Engaged Parent Network

The Engaged Parent Network (EPN) is a network of staff and students facilitated by Dr Dorothea Bowyer, and supported by Professor Deborah Sweeney, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation.

The network looks to support a positive, collaborative, inclusive and family friendly culture at Western Sydney University by focusing on the ‘4C’ objectives - Culture, Community, Coaching and Collaboration. The EPN also looks to assist parents and carers in maintaining momentum and an upward career trajectory through coaching and collaborative activities, and providing opportunities for staff to network and connect around shared experiences.

Engaged Parent Network (EPN) Yammer Group
THE EPN has an active Yammer group for staff to share ideas and resources on how to positively manage working from home alongside their parenting and/or carer duties. The EPN welcomes parents and carers from all areas of our diverse University community. This network has continued to grow with membership now consisting of over 140 academic and professional staff. You can join the network by visiting the EPN Yammer Group.

Student Parent Group (SPG)
A Student Parent Group (SPG) is currently being established where there will be a digital space to connect, provide support and share ideas with other students who are juggling work/study/parent/carer responsibilities. A WSU Student Parent Union Facebook group has recently been established which you are welcome to join now, with more information being posted here soon.


Current Coaching, Training and Events

Mum and Daughter Studying

The EPN, in partnership with the DVC Research, Enterprise and International and the Office of Equity and Diversity is hosting a series of tailored coaching sessions for staff and student parents looking at key challenges and strategies for parents and carers who are managing work and caring responsibilities during COVID-19 and beyond.

The second online coaching sessions will run two separate sessions tailored for Academic and Professional staff and cover topics such as:

  • Maintaining and re-gaining momentum whilst in a carers role.
  • How to refocus on engagement/governance/teaching and research output after the COVID disruption.
  • Getting back to ‘normal’ - how to strategise and prioritise.
  • Motivational techniques and tips – maintaining motivation from the home office and coping with change when returning to campus.

Coaching Facilitator

These coaching sessions will be facilitated by Dannielle Spokes, Director,  Equal Opportunity, who is a leader in the field of people, performance and culture strategy and implementation. She has over twenty years experience in creating strategic solution based partnerships within both private and public industry.

Dannielle's background in leadership and coaching; organizational development; talent management; employment and anti-discrimination law; corporate responsibility; social justice; continuous improvement; law; mediation and investigation; the community sector and learning and development solutions, and has regularly worked with Western Sydney University over the years in various senior and advisory roles.

To register, select the Register Now link next to the date that you would like to attend below. Please register for one session only.

These are family friendly online events and places are strictly limited to the first 15 registrations in each Session.

Coaching Session 4 - for WSU Academic Staff 
Date: Monday 27 July 2020 - closed
Time: 11am (1 hour duration)

Coaching Session 5 - for WSU Professional Staff 
Date: Wednesday 29 July 2020 - closed
Time: 11am (1 hour duration)

Coaching Session 6 - for WSU Student Parents 
Date: Friday 14 August 2020 - REGISTER NOW via WesternLife
Time: 1pm (1 hour duration)

For more details on registrations or enquiries relating to Coaching sessions, please contact Katie Hayes via katie.hayes@westernsydney.edu.au


Previous Coaching Sessions, Training and Events

Managing Work and Parenting During COVID-19 and Beyond – May 18th, 20th and 26th 2020.
These sessions focused on finding the right balance between work, parenting and mental health and wellbeing in the post COVID world. The sessions were facilitated by Dannielle Spokes, Director Equal Opportunity with two sessions held for staff and one for students.

‘Balancing Parenting & Work’ in Higher Education - June 18th 2019.
This session focused on increasing the ‘visibility of parenting’ at WSU. Interactive discussions around ‘parenting in HE’ with a focus on the impact that a ‘career break can have on professional identity’ were held. Guest speakers from various Schools participated.


Other Resources


For more information about the EPN:

If you would like to know more information about the Engaged Parent Network (EPN) or the Student Parent Group (SPG), please contact Dorothea Bowyer via d.bowyer@westernsydney.edu.au or Briony Laws via b.laws@westernsydney.edu.au