Professional experience in schools and classrooms by pre-service teachers is a mandatory and essential component of their training. Supporting them also gives existing teachers opportunities for higher accreditation levels.

With the current teacher workforce shortages, all NSW school sectors recognise the urgent need to train and retain good teachers and so secure a future of dedicated educators and committed leaders.

However, connecting the schools, the teachers and the universities can be difficult for all parties.

To help you, we have provided here the current best and most direct personal contact for school engagement at each of our major NSW universities.

WSU (Western Sydney University)
Contact: Rowa Omari
Manager of the Partnerships & Engagement Team
ACU (Australian Catholic University)
Contact: Dr Michelle Gorzanelli - NSW Professional Experience Coordinator

Contact: Dr Chrissy Monteleone - NSW Deputy Head of School and Partnerships Lead
SCU (Southern Cross University)
Contact: Cathy Lembke
Director of Professional Experience

CSU (Charles Sturt University)
Contact: Dr Anne McLeod
Acting Associate Head of School – Workplace Learning and Partnerships
Macquarie University
Contact: Yana Jiang
Work Integrated Learning Team Leader
University of New England
Contact: Associate Professor Anna du Plessis
Director, Office for Professional Learning
University of Technology Sydney
Contact: Nicole Lynch
Professional Experience Coordinator
University of Sydney
Contact: Dr Debra Talbot
Director of Professional Experience

Contact: Danielle Kowaliw
Manager, Office of Professional Experience
University of New South Wales
Contact: Claudia Avendano
Senior Office, Work Integrated Learning
University of Newcastle
Contact: Associate Professor Debra Donnelly
Professional Experience Director
University of Wollongong
Contact: Rachelle Tom
Professional Experience Liaison
University of Notre Dame
Contact: Michelle Hilton-Moon
Manager, Professional Experience Office

Hosting pre-service teachers now means partnering with universities in a range of teacher training models.

Universities are always seeking to partner with Independent schools to provide positive experiences for their pre-service teachers. Traditionally, professional experience placements have been in blocks of weeks, with the hope that pre-service teachers gain some traction in the classroom and school community.

Independent schools are now choosing alternative models to increase engagement with pre-service teachers in an ongoing way—more real to ‘being’ in a school. This includes annual scholarships, internships with one or more days per week of employment, or conditional accreditation pathways toward the end of training. They are identifying potentially exceptional teachers early.

Universities value the diversity of the independent school placement experience

NESA recommends that pre-service teachers are exposed to a range of settings during professional experience placements. Universities are also aware that Independent schools provide access to education and wellbeing models with alternative approaches, ethos and philosophies. Many schools have established strong relationships with the universities of their pre-service teachers for this reason.

Contact AISNSW

The AISNSW Growing and Nurturing Educators initiative includes two of these models – the AISNSW Teacher Education Scholarship and the AISNSW Teaching School Hubs program. The latter of which is currently supporting 11 schools, their 20 Education Trainees and 22 trained Mentor Teachers across NSW.

For more information about the AISNSW Growing and Nurturing Educators Initiative at AISNSW contact Tiffany Roos, Director: The Evidence Institute.