Farewell to the National Student Wellbeing Program


After eight years, Uniting Country SA will wrap up delivering the National Student Wellbeing Program at the end of 2023. We've grown over the years to provide the program to 16 schools across regional and remote South Australia, with 14 staff working 8-12 hours each week with the support of two Team Leaders. We want to say a big thank you to the Department for Education and the 16 schools for choosing us to be a provider for this program. We also wish our amazing Wellbeing Support Officers all the best for the future

As a celebration we asked our Wellbeing Officers - What have they enjoyed most about the role? 

What's what their fav quote? Is there a special event that they enjoyed? What were they going to miss?


Sheriden Tate

School - Airdale Primary School

What did you enjoy most? The rapport I have developed with the children and the growth I have seen with several and the little wins

My favourite quote? Go for it - Nothing is impossible

What is a special event you enjoyed? The Colour Run

What will you miss? The kids and the smile they put on my face


Tamika King

School: John Pirie Secondary School

What have you enjoyed most about your role? 

I’ve always LOVED camps, excursions and working within the Food & Hospitality classes. These are honestly the best times where you get to know your staff but you get to know the students and families. Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed being present, floating with intent and embracing people just as they are.  

What's your fav quote?  

“Around here, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” - Walt Disney 

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed?

Schools have many special events that make it difficult to pinpoint a particular event. However, I’ve always loved the spirit of Christmas within the staff and students and the joy it brings to those who don’t always embrace the festive season. I believe there’s something about a school community Christmas that makes people come together. 

What are you going to miss? 

After 8 years, 4 different schools, 2 different providers and 2 name changes. It’s difficult to express just how impacting this job has been for me in a number of ways. My greatest successes are my kids and the how much I’ve loved watching them grow as people. Once a student finishes school, moves on and starts to discover the world in a new light. I can’t help but think in some small way I’ve imprinted on their journey as a person and that’s incredibly special to be apart of. 


Toni Foster

School – Streaky Bay Area School

What have you enjoyed most about your role? I started in this position 8 years ago with little prior experience in this field. It pushed me to step outside my comfort zone, and what I appreciate about this role is its ever-changing nature, which adapts to the needs of both the students and staff each year.

What's your fav quote? Its not really a quote but its something I say a lot “you do you boo” which means be yourself because you are awesome.

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed? Wow, it was tough to choose, as I enjoy everything I do, except for workpaper. But if I had to select a favourite, it would be my involvement in the Tumblin program through the school. This program helps young people discover new strengths, resilience and abilities within themselves through arrange of activities such as camping, hiking, ab sailing, rock climbing.

What are you going to miss? All the wonderful and supportive members of the UCSA team, with a special shout out to Kerry, she probably won’t miss having to constantly remind me about things (haha).


Lauren Budreika - Auburn Primary School 

What have you enjoyed most about your role? 

Getting to know each child, their individual characteristics, their strengths and how they view the world around them ✨🌝

What's your fav quote?  

“The wound is the place where the light enters you”- Rumi 

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed?

The Christmas concert last year. I helped the kids make props and paint a backdrop for their play as well as watching them rehearse their lines. They were all so brave and put on an excellent performance! 

What are you going to miss? 


The children! They are all so special 💗


Krystal Lines - Saddleworth Primary School

Getting to serve breakfast to all the students and having them my timetable, they knew when and where to find me.

I’m not here for the food, I’m here for the chats!

I have enjoyed supporting the kids at the Hub basketball each year.

What are you going to miss? 

I’m going to miss seeing the students on a Monday morning for breakfast club.


Rachel Tubb - School - Mid North Education Centre

What have you enjoyed most about your role? - forming relationships with the students and supporting them to reach their goals 

What's your fav quote? Be kind!

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed? Basketball carnival & Book Week Parade

What are you going to miss? Being able to give the time to students to listen deeply and support communication 



Gerda Roelvink

School: Wallaroo Mines Primary School 

What I have enjoyed most in my four weeks working here: getting to know the students

Quote: "Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome." Brene Brown, Rising Strong. 

Special event: There hasn't been one special event yet but joining the breakfast club team has been a great experience, as has organising lunch and recess activities. 

What I will miss: The students. 



Katie Szabo

Roxby Downs Area School

What have you enjoyed most about your role? - Everything I get to do with students!

What's your fav quote? One day, or day one.

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed?

Working with the schools Queer-Straight-Alliance and the Community Youth Centre to run a Community Wear It Purple event in 2023

What are you going to miss? 

All the wonderful students 


Christine Schmaal

Riverton Primary School

What have you enjoyed most about your role?

I have enjoyed interacting with all students and engaging them in activities. I love it when they say – you have taught me…..to sew or cook etc!, especially when they were tentative at the beginning. I have absolutely enjoyed the smiles on students faces when they have sewn their bear and turn it back inside out and see their bear emerge!! It doesn’t matter if the ear is wonky, they made it and they love the character just like it is!

What's your fav quote?

Never give up! The power of YET!

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed?

I have really enjoyed being a visitor to see the Termly Year 5/6’s research project displays, chatting to each student about their presentation and learning and giving feedback to them.

What are you going to miss?

The cheery – ‘Mrs Schmaal is here’ when ever I walk into Junior classes and the asking – from various students R-6 – Can I go with you today?!


Courtney Lodge

School - Moonta Area School

What have you enjoyed most about your role? - I have enjoyed getting to know the students and helping them improve their wellbeing. Although the role has been challenging at times, being able to help students and have a positive impact on their wellbeing makes it worth it. I have only been in this role for 6 months but I have witnessed the positive increase in students wellbeing and that has definitely been a highlight for me. 

 What's your fav quote? "If you can see someone without a smile, give them one of yours" - Dolly Parton.

Is there a special event that you have enjoyed? - R U OK Day? Students helped me create posters about mental health and wellbeing which were distributed around the school. Although no special activities occurred that day, it was great to see students understanding the purpose of the day and asking one another "R U OK?" It encouraged some meaningful conversations and it was great to see the positive interactions between students.  

 What are you going to miss?- It's been great working for UCSA and I'm going to miss a lot about being a Wellbeing Support Officer. The support I have received in my position has been amazing and I am very thankful to be able to work with such an awesome group of people. I have really enjoyed my position at Moonta Area School and I'm going to miss all the wellbeing chats and activities I have had with the staff and students."