Senior Counsellor

Cairns, Australia
20 Nov 2019
End of advertisement period
08 Dec 2019
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Psychology
Contract Type
Part Time

Position Overview

The Senior Counsellor, (Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker), provides expert mental health and  high standard assessment, psychological counselling and interventions based on best practice and evidence based models to students enrolled at James Cook University (JCU). The incumbent provides individual counselling, training, workshops, crisis intervention and debriefing, and psychometric assessments as relevant and operates as an active member of a multidisciplinary student service working cooperatively with the wider University and external community.

Division of Student Life

The Division of Student Life plays a critical role in driving and meeting the University’s objectives and strategic intent. Working closely with and across the Colleges and Divisions, and in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, the Division has a focus on cross-institutional academic quality, innovation in learning and teaching, efficiency of services, domestic pathways, suitability of learning infrastructure, and overall student experience.

The Division encompasses the following Directorates;

  • Domestic Pathways
  • Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement
  • Library and Information Services
  • Student Services

Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement Directorate

The Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement Directorate supports strategic activities in  learning and teaching across a range of areas for both staff and students including: staff professional development, learning technologies, learning advice and support, as well as services to ensure equity and student wellbeing. The Directorate delivers a number of University-wide projects and programs, which support academic staff, including professional development induction and role-based programs and capacity building for digital learning.

Organisational Chart

James Cook University

Principal Accountabilities

  1. Provide psychological and mental health services to students including assessment, counselling and evidence based therapeutic interventions to individuals, couples and groups.
  2. Provide clinical assessment, including psychometric and formal risk assessments, implement evidence-based psychological and mental health interventions, crisis management and referral to external services as required.
  3. Provide clinical leadership and education, including clinical supervision as required, to Student Wellbeing Counsellors and high-level advice to senior university staff on mental health related issues, including the provision of appropriate psychological response to critical incidents.
  4. Develop, facilitate and evaluate workshops and psycho-educational programs for students to foster good mental health and wellbeing and in response to identified needs in the University community.
  5. Undertake administrative activities including maintaining accurate and up-to-date client records, correspondence, participate in peer supervision and case management and the collection, analysis and reporting of service statistics.
  6. Maintain professional competency and skills through active participation in professional development including  workshops, seminars, peer supervision to meet Australian Health Practioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) or Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) registration requirements
  7. Identify, develop and maintain relationships with community, private and government mental health and community service providers including Headspace, QLD Health, Acute Care Team (Community Mental Health, etc. to facilitate referrals and ensure students have access to suitable support in dealing with mental health and wellbeing related issues.
  8. Actively contribute to the improvement of Student Equity and Wellbeing’s policies and processes by evaluating existing procedures and policies; making recommendations for improvement; and assisting with subsequent implementation as required.
  9. Support the University's commitment to the principles of reconciliation, which exemplify respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and the valuing of justice and equity for all Australians.
  10. Demonstrate a commitment to the University values.
  11. Support the principles of the TropEco program and engage in commitment to JCU sustainability goals and objectives.


There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff. Your specific level descriptor can be found within the Enterprise Agreement.

Generic Accountabilities

There are generic responsibilities that apply to all James Cook University staff.

  1. The Senior Counsellor is required to observe the lawful and reasonable directions, policies and decisions of the University Council, understand and comply with the Enterprise Agreement, the Statutes and Rules of the University, and other appropriate University authorities, as in force from time to time.
  2. The Senior Counsellor is required to demonstrate a personal commitment to ensure personal safety and the safety of others and contribute to the continuous improvement of our WHS performance. This includes the effective implementation and compliance with James Cook University WHS policies, procedures and safe systems of work, together with all relevant legislation, duties and obligations. 
  3. The Senior Counsellor is required to exercise proper discretion in all matters affecting the well-being of the University which involve public writing or speaking in accordance with the University’s Code of Conduct.

Special Conditions

  • It is a requirement of this position to hold and  maintain ongoing registration with AHPRA, if applicable, and with the following:
  • Occupational Therapist: registration with the Occupational Therapy Board of Australia.
  • Psychologist: registration with the Psychology Board of Australia.
  • Social Worker: accreditation with the Australian Association of Social Workers as an accredited Mental Health Social Worker
  • If not covered by professional registration, it is a requirement of this position to hold a current or be eligible to obtain a Queensland Blue Card issued by the Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA).
  • It is a requirement of this position, 6000014549, to undertake travel and/or attend conferences deemed necessary to the advancement of Student Equity and Wellbeing within JCU.

Selection Criteria

Selection and appointments will be assessed against selection criteria.


  1. Degree qualification in Psychology, Occupational Therapy or Social Work with extensive mental health and counselling experience or an equivalent combination of relevant experience and/or education and/or training. Completion of postgraduate studies or significant progress towards this would be highly regarded.
  2. Demonstrated experience working with complex and high risk mental health presentations. 
  3. Proven counselling experience with a broad range of clients, including those from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, preferably in a tertiary setting.
  4. Proven experience with individual and group counselling, crisis counselling, suicide intervention and management, critical incidents management and the development and facilitation of psycho-educational workshops and group presentations.
  5. Demonstrated highly developed organisational skills including the ability to prioritise and work to deadlines and proven ability to develop and establish efficient work processes and client delivery models while working with minimal supervision.
  6. Demonstrated high level written, oral communication and interpersonal skills including the ability to work as an effective member of a multidisciplinary services team and to collaborate across organisational boundaries in a large organisation.


  1. An understanding of issues that impact on students’ retention, engagement and success in a tertiary institution.  
  2. Accreditation or eligibility for accreditation to supervise students undertaking placement in one of the following programs: Master of Psychology (Clinical), Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work or Bachelor of Occupational Therapy.