Experienced student counsellor Sally Cassidy appointed Director of Wellbeing

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Sally Cassidy as Director of Wellbeing at St Mark’s College. Sally has worked for the past 7 years as Student Counsellor (Complex Cases) at the University of Adelaide’s Counselling Support service, where she has recently served as Acting Team Manager. We are very much looking forward to her joining the St Mark’s community.

Sally will succeed Mr Stuart Meldrum, our inaugural Director of Wellbeing, who is moving to Melbourne with his wife Sarah and their son Harry for family reasons in December. Stuart will become Director of Student Life at Queen’s College in the University of Melbourne.

The Director of Wellbeing at St Mark’s provides support to students, including helping students to access external mental health care when needed. The role also focuses on bringing a proactive approach to wellbeing by helping students and staff develop knowledge and skills, including resilience, that promote their wellbeing and help them to thrive and flourish.

The need for such a role has grown significantly in recent years, including with the impact of the pandemic. The position of Director of Wellbeing was created as part of a major expansion of student support at St Mark’s a year ago.

Sally Cassidy will start at the College on 28 November, enabling a week’s handover from Stuart and allowing her to work with our College Club Committee on training and planning for 2023.

She and her husband, Rohan, and their two children will live on-site in Walkley Cottage from mid-December – along with their white fluffy Samoyed named Hachi.

Sally brings with her a wealth of experience which is highly relevant to the role here at St Mark’s. She has worked as a social worker for nearly 20 years, specialising in mental health, including as a Student Counsellor for complex cases at the University of Adelaide’s Counselling Support since 2015.

Previous roles include working as a social worker for Disability SA and as a support worker for Youthlink (a support service for disadvantaged young people), and from 2004 to 2012 she worked in mental health care in London as a registered social worker.

Sally graduated from Flinders University with a BA (Legal Studies and Politics) before completing a Bachelor of Social Work at Flinders. She has postgraduate qualifications in social work practice and advanced mental health practice from universities in the United Kingdom.

A Mental Health First Aid trainer since 2017, Sally has extensive experience in developing and delivering training programs. She is a member of the Wellbeing Champion Network at the University of Adelaide, and a founding member of South Australia’s first Tertiary Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.

Her volunteer roles include being event director and run director for Largs Bay parkrun, and food and wine coordinator for Bayettes Beefsteak and Burgundy Club.

Sally Cassidy was selected as Director of Wellbeing from an exceptionally strong field of candidates.

Those who met her during the selection process – student leaders, as well as a selection panel of staff and Board members – commented on how warm and approachable she is, her passion for wellbeing, and her highly relevant experience in engaging with and supporting university students.

“I am excited at the opportunity to join the St Mark’s community, and look forward to getting to know every student in the College, and doing all I can to help them thrive”, Sally said.

We look forward to warmly welcoming Sally and her family to the College.