The well-being of your child, within our school is paramount to the Counselling Department. We are vitally interested in developing relationships that will create a feeling of "belonging", "being connected" as a member of the Somerville community.
Somerville has two school counsellors who offer a confidential and professional service to students and who are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors. Students can be seen individually or in small groups through an appointment system. We work directly with students as well as collaborating with families and staff.

Memory Strydom

Memory has been working in schools for 12 years as a Guidance Counsellor. She is passionate about her work with students and their families during what can sometimes be turbulent time in their lives. She says "I feel so privileged to be working with these fine young people. I often admire their resourcefulness and resiliency". Their energy and vibrancy is inspiring to her. She is available on Monday and Thursday mornings from 8:15 to 12:30. Her email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Simon Calder

Simon has a Bachelor of Counselling at Laidlaw College and has two years of counselling practicum experience. He works in a number of areas including, Person Centered Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Play Therapy. He has a passion to work and connect with younger people and their families. His hobbies include a number of sports, video gaming and hiking. He understands the challenges faced by young people, and is committed to helping them to achieve positive outcomes. Simon is available on Mondays from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm and Thursdays from 8.30 am to 3.00 pm. Simon's email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jasmine Lai

Jasmine has a background in Psychology, and has recently completed her Master of Counselling through University of Auckland. She is a Malaysian who speaks in a variety of languages: English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai and some Bahasa Malaysia. She adopts creative methods in therapy to work with young individuals, and finds young individuals inspiring and full of surprises. She is available on Mondays from 8.30 am - 3.00 pm and Thursdays from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm. Her email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


They can also be contacted at telephone (09) 5351070, extension 714. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Message for Students

Add school counsellors to the list of people you can turn to when you need help. They know how to listen and can help students with life's challenges. School counsellors have special training in how to help kids solve problems, make decisions, and stand up for themselves.

We are available for you and want to make your school experience "the best it can be". Our job is to take your problem seriously and help you find a solution. We also want to help you learn as much as you can in class, be a contributing member of the school community, and be a positive influence on your environment.

You're important, and there's always someone – a friend, a cat, family – that you matter to. Things do get better, and sometimes we just need someone or some others to "carry" us a little bit till they do get better. Counselling can help with that.

How can counselling help? (from "School Counselling" NZAC)

Counselling can help you to:

  • Feel better about yourself
  • Think about, and do, things in a different way
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Plan and set goals
  • Explore your thoughts, feelings and behaviour
  • Understand yourself better
  • Improve your relationships
  • Get access, or be referred, to other support as necessary

Some helpful websites and phone numbers:

Feeling down? 0800 942 8787 0800 kidsline 0800 54 37 54 or phone 0800 37 66 33
Helpline 0800 111 757