Mary Teague

Head Widening Participation and Outreach

As Head of WPO, Mary’s responsibilities have included developing and implementing the WPO strategy, and re-imagining the educational program and engagement model for WPO. She leads internal teams, external partnerships opportunities with universities and drives student equity-focused change at a whole
University level.

She has worked at the University of Sydney since 2007, initially in Student Support Services, followed by a role in the Social Inclusion Unit. As the University contact person for the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP), Mary leads the development and implementation of strategic initiatives in the University’s Access and Participation Plan. She is also the University’s representative on the Go8 Equity Working Group (EWG), Chair of the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Program Steering Committee, represents WPO on the University Executive Indigenous Strategy and Services (UE-DVCISS) Committee, and the Admissions Sub-Committee.

Mary leads University-wide programs and supports faculty-based initiatives to increase the access and participation of students from underrepresented groups.

These have included:

  • policy reviews
  • authoring cases for change
  • the implementation and monitoring of admissions pathways
  • the pre-tertiary component of the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Strategy
  • The Widening Participation Network and grants program
  • cross-University collaborations on widening participation.

Before working at the University, Mary studied a Master of Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, University of London, a Master of Teaching at the University of Sydney, then taught and led specialist support programs in NSW secondary schools, and also lectured at UNSW, Faculty of Built Environment (BE).

Josie Wilson

Manager Partnerships and Engagements
Josie Wilson

Josephine oversees the strategic operations of the WPO team. This includes delivering and further developing the WPO program and managing stakeholder engagement. Josephine co-authored the WPO 2016-2020 Strategic Plan and developed the 2017 and 2018 Widening Participation and Outreach Program. She manages a suite of programs, which strategically align with the WPO strategy and the University’s Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu strategy, and is Chair of the Wingara Mura - Bunga Barrabugu Program Working Party. Josephine is also responsible
for securing new partnerships with schools and their communities, industry and non-government agencies. On top of this, she monitors program financials against budget and external funding conditions.

Prior to joining WPO, Josephine gained extensive experience in fundraising and events within the arts and not-for-profit sectors, including at a national level. Her past employers include the Sydney Theatre Company and Camp Quality and she also has experience running her own business.

Katy Head

Manager, Widening Participation and Outreach

Katy manages the schools outreach work area of the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) and widening participation related strategic projects for the University of Sydney. She is responsible for developing and implementing evaluation, monitoring and sustainability frameworks across WPO. Katy’s role involves extensive internal and external stakeholder management and communication. She is regularly called upon to provide high level advice for the development and direction of ongoing strategic initiatives. She also leads the development of all internal and external reporting requirements and the development of grant applications and funding submissions. Katy first joined the University in 2009, working in government relations, she then taught art and media studies to secondary school students while studying for a Master of Teaching as part of the Teach for Australia program. She also has experience working at universities and not for profits in learning and development leadership roles.

joana richter

Coordinator, Education Program and Partnerships
Joana Richter

Joana’s role involves ensuring the sustainability of our projects for both our partners and WPO. This includes managing partnerships between internal and external stakeholders, designing the WPO educational program and digital content for WPO initiatives and ASTAR.TV. Before joining the team at WPO, Joana worked in the NGO sector and completed a Master of International Relations. She has experience working in both Australia and overseas, including at La Trobe University, Oxfam Australia and the NATO Defence College in Rome.

Ella McDermott

Student Volunteering and Leadership Officer
Ella McDermott

Ella coordinates the suite of volunteer, student leadership and service learning programs. She leads and implements innovative recruitment, training and development for volunteers and student leaders and manages all associated administrative and information processes for the effective delivery of Volunteers, student leadership and service learning projects to support higher education participation by students from low socio economic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and regional students.

ren allan

Schools Outreach Officer
Ren Allan

Ren is a proud Kamilaroi woman and the key schools relationship manager for Blacktown, Mt Druitt, Penrith and Central Coast Hubs. Ren is responsible for coordinating the delivery of WPO’s high school-focused academic enrichment and engagement activities, including on-campus, in-school and community workshops. Ren has a background in supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to access and succeed in higher education.

School Outreach Officer

Jane manages relationships with key stakeholders in partner high schools across South-Western Sydney. Her role involves the coordination and facilitation of academic enrichment and tertiary preparedness workshops assisting under-represented cohorts of students in navigating their way towards success in higher education.

sarah foster

Schools Outreach Assistant
Sarah Forster

Sarah provides administrative and project support for the school outreach officers. She also works with partner schools, providing the administrative support needed to implement the programs and projects that support their outreach initiatives. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Museum Studies from the University of Sydney. She is also a qualified Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) teacher with a Bachelor of Teaching (Secondary) from Charles Sturt University.

kristy harris

Senior Project Officer - Events
Kristy Harris

Kristy coordinates and manages a range of on-campus events and activities. She works with University staff, students and key internal and external stakeholders to develop content and organise the logistics and operations of events, including through supporting and liaising with them. Kristy is also involved in training and managing student leaders, as well as in promoting and executing many of WPO’s events.

Caitlin Pyle

Operations Support Manager

Caitlin coordinates and manages a range of on-campus events and activities. Her role includes working with university staff, students and key internal and external stakeholders, event content development, logistics and operations support and liaison; training and management of student leaders; and event promotion and implementation.

mark critch

Project Officer - Events

Mark helps develop and coordinate a range of student and community events designed to provide advice and clarity to young people, in order for them to realise their academic potential. This involves liaising with a wide range of stakeholders, both internally and externally.

courtney brown

Events and Volunteering Assistant
Courtney Brown

Courtney coordinates the events and activities that support the implementation of the WPO strategy and programs. She also provides project management support for all WPO’s volunteers and student leaders, as well as for related community partnership programs. Courtney’s role includes providing general
events and administrative services and operational support to the WPO team and work area. She has a background in operations and has worked for local government, as well as in childcare services.

esther robertshawe

Digital Content and Communications Officer
Esther Robertshawe

Esther is responsible for building the ASTAR.TV audience and for driving engagement with WPO’s programs. She achieves this by developing innovative and creative content for WPO’s websites and social media channels, as well as through marketing material and promotional events. Esther works with external videographers and photographers to develop the video content and visual identity of ASTAR.TV. In doing so, she helps promote brand adoption among youth, and provides them with context on current issues that affect their daily lives..

bethel worku

Administration and Partnerships Assistant
Bethel Worku

Bethel provides high level administrative support to help WPO implement its strategy and programs. She also provides general administration support to the WPO team and coordinates internal and external partnerships. Bethel’s responsibilities include offering logistical and operational support for a range of on-campus events and activities. Before joining WPO, she was employed in accounts and administrative roles. Her previous position was an administrative and facilitative role at Curtin University where she also completed a Bachelor of Commerce.

Rafaela Pandolfini

Administrative Assistant
Rafaela Pandolfini

Rafaela provides administrative support to Mary Teague, the WPO Head, and to other WPO staff. She also provides logistical and operational support for a range of on-campus events and activities. Rafaela has previously worked in a range of administrative and support roles in the public sector, including for the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the College of Fine Arts at UNSW.