applied-psychology

Allegra’s journey from dreamer to healer

By Barry de Silva Public Relations Manager
Allegra Faery with her family on her wedding day
Allegra Faery is an inspiring counselling student who has triumphed over life’s challenges to live her dream in the Northern Rivers, where she now has a husband, four children and one grandchild. Allegra shared her journey from working at her husband’s business to now studying the Bachelor of Counselling and making life-long friends at ACAP Byron Bay.

Moving up from Melbourne, Allegra has called the Northern Rivers home for more than 15 years, finding love and building a family in the region. “It took me 10 years to move here, but I never gave up on that dream,” Allegra reflected. “It has been a beautiful journey as I never thought I’d live in the Northern Rivers and find love – I now tell people to never give up on their dreams!”

Allegra’s dedication to her family serves as a foundation for her compassionate nature. She believes that her genuine empathy makes her a trustworthy confidante.

“Being a mum and now a grandmother are the most important things in the whole world to me, and I think people can sense I’m a compassionate person and will listen to those who wish to share their stories with me.”

The path to counselling wasn’t always clear for Allegra. Before studying at ACAP, she worked as an office manager at her husband’s business and conducted children’s workshops on ethical and sustainable farming. However, a persistent calling to help others led her to pursue counselling.

“After finishing high school, I had enrolled to study social work, but after taking on some advice from my school counsellor, I ended up studying naturopathy, which I didn’t end up finishing,” she said. “I’d always wanted to help people, and that’s when I came across an ad on Facebook that said ACAP had a campus in Byron, so I gave them a call, and soon enough I enrolled in the Diploma of Counselling Skills. I enjoyed it so much; I’m set to complete the Bachelor of Counselling next year!”

Her experience at ACAP has been transformative, developing not only professional skills but also growing meaningful relationships with her peers.

“I have built the most beautiful friendships - I am super close with [my peers], and we like to catch up socially. The lecturers are really approachable, and I enjoy the personal anecdotes they share.”

Allegra’s personal experiences have shaped her into the caring and empathetic person she is today, and she acknowledges the role of counselling in helping her navigate through challenging times. 

“As a child I experienced a lot of alcohol and substance abuse, and at that age you just try to disconnect yourself and survive,” she said. “And with the father of my children I was in a situation that wasn’t serving me or my two little girls, so I spent many years getting counselling advice to help me through it. 

“Mental health is just as important as our physical well-being, and there is even more awareness around it than ever before. There will always be a need for quality counsellors.”

ACAP CEO, George Garrop, commented on the value of counsellors in society and commended Allegra on her dedication.

“Counsellors play a vital role in our communities, supporting people through challenging times, and providing them with the tools to navigate life,” Mr Garrop said. “Allegra embodies the spirit of ACAP – compassionate, resilient, and committed to making a positive impact. I look forward to seeing her future career as a counsellor blossom.”

Study counselling at ACAP Byron Bay with a $15k scholarship through Destination Australia. Apply now

Apply Now
I'm applying as a

Domestic Student

I'm applying as an

International Student