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Leadership Development Program

Sarah’s career change brings fulfilment and family adventure

Monday, May 22nd, 2023

With a decades-long career across theatre and photography, Sarah Collins says it feels “serendipitous” to have been placed in a buzzing arts community as part of Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program.

Sarah relocated from Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges to regional Tasmania to teach Arts at Latrobe High School as part of TFA’s two-year program.

We are grateful to the Hansen Little Foundation for supporting Humanities, English, Arts and Literature teachers like Sarah in the program’s Cohort 2023.

Teaching was always in the back of Sarah’s mind, but it was a pivot that she thought she might make in later life. Throw the forced reflection of a pandemic into the mix however, and Sarah found herself expediting that plan – with a vision of a more meaningful career path and building an ‘adventure narrative’ for her young family.

“I really craved a job with more meaning, and teaching was always in the back of my head, it was something I thought I’d come to in about a decade, but all of a sudden that got sped up,” she said.

“I wanted to use my creative skills in a role that benefited young people, and teenagers specifically.”

A fantastic family adventure

Mum to two young daughters, Sarah had long known that she wanted them to have an upbringing full of adventure, seeing new sights and travelling as a family.

Along with the practical benefits of being able to study and work at the same time, the program’s focus on regional communities was hugely appealing with this goal in mind.

“As soon as I read about Teach For Australia’s Leadership Development Program I knew I had to apply,” she said.

“Some of the best times for my family have been when we are immersing ourselves in something new and different, so I knew that a move like this would be a fantastic adventure for all of us.”

Spreading the word to other mums

Sarah feels particularly passionate about spreading the word about the program to other mums and parents that might be searching for their next step.

“After having children I feel that so many mums are craving an avenue to use their professional skill-sets in a way that feels meaningful. But figuring out how to facilitate a new learning journey and career path alongside family life and financial obligations can feel impossible,” she said.

“I believe that more women need to find out about this program so they can take the leap and find fulfilment in their careers.”

‘Give it a go’

If you’re considering applying for the Leadership Development Program, Sarah’s advice is simple:

“I recommend getting started on your application as soon as possible, recruiting a loved one to be your second pair of eyes, and being true to yourself throughout the process,” she said.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the scope of associates who are hired, so bring your wealth of experience to the table – it benefits the classroom environment so much.”

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