, supported and have access to professional and confidential support when they need it.

Student Services team

Our Student Wellbeing Coordinators support students and families by providing short to mid-term support and access to counselling. We support the important work of the sub-school teams and curriculum leaders to deliver programs that promote resilience, positive relationships and general wellbeing.

Families and students can contact of our Student Services team through Compass.

Head of Student Services Leanne Petroff
Student Wellbeing Years 9, 10 and 11 Megan Simmons
Student Wellbeing Years 7, 8 and 12 Sabatinie Balasooriya
Mental Health Practitioner Jane Harrison
Kat Brissett
Careers and Pathways Advisor Karen Burgess
VET and Pathways Coordinator Louisa Renard
Health Promotion Nurse Natalie Studwick
Educational Psychologist (visiting) DET Student Support Services

Connect Program

Our Connect Program is designed to provide students with an environment and resources that support learning, social skills and academic success.

All students have a tutorial group, which is the class they spend most of their time with each day. Each tutorial group has a daily Connect session with their Connect Tutor. These tutors are the first point of contact for students, parents and teachers regarding students’ wellbeing.

Tutors are available to counsel and assist students with their goals and any issues, and encourage them to become active learners and confident participants in the school and wider community.

The program is run by our Head of Student Services and the three Sub-school Heads, who work closely with the Year Level Program Leaders.

A specific program is developed for each year level to cover topics most relevant to their learning and development. For details about the Connect Program for each year level, see Curriculum.

Grants for students experiencing financial hardship

If you are experiencing financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19, or for any reason the NHS Thrive Empower fund offers student grants that could help with:

  • School resources – books, laptops or internet access, uniform
  • Basic needs – food, clothing, emergency accommodation
  • MYKI cards

NHS is committed to supporting families and students who are facing financial hardship. You can also download a copy of the application form and email it to Leanne Petroff Head of Student Services

Leanne will make contact with you to discuss your application or respond to any questions you have regarding eligibility.


Peer Support Leaders program

The transition of students from Grade 6 into Year 7 is very exciting, but can also be difficult to navigate. To support new students, our Student Services team has developed the Peer Support Leaders program.

In the program, two Year 10 Peer Support Leaders are allocated to each year 7 group. Becoming a leader is regarded as a significant leadership opportunity and responsibility for the Year 10 students.

Leader responsibilities include attending orientation activities, such as the Year 7 family picnic in Term 1, a class at least once a week, and excursions and camps. The leaders also coordinate and participate in regular activities, for example, the annual inter-class futsal tournament and barbecue.

Our Peer Support Leaders are passionate and active members of the community and contribute to the excellent results that Northcote High School achieves for student connectedness in the Department of Education and Training (DET) annual Attitudes to School Survey.

For more information about our transition program, see Transition to secondary school.

Rainbow Day and IDAHOT day

We celebrate Rainbow Day and IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) at our school as a way to demonstrate the values of diversity, inclusion, tolerance and harmony in our school community. Celebrations on the day are student led, and in previous years have included art installations around the school.


We expect the school’s values of humanity and fairness to be reflected in every aspect of our students’ lives, both in and out of school, including in their use of technology. 

We are aware that social media and mobile phones present challenges and risks for young people, and we encourage and guide our students to use technology in a smart, safe and responsible manner.

Reflecting our strong commitment to educating both students and parents about cybersafety, we worked with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to make the film Tagged in 2012, which specifically focuses on school-aged children and cybersafety. And in 2013, several short advertisements for ACMA were filmed at our school.

In April 2016, we worked with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to make eight cybersafety online commercials, Rewrite Your Story.

Contact Leanne Petroff, Head of Student Services on 9488 2321.

Student Engagement and Inclusion Policy

Thrive Empower Grant Application form

Child Safety Policy

DET Student Engagement Policy

DET Respectful Relationships initiative

Office of the eSafety Commissioner

Australian Communications and Media Authority

© 2023 Northcote High School