Sharon Crapp, User Support Officer, IT Campus Support Hawkesbury/Kingswood Team

Sharon Crapp, User Support Officer, IT Campus Support Hawkesbury/Kingswood Team and her two childrenI have been working as a User Support Officer at the University since 1998. My role is to provide computing and IT help to staff and students. It's a great job and I really enjoy the interaction with my clients.

In 2006, when I had my first child Jessica, I was able to take 12 months leave and be with her in that very important first year. I had 40 weeks maternity leave at half pay and then a combination of annual leave and leave without pay. The paid maternity leave was important because it took away any financial worries and let me concentrate on looking after my baby.

After the year's leave, I took advantage of the part-time return to work after maternity leave provision. For 30 weeks I worked 4 days a week on full pay. This phased return to work eased the shock of going straight from full time mother to full time worker.

My return to work was also made easier because I was able to get Jessica a place in the Hawkesbury Child Care Centre and also because I had paid lactation breaks. Being able to pop into the Centre and see her was fantastic.

In 2008 when I had my second child Caitlin I took another 12 months maternity leave and again came back on the part time return to work after maternity leave provision.

I am now back working full time and my girls are in the Hawkesbury Child Care Centre. I really appreciate the generous leave provisions at Western Sydney University that have enabled me to spend time with the girls when they were babies. My team at work and IT Directorate have also been very supportive and continue to allow me to work flexibility to meet the needs of the family.