From Student to Staff: Angela’s Journey of Growth and Change

Life’s surprises often uncover hidden opportunities, taking us on unexpected paths. In this article, we explore Angela’s remarkable journey – fueled by a love for literature and history – that paved the way for an exciting career in administration. We’ll trace her steps from Santa Maria College as a student to her influential role in senior administration, a testament to the strength found in embracing change.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to work in administration?

I have always enjoyed reading, creative writing and history, so after graduating from Santa Maria in 2006, I began studying a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English Literature and History at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle. Over the next few years, as one of three jobs I was juggling at the time, I worked for my dad part-time as a receptionist at Samson Plumbing and Gas to earn money while I was studying and travelling.

After graduating from university in 2011, I started my first full-time job at Master Painters and Decorators Australia (MPDA) in 2012 as a membership coordinator. After 12 months at MPDA, I decided it was time for a change and began searching for a new role. This led me to take a temporary position as a booking officer with the City of Stirling. Little did I know at the time that this would turn into a role that would last 10 years, becoming Senior Administration Officer for Recreation and Leisure Services in 2017. This path has led me to create a strong and ongoing career in administration that has encouraged and challenged me to develop new skills which I did not expect when it began 17 years ago. I look forward to continuing it here at Santa Maria College.

As Senior Administration Officer, what are some of the key responsibilities you oversee?

Some of the key responsibilities I oversee is managing a team of five and providing them with ongoing support. Assisting with the delivery of projects such as curriculum handbooks and booklists. Managing the College’s correspondence, whether by email, phone or in person. Assisting with specific events such as the Achievers Club Lunches and Awards Nights and providing ongoing administrative support to the teaching staff.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Senior Administration Officer?

I enjoy that each day is different, so it requires me to maintain a level of adaptability. It also has led me to build strong people and communication skills as well as finding ways to see the positive in all things.

What are some of the most significant changes or developments you’ve witnessed in the field of administration over the years?

One of the biggest changes I have seen is the increase in available technology and the transition from paper documents to electronic. Particularly in my role at the City of Stirling, it was a massive change for the organisation but also the wider community. Also, the change in attitudes towards workplace health and safety, specifically, recognising the effects of mental health that can affect a workplace and the shift to creating new strategies to encourage the wellbeing of employees.

How does it feel to be returning to Santa Maria College, this time as a staff member?

I really enjoyed my time at Santa Maria as a student, making life-long friends and wonderful memories. Coming back as a staff member, it did feel a little strange at first, as it has been almost 17 years since I graduated. However, the staff have been so welcoming and supportive, and while the school has changed since I left, there are aspects that remain the same, and I am excited to start a new chapter here at Santa Maria.

Can you share some of your fondest memories from your time as a student at Santa Maria College?

Some of my fondest memories from my time as a student was spending time with my friends every day, science classes with Mr Ryan who always had some quirky way of teaching, singing loudly on any bus trip with the other girls in my O’Donnell House and the father-daughter camping trips with my Dad.

How do you plan to stay open to new perspectives and ideas, even as you return to a familiar environment?

Since graduating from Santa Maria, I have had the opportunity to undertake further study, work in a number of diverse workplaces and travel to numerous places. Because of these experiences, I believe they have all played a part in developing my perception and allowing me to approach any new idea or challenge with open-mindedness. I hope to retain this outlook, but I also want to learn new things from Santa Maria College through my new role.

What message would you like to share with the Santa Maria College community as you embark on this new chapter in your professional journey?

I would like to firstly say, thank you for welcoming me back so kindly and that I am looking forward to providing support to and being a part of the Santa Maria College community. And secondly, from my professional journey and experience so far, I always make the most of every opportunity that is presented to me even if its outcomes are short-term as further down the track, it can lead to a career that provides happiness and fulfilment.

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