Professional Development: Fire Up The Future

Professional development for non-teaching staff is essential for creating a positive school culture, improving staff performance, and ultimately, enhancing student learning outcomes.

Last Friday, our support staff engaged in an all-day workshop around collaboration facilitated by Vanessa Vershaw.

Vanessa is an internationally recognised expert in catalysing psychological transformation for sustainable high performance. She collaborates with teams to navigate high-speed change and unlock their creative potential. Vanessa is also an advocate for building brave workplace cultures.

The day allowed our support staff to get to know one another on a more personal level and brainstorm within departments as to how they could better work together and achieve more meaningful outcomes.

Some of the areas explored throughout the day included:

  • The future of work
  • Healthy workplaces
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Leadership
  • Culture
  • Innovation
  • Human behaviour
Vanessa Vershaw presenting to support staff

Here is what some of our support staff had to say about the session:

With a focus on building connection and teamwork within our administration and support tribe, I felt Vanessa did a great job encouraging us to take the first step – getting to know each other. Something so simple yet powerful – an olive branch (if you will) to continue conversations and connection with each other by establishing common ground and creating curiosity. I look forward to further building on our sense of community and collective ability to provide excellent support and service to all as staff of Santa Maria College. Yasmin Librizzi, Senior Administration Officer

The day was a fantastic opportunity to stop and think about how we operate as a team and what we can do better to ensure we reach our full potential. It was also great getting to know other support staff I would never otherwise get to chat with – we have so many incredible people in our team that I’m excited to work with. Vanessa was highly engaging and has given us practical ways to take more of a collaborative approach. Jake Tana, Social Media Officer

I had a great time on the professional development day. I enjoyed meeting other team members away from our usual roles as well as the activities and discussions that we had. Vanessa Moore, Human Resources Officer

The professional development day, led by Vanessa, provided an excellent opportunity to reflect on my working style and how I feel at my best and under pressure. It was highly productive to come together as a team to discuss how to bring out the best in each other, build trust and develop transformational team skills. Mia Sorci, Community Relations Intern

I found the professional development day with Vanessa a great opportunity for the support staff to get to know each other. The team building exercises allowed the closer admin team to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses and develop new strategies to enhance our effectiveness as a team going forward. Amy Buckingham, Administrative Assistant

Thank you to Tim Stewart, Director of Corporate Services, and Vanessa for facilitating such a fantastic workshop for our staff. Stay tuned for part two, as Vanessa will return shortly to further expand on the first session!

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