Pastoral Care

Hi! My name is Tarnya Mitchell and I am the College Counsellor at Immanuel Lutheran College. I have been at Immanuel for almost eleven years. Prior to that, I was engaged in roles within Education Queensland, Queensland Health, adolescent and youth work, primary teaching, and private practice as a mental health accredited Social Worker.

My role as College Counsellor encompasses work with individual students from Prep to Year 12 and their parents, in addition to proactive work within the College's pastoral care program. I very much enjoy being actively involved in classrooms and facilitating programs for parents, staff and students in a range of areas. My role also involves liaising with community and government agencies and other professionals in support of our young people and their families.

Primary School students require parent permission prior to working individually with me, whilst Secondary School students are able to make appointments at their own discretion or may be guided to do so by parents or teaching staff. I consider myself privileged to be a 'listener' within the College and I value the courage, energy and honesty of the young people who visit my office.

As a parent, should you wish to make an appointment to discuss issues in relation to your child you can contact me on and come in for a cuppa, or call on (07) 5477 3430. A problem shared is often a problem halved!

Tarnya Mitchell (BA (Psych), BSocWk, Grad Dip Teaching, M.Ed (Guidance and Counselling))
College Counsellor

Our Pastoral Philosophy

The philosophy embedded in Restorative Practices is central to Pastoral Care at Immanuel. Restorative Practices (RP) is a philosophy and a continuum of processes from informal chats to formal structured conversations or mediation. RP is based on the following premises:

1.Conflict causes harm that needs to be repaired.

“Pain that is not transformed, will be transmitted.”

2. Fight or flight are generally inappropriate responses to conflict.

We do not run away or give in to conflict. We do not pay back.

3. Conflict needs to be addressed by all parties, preferably face-to-face, in a structured, safe environment.

4. People involved in a conflict, wrongdoing or misbehaviour need to be actively involved in the process of resolution.

Imposed solutions or punishments can be less effective and less educative.

5. Using Restorative Practices is not a “soft option”.

Core values include respect, inclusion, accountability and commitment to relationships.

6. Participants learn social and emotional skills they will use throughout their lives.

This includes: active listening, facilitating dialogue, problem-solving, expressing emotion appropriately, developing personal awareness, empathy and taking responsibility.

7. Logical consequences and sanctions (e.g. detentions, suspensions, staff disciplinary procedures).

These are still used but in the context of RP (e.g. “what can you do to make things right?”).

Useful links

Parenting can be both a joy and a challenge. Even the most competent of parents can use a hand from time to time to decipher the developmental challenges children present.

Michael Gross and Andrew Fuller are well known Australian voices in this field. Below you will find the links to their websites which offer advice on a range of parenting issues from building resilience to cyber safety and sibling rivalry.

In this link below, Jennifer Senior offers some great advice about how to make the parenting journey kinder and more achievable.

Other useful links:

Parenting support

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123 Magic Parenting program

One of the programs offered by the College to support parents is the 123 Magic Parenting program. 123 Magic is offered over three sessions and covers both boundary setting and skills for developing emotional regulation in children aged 2-12 years.

The program assists parents to learn:

  • How to discipline without arguing or yelling
  • How to handle challenging and testing behaviour
  • How to choose an appropriate strategy
  • How to emotion coach to encourage positive behaviour

Parents who have attended the program in the past have found it highly beneficial and have enjoyed connecting with other parents.

All parents who attend the course receive a workbook and the program is free for Immanuel parents.

If you are interested in attending a course please contact Tarnya Mitchell, College Counsellor on
(07) 5477 3430 or

To view more information and the latest Pastoral Care Blog posts, please click here.