Murdoch Counselling Clinic attracts international career counsellors

May 23, 2018

International expertise: Olga Valchuk and Sreej Pradhan are just two of the dedicated counsellors working at the Caladenia Clinic.

Students completing their Masters of Counselling are coming to Murdoch University from all over the world in order gain valuable experience working at the Caladenia Counselling Clinic on campus grounds.

The clinic offers an affordable service to the community, whereby visitors are counselled by the students, who are supervised by experienced and qualified educators.

Clinic Director Gaston Antezana said the fact that several of the student counsellors were fluent in non-English languages, allowed the clinic to provide counselling services to a diverse community.

“We work with people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures in a caring, professional and confidential way, in order to promote their wellbeing through providing a low-cost service,” Mr Antezana said.

Originally from the Himalayan city of Bhutan, former secondary school teacher Sreej Pradhan has completed both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Biological Sciences in India, and is now completing his Masters of Counselling at Murdoch University.

He said that the learning experiences he is gaining through working at the Caladenia Clinic have been vital to his understanding of the important role that counsellors have in making a positive difference in people’s lives.

“Since young people are the future of tomorrow, I am passionate about working with a range of issues young people face such as drug and alcohol abuse, self-esteem, anxiety, stress and career choices,” he said.

“I have also learned that counselling is not about looking at a client's problem from your own perspective or based on your own values system.”

After arriving in Australia from Russia and completing her Bachelor of Psychology, Olga Valchuk is now studying her Masters of Counselling while working at the Caladenia Clinic.

“I enjoyed studying psychology, however I wasn’t interested in statistics, and there is a lot of it in psychology, so I decided to study Master of Counselling because I prefer working with people rather than doing research,” she said.

Ms Valchuk works with teenagers with autism as a recreational therapist, and has two casual support worker jobs.

“In the Caladenia Clinic, I see a range of clients from children to seniors. I like to help clients who have relationship problems and I enjoy working with teenagers because I can easily get along with them,” she said.

“Apart from gaining a lot of theoretical and practical experience through working at Caladenia, this course has helped me to discover how I can use my personal life experience to help others.”

Work Integrated Learning Program Manager, David Rowbottom said the purpose of work integrated learning as part of learning a discipline was for students to enhance their knowledge of its practical application in the workplace.

“Murdoch University prides itself on ensuring that work integrated learning opportunities are an explicit feature of many of its undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses,” he said.

“The outcome is that students can graduate with their degrees, equipped to apply this knowledge when making critical business decisions in an organisational context.”

The Caladenia Clinic is located within the Murdoch University Chiropractic Clinic and is open Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

Costs are $30 per visit, or $15 for concession card holders. In certain circumstances, fees can be waived at the discretion of the Clinic Supervisor.

To make an appointment please call 9360 7848 or email



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