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Social and emotional wellbeing support for First Nations students

If you ever feel like uni or your personal situation is becoming stressful, or you'd just like to have a yarn with someone who understands your story, help is available.

Social and emotional wellbeing support for First Nations students

Our First Nations students are a very valued part of the Deakin community and we want to help you achieve all your study goals.

Our Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Counsellor is a free service, available to all of our First Nations students, no matter where you’re based or what you’re studying.

Meet your counsellor

Kate Towart (pronouns: she/her)

As your Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Counsellor, Kate supports all First Nations students studying at Deakin. Kate’s role is informed by collective social and emotional wellbeing factors, and provides timely and accessible support that is student-centred, holistic and culturally responsive.

Born on Wadawurrung Country in Geelong, Kate previously worked at the Institute of Koori Education (IKE) as a casual tutor and academic lecturer while completing a Masters in Psychology. She has since worked as a registered psychologist for more than 15 years, delivering evidence-based psychological interventions to a diverse range of populations. She has worked closely with asylum-seekers in immigration detention, and Indigenous Australians in rural and remote areas of Central Australia, the Northern Territory and West Kimberley regions.

Kate has a passion for diversity and inclusion, and an interest in working with clients presenting with interpersonal issues related to relationships and sexuality. She also enjoys working within a positive psychology and resilience framework. Kate is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology interest group.

Kate is very approachable, so feel free to get in touch, say hi and have a yarn.


You can make multiple appointments with Kate if you need. She is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – chat to her in person at Waurn Ponds Campus, or by telephone or video.

How to book

To book an appointment:

What happens at a SEWB counselling session

During your first counselling appointment, you will talk to Kate about what is concerning you. She may ask some questions to help clarify what the issue is and what it means to you, and use her training and experience to assist you to manage the issue.

Each appointments last about 50 minutes. At the end of your first appointment Kate will discuss with you  what you would like to happen next. Some students have a single session, while others may arrange for a number of sessions to address their concerns.

Not all issues that students have are appropriate for a university counselling service, so Kate can help you find an external counsellor or other health professional in your area if required.

Remember, deciding to see a counsellor can be the most difficult step, but in doing so, you have already set the 'wheels of change' in motion. All change in your life brings mixed emotions, so do changes through counselling. Putting what you think and feel into words for another to hear can be difficult, and you may experience frustration and anxiety as you try out new ways of doing things. With effort and Kate's support, the changes can bring relief and a renewed energy for living and learning.

What if I'm not a NIKERII student?

As the Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEWB) Counsellor, Kate is available to support all First Nations students studying at Deakin.

Last updated:
Page custodian: Student Services