Staff Member in Focus: Dr Helen Van Vliet

Thank you to the All Saints Grammar community for warmly welcoming me as I commence my role as Teacher of Gifted and Talented Education in the Primary Campus. I am fortunate indeed to be working in a school that delivers high quality, research-based learning, that empowers all students to realise their potential in the classroom and beyond. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to grow as a teacher in an environment where students and staff are guided, nurtured and inspired by the beauty, wonder and deep wisdom of the Christian Orthodox Faith and the Hellenic culture.

I have been teaching in schools and universities since graduating with a Master of Teaching (Hons) degree from the University of Sydney in 1998. My roles as teacher, stage convenor and learning support coordinator in Independent and State schools have enabled me to build skills across a number of critical areas. These include Gifted Education; Special Needs Education; and, Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. My interests in Gifted Education and student wellbeing led me to complete a Certificate of Gifted Education, with High Distinction at the University of NSW, followed by a doctorate focusing on school-based interventions aimed at assisting students with stress management and psychological wellbeing. My initial undergraduate degree in Medicine and Surgery and my work as a junior doctor assisted me to consider different perspectives within this research and continue to inform my teaching practice.

On completion of my postgraduate studies, I accepted a position at the Australian Catholic University as Senior Lecturer. I helped develop postgraduate study pathways in Gifted Education and coordinated undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Early Childhood and Primary Education. I worked with well-respected local and international researchers on projects concerned with Gifted Education in the Early Years and beyond, Academic Care, Positive Psychology and Curriculum reform.

Reflecting on my career in teaching has allowed me to refocus on what I find most fulfilling: being in a school that offers a rich and meaningful curriculum, working alongside highly professional and motivated colleagues and learning with enthusiastic and generous students and families. All Saints Grammar offers all of this and more. Early in my teaching career, I was recognised by the Teacher’s Guild of NSW for the work I was doing in the classroom. I hope to honour the award I received by striving to be the very best educator I can be within an ever-changing world of technological advances, new social challenges and greater understanding of what it means to be a successful learner and responsible and active global citizen.

Dr Helen Van Vliet
PK-12 Learning Services – Enrichment