Guidance & Counselling

This Guidance service is also available to support staff members, as well as parents and caregivers when they have concerns about students. Students can self-refer and make an appointment via a note system outside the Guidance rooms, by visiting the Guidance rooms in person, or by email. As well as the opportunity for self-referral, student referrals can also made by concerned teachers, Whanau Leaders, or parents. When this happens the student is encouraged to attend a first session by invitation. In this instance the counsellor and student will together identify and then explore the situation that may have precipitated the referral.

As Guidance Counsellors, we aim to help students make sense of their difficulties and concerns, as well as looking for opportunities to develop each students capabilities and resilience. We aim to foster conditions whereby the student can grow and develop as a caring, contributing and responsible young adult. We aim to empower students to make informed decisions. We promote awareness of and respect for difference, and we seek to act for those who are disempowered. It is not the role of the counsellor to discipline or punish students as this could compromise the counselling relationship.

For most students, their time at Albany Junior incorporates their journey through puberty into young adulthood. With the rapid changes that are occurring on many interconnected fronts – physically, emotionally, socially – we aim to support students in their effective navigation of these often turbulent and unknown waters.

When choosing to access support via the schools Guidance services, the issues brought to a counselling session can include: relations with peers and peer conflict, anger management, self esteem, classroom concerns, classroom teacher concerns, classwork concerns, change, loss and grief, sexual health and sexual identity, depression, anxiety, stress, bullying, drug and alcohol related concerns, or crisis and trauma within the context of home and family.

Due to the diversity and complexity of the issues that students can bring to a counselling session, at times it is helpful or necessary to involve outside agencies or community groups. Whether liaising with these people, or with other staff members or family/Whanau, at all times the counsellor will be operating within a confidential and ethical framework. At times there are tensions between different aspects of the counsellor’s role, e.g. advocacy for students alongside respect and support for the role of parents. The physical, mental and emotional safety of the student is of paramount importance at all times.

The school endeavours to have a trained counsellor on-site and available to students at all times. The Guidance Department is part of the Student Health Center. Demian Shaver, Deputy Principal, is Head of Guidance. Should you have any questions or concerns about the school Guidance service, please feel free to contact the school directly via phone or in person and speak with a member of the Guidance team.


Steve Peach
Steve PeachSenior Guidance Counsellor
MA. Couns (Hons)., BA. Couns., Dip. Couns., MNZCCA

‘Empower to excel in a fast-moving world’ AJHS Motto. My passion is to assist young people of all ages and ethnicities to be able to live at their optimum levels of well-being. I believe this is possible by using customised counselling approaches that suit the personal and cultural needs of the individual. I am experienced with helping people find ways to develop and utilise their strengths when they are struggling and feeling overwhelmed with their personal circumstances. During my work as a counsellor, I have continually refined my practice. This has enabled me to draw from a broad range of counselling methods and has given me access and experience in using a wide range of therapeutic tools. As a counselling team, it is our privilege to help young people in untangling their lives, so they might experience a sense of personal liberty and freedom. We seek to give all students the opportunity to realise their full potential during their education at AJHS. As a school, we collaboratively seek to empower the students to excel. Please feel free to contact me.

Miriam Taylor
Miriam TaylorPart Time Counsellor

Provisional Member Registered with NZAC,  I have been part of the Albany Junior High School Counselling team since mid 2015. I feel fortunate to be at AJHS, supporting our students to make positive changes in their lives. I am passionate about the successful formation and education of our young people and know that nurturing their mental health and building their resilience is critical to their overall development. In this way, I value the therapeutic relationships that I build with my students and feel privileged when they trust me with their thoughts and feelings. My training is in person-centered counselling (where the client’s needs are central to the process) and utlise a pluralistic model, which allows me to work with my students via a range of modalities depending on which best serves their specific needs. I am available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday during school hours. Please feel free to contact me.


Albany Junior High School is now a KidsLink School.

KidsLink is a one-stop website for teachers and parents to use about where to get help in our local community for a range of student services. KidsLink covers most common learning, behaviour and physical needs of young people from birth to 20 years, as well as providing a wide range of extra-curricular activities and childcare options.