Following in her footsteps: Women who keep study and work in the family (Part Two)

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Sarah and Amanda Sarah Sammut and Amanda Foster

This article is part two of a series celebrating International Women’s Day and the difference that women make. As part of this celebration, ACU will be hosting five free events across our campuses on 8 March.

For sisters Amanda Foster and Sarah Sammut helping others always came easily thanks to their strong Catholic upbringing. It made a career in teaching a natural step for them both.

Amanda commenced a Bachelor of Education at ACU in 2000, when she decided the Catholic education sector was where she wanted to be. She then went on to study a Master in Education (Student Wellbeing) at Melbourne University.

“It’s an honourable job, and the way we care for people is part of the way we were brought up and is a key aspect of the Catholic mission,” she says.

Sarah, who is three and a half years younger, agrees: “Teaching provides me with an opportunity to give back daily.”

After completing a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Education with ACU, Sarah began a Master of Arts (Theology) in her first year of teaching and is now working on a Master of Leadership while teaching full-time.

Both Sarah and Amanda are Religious Education Leaders in their schools and have held various leadership positions throughout their careers.

Sarah says her sister’s experience at ACU definitely influenced her career choice.

“We have very different personality types, so I wouldn’t say I deliberately followed in her footsteps,” says Sarah.

“But she’s a most supportive older sister, she has always encouraged all my endeavours and dreams.

“Seeing her succeed, and seeing her so passionate, happy and challenged, certainly cemented my decision to become a teacher.”

Sarah admits that working full-time and studying is sometimes challenging.

“Life is all about balance, but all good things come from hard work,” she says.

“I study late at night, on weekends and over school holidays.

“A sense of expectation around opportunities is far better replaced with a work ethic of pursuing opportunities and creating your professional reality from your hard work.”

The sisters today enjoy the fact that they are in the same profession.

“It’s great being able to bounce ideas off each other and engage in educational debates,” says Amanda.

What the educational and professional experiences of these two women show is that if you’re onto a winning formula, stick with it; you won’t regret it.

Celebrations for International Women’s Day are gearing up across ACU on a national scale with major events planned for 8 March in Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. This is a great opportunity for ACU alumni to reconnect and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Register for these events