Meet the team supporting the Western Sydney - Parramatta South group of schools

Kicking off our first ‘meet the team’ article of 2023, we’re highlighting the enthusiastic Western Sydney - Parramatta South team. We’ve spoken with Erika Croswell (School Administrative Officer), Mustafa Khan (SBAT Engagement Officer), Angie Sisala (Head Teacher Careers).

Our team upholds the program's objectives of improving higher education and career outcomes for young people.

The Parramatta South group of schools includes seven schools in the Western Sydney region: Chester Hill High School, Muirfield High School (Base School), Merrylands High School, Granville South Creative and Performing Arts High School, Granville Boys High School, Kingsgrove North High School, and Wiley Park Girls High School.

Meet the committed team driving the program’s objectives in these schools - Erika Croswell (School Administrative Officer), Mustafa Khan (SBAT Engagement Officer), Angie Sisala (Head Teacher Careers).

What interested you about this role?

Erika: I was excited to work in a different type of administrative position within the department, and to learn new skills. Having 3 teenagers myself I was keen to get back into a high school and be involved in the transition of young people into the workplace.

Mustafa: I want to help students choose the career pathways which helps them to achieve their life goals and unlock their true potential.

Angie: I love that my role allows me to work with teams across schools to provide authentic experiences and exposure to employers, further education providers and the world of work. What better way is there to prepare our young people for the future than to let them get a taste of what is out there while they're still at school?

What experience are you bringing to the team?

Erika: I've worked in school administration for about 7 years, mainly in primary schools. I also did a stint as a Program Advisor in a university. I originally started my career as an Early Childhood Teacher and was a Project Officer in local government for many years working in environmental education.

Mustafa: I previously held the position of Training Advisor at Training Services NSW for 4 years. I was overseeing the Apprenticeships and Traineeship (A&T) program for all vocations currently in NSW. My knowledge encompasses the A&T program as a whole.

Angie: In addition to my experience as a Careers Adviser and VET teacher in schools, I also have a background working as an Accountant and Office Manager across the education, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and logistics industries.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?

Erika: I hope to develop and enhance the skills that I have, and learn a few new ones along the way!

Mustafa: To help as many students as possible in achieving their goal of choosing the right career path that suits their capabilities.

Angie: I hope to create meaningful and sustainable networks across schools to support students to engage in greater career development opportunities and make better informed decisions as they navigate through life and careers..

Are there any opportunities or challenges that are unique to your schools?

Erika: It's great to work with such a diverse group of students and schools.

Mustafa: There are many challenges due to the demographics of the area I work in with my schools. Some challenges I am able to overcome, others might be out of my control, but I will do all I can to achieve my goal of helping students.

Angie: Schools have such packed calendars and staff are very busy. My challenge is to align the opportunities to school needs and fit them into school calendars.

What are you most proud of since starting in your role?

Erika: I'm pleased that I'm working within such a great team.

Mustafa: I have made some solid relationships and built rapport with my stakeholders. My role is easier knowing that I can rely on my stakeholders to support me in achieving my goals.

Angie: I am proud of the teams I work with that have helped to improve students' skills and increase their confidence in making career development decisions.

What do you enjoy doing on the weekend?

Erika: I love spending time in the garden when it's not too hot. I try to squeeze in the time to sew and I always have a crochet project on the go. Mostly I spend time with my family.

Mustafa: I love sports. Currently I play soccer and golf every weekend.

Angie: I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.

Where is your favourite place? This could be anywhere - a holiday spot, special restaurant or the patch in the backyard that gets just the right amount of sun!

Erika: My favourite place is Port Stephens where I spend most holidays.

Mustafa: Turkey is my favourite place in the world due to its history, culture, and above all, the awesome food.

Angie: It is always nice to escape to the coast, or take a road trip up the mountains, but sometimes sitting in the garden with a cool breeze on a warm day is the best feeling in the world.

For our binge watchers or book readers - do you have any recommendations for TV shows, movies, or books?

Erika: I'm currently watching The Sinner on Netflix. I also love to binge watch any house hunting shows on 9Life. I'm reading Wild Place by Christian White and have Exiles by Jane Harper waiting to go.

Mustafa: Love The Simpsons. Can't go wrong with a few episodes of Homer!

Angie: I get to listen to some great podcasts while driving to different schools. My current binge is Science Vs by Gimlet Media.

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