Sarah trains up for student wellbeing

03 September 2020

Sarah is the smiling face our students and, in non covid times, visitors,  see when they come to our Middle Cove reception desk. Her job is wide and varied, but extremely focussed on looking after our parents, students and visitors.  She is the friendly voice on the phone and the go to person for all inquiries. Ever helpful, there is a wonderful warmth with Sarah, and she makes the task of juggling a million requests for help seem effortless. She is the antithesis of the “cranky school office lady” and always lends an ear to students in need.

Recently Sarah attended a training course called Youth Mental Health First Aid, so we asked her to tell us more about it, and herself.

1.            Youth Mental Health First Aid – what was the course you did, and what did you learn?

The Youth Mental Health First Aid Certificate Australia. Which was a 14-hour course over two days. We learnt how to help students suffering from Mental Health as a first responder. The same way in which we have all learnt about how to help students with a physical first aid problem such as cleaning their wound and putting a band aid on. We were taught how to approach students, listen to their needs and help guide them in the right direction for further professional help.  Find more at:

2.            How long have your worked at Glenaeon?

It will be three years in October which has flown by! The current Class 6 were all dressed in tie dye non-uniform in Class 3 in my first term and soon I’ll see them in their High School uniform!

3.            What does your job involve?

Lots of Band-Aids! Or as I sometimes slip up and say ‘plasters’ which is often returned with a puzzled look. The job is a good balance of general admin tasks as well as juggling the many random situations that arise in reception. I read this book recently called ‘This is Going to Hurt’ which is full of hilarious and raw diary entries from a doctor in the UK spanned over his career. I feel like I could write a similar book from my time at Glenaeon called, ‘Daily requests from students’ to capture all the weird and wonderful elements of my job.

4.            What’s the best part about your job, that you enjoy the most?

Is it too cliché to say the students? I worked in events in the corporate world before I moved to Sydney in 2017 and I applied for the role at Glenaeon for a change. I never assumed I would get the job when I answered no to Andrew’s questions asking if I played any instruments or spoke any other languages. But here I am! I love when a task at work takes me away from my desk where I can be in nature even for just a quick minute to drop something off at a classroom.

5.            How would you describe Glenaeon to someone who has never heard about our school before?

I’m afraid I never do the school justice when asked about where I work. I’m not from a Steiner background so trying to capture the depth and beauty of the philosophy is something I don’t do as freely as our wonderful teachers. However, I say the school is surrounded by nature and the curriculum is taught in stories, colour, music and with an emphasis on creativity and outdoor play. That we are not only growing our minds but connect body, heart and head. Everyone is always super intrigued by this, it’s basically the Australian Hogwarts! [Ed note: We don't know about that description Sarah, but certainly we experience some magical moments here at Glenaeon!]