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Become a PASS facilitator

Facilitator profiles and awards

Our PASS facilitators are students committed to improving the learning experience of their peers. They develop valuable skills in leadership, communication, time management, stakeholder engagement and more, giving them a competitive advantage and foundation for a successful career.

Find out where some of their journeys have taken them, and see how they have benefited from their PASS experiences. Join us today and be the leaders tomorrow.

Kate Coffey

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies (Finance and Business Information Systems)
Degree completion: 2021
Years active in PASS: 3 years (2019-2021)
Subject(s) facilitated: BUSS1030 )Accounting, Business and Society), FINC2011 (Corporate Finance I), FINC5001 (Foundations in Finance)
Current position: Consultant, Oliver Wyman

How did you benefit from PASS?
Working as a PASS Facilitator was the perfect job for me throughout university. It gave me a solid foundation of transferable skills while being flexible and introducing me to a great bunch of friends. As a facilitator I learned how to lead in a collaborative style, hear from different perspectives and draw people into conversations, which is something I continue to try and adopt in my current day to day.

Having to prepare and develop questioning strategies and activities for each session gave me the chance to practice organisation skills and learn to manage various deadlines and tasks. Then having to alter and adapt these questions to meet the needs of each session allowed me to practice flexibility and agility, which is especially crucial stepping out of university into a graduate position. PASS has given me a solid foundation in communication, collaboration and problem solving as I’m grateful for the experience as I look towards solving new problems, in new teams in the future.

Sakilan Gopalarajah

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce (Business Analytics, Accounting)
Degree completion: 2022
Years active in PASS: 2 Years (2020-2021)
Subject(s) facilitated: ACCT2011 (Financial Accounting A), ACCT6001 (Intermediate Financial Reporting), ACCT6008 (Managerial Accounting and Decision Making)
Current position: Business Analyst, Kearney

How did you benefit from PASS?
PASS provided me with significant practical and professional experience that I could leverage successfully in the workplace. PASS primarily helped me hone my communication skills which are critical in management consulting. The ability to read other people and adapt your communication style is a core foundation behind effective communication in the workplace and I was able to train this skill every day at PASS. The ability to facilitate discussions and ask strategic questions in PASS is also instrumental in the workplace, especially when you learn to adapt and think on your feet, something I do every day in the workplace. Finally, the PASS environment instills a strong professional demeanor which prepares you for the rigor of the workplace whilst still being a place where you can make many friends. PASS was a great place to work, learn, and grow, I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat.

Jonathan Gu

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) (Hons I)
Degree completion: 2019
Years active in PASS: 3 years (2017-2019)
Subject(s) facilitated: ECOF1003 (Understanding Business), ECOF1004 (The Business Environment), BUSS1001 (Understanding Business)
Current position: Research economist, Productivity Commission

How did you benefit from PASS?

PASS was a vital part of my university experience that equipped me with skills that I use daily when managing stakeholder relationships in the workplace. Being a facilitator required me to create an empathetic and welcoming classroom atmosphere where students felt that they could share their views and ask questions without judgement. Facilitating PASS also involved the use of questioning strategies to prompt students to think deeply about topics and discover new insights about accounting or economic concepts. I use these interpersonal and questioning skills frequently, particularly when consulting with stakeholders to understand their perspectives, or when analysing the nuances of complex economic issues.

The time management and teamwork skills that I developed from PASS have also been crucial to my current role. Facilitating PASS required careful planning to ensure that materials were relevant to the course, timely and as engaging as possible, all while balancing the demands of my own personal full-time study. It also involved being a team player, being available to provide suggestions to other facilitators to improve their sessions and accepting their suggestions. In the workplace, I use the same time management skills to meet the multiple demands that arise during my own policy research, while also finding the time to provide constructive views to help inform work by other team members.

Lastly, I am very grateful for the opportunities for further skills development that PASS offered outside of facilitating. This included working as the PASS Social Media Manager, which required taking the lead in creating relevant content for students and marketing the strengths of the program. It gave me the opportunity to develop my photography and graphic design skills, both of which have helped with my work responsibilities when designing graphics for reports and presentations. Working as the social media manager also gave me exposure to social media data and analytics, which I use when exploring alternative data for policy areas where conventional data sources are absent.

Masood Darwish

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce/Juris Doctor
Degree completion: 2017
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2016-2017)
Subject(s) facilitated: LAWS1023 and LAWS5005 (Public International Law), LAWS5006 (Torts and Contracts II)
Current position: Graduate Policy Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Working as a PASS facilitator has enabled me to develop a plethora of valuable skills that I need in the workplace. Being able to communicate effectively is a quintessential skill to facilitate PASS sessions and also a key element for my current work practice. I am required to concisely articulate my views, decisions and thought processes, both orally and in writing, to engage a diverse range of audiences. I have developed exceptional interpersonal skills during my journey as a PASS facilitator. Such skills are instrumental in my current role as I need to constantly liaise, negotiate and manage expectations of various stakeholders from diverse cultural backgrounds.

I have also developed transferable skills like effective teamwork and collaboration, which are essential in my current role where I work closely on a daily basis with colleagues in my team and across multiple divisions on complex tasks and assignments. The continual process of providing and receiving constructive feedback as a facilitator has adequately prepared me for a working environment where consistent feedback and consultation is at the centre of improving productivity and work processes.

It requires demonstrated leadership and organisational skills to facilitate a PASS session. Such skills are pivotal in my current role where I take the responsibility of managing multiple projects and important events. Creativity and analytical abilities are fundamental to developing an engaging yet intellectually stimulating PASS agenda. This analytical rigour and creative drive is crucial to my current position, especially for academic-oriented and research-intensive tasks including forming multifaceted solutions to novel problems, developing briefs, writing reports, constructing assessments and contributing to research papers.

Adam Hanssen

Degree: Juris Doctor
Degree completion: 2016
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2015-2016)
Subject(s) facilitated: LAWS 1012 and LAWS 5001 (Torts), LAWS5006 (Torts & Contracts II)
Current position: Lawyer, MinterEllison

PASS provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to develop a wide range of skills. I improved my communication skills greatly, working as a PASS facilitator. I also improved my ability to empathise with students and identify the issues that they faced. Furthermore, I was able to advance my analytical skills to break down complicated legal issues to comprehensible and relevant concepts. I worked with other facilitators as a team to drive sessions aiming to identify and overcome key difficulties in the study of law. I learned the importance of working in a team and striving to achieve consensus on difficult matters. I also learned to accept and implement constructive feedback. Finally, preparing for sessions required significant organisational skills. This allowed me to further develop my ability to manage time and competing deadlines.

Ivan Li

Degree: Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
Degree completion: 2016
Years active in PASS: 4 years (2013-2016)
Subject(s) facilitated: LAWS1015 (Contracts), LAWS1017 (Torts and Contracts II), FINC2011 (Corporate Finance I), FINC2012 (Corporate Finance II), FINC5001 (Capital Markets and Corporate Finance)
Current position: Lawyer, MinterEllison

Working in the PASS team helped me grow throughout my university years, both personally and professionally. This experience played a significant role in preparing me for the workplace. It developed my ability to deal with tricky situations as I constantly found myself being 'put on the spot' and forced to 'think on my feet' during a PASS session. Being a PASS facilitator not only challenged me to gain a deeper understanding of course content, but also honed my ability to be able to deliver ideas and concepts succinctly and clearly without dominating a discussion, a skill that is becoming increasingly valued in the workforce. PASS also provided me with a variety of leadership opportunities, such as being a team leader, statistical analyst and assistant coordinator. Over time, these experiences and responsibilities have really built up my confidence in everything that I do and made a lasting impact on my life including my current work.

When it came to apply for jobs, I found my experience at PASS highly valued by potential employers for the soft skills that I have developed during the course, for example, interpersonal skills, leadership, time management, professionalism, working effectively in a team or receiving and giving feedback to others. Joining the PASS team has provided me the perfect opportunity to develop these skills, and equipped me with a myriad of impressive examples to answer interview questions.

Another key benefit, often overlooked, as part of the PASS team that is the people you meet. The PASS program enabled me to meet other facilitators who are the most genuine, friendly and fun people I've met at university, and also alumni who have become lawyers, judge's associates, investment bankers, consultants and many other amazing professions. I had already become part of a far-reaching network before I started a full-time job.

Winnie Liu

Degree: Juris Doctor
Degree completion: 2016
Years active in PASS: 2 years (2015-2016)
Subject(s) facilitated: LAWS5002 (Contracts), LAWS5004 (Criminal Law)
Current position: Solicitor, Herbert Smith Freehills

Being a PASS facilitator was one of the most enriching experiences for me at Law School. The program connected me to like-minded individuals who shared a common goal of enhancing student learning. Through PASS I had the opportunity to engage with students and the faculty to improve learning outcomes and negotiate greater access to learning resources for those students. PASS teaches you to be organised and forces you to think on your feet. PASS facilitators are leaders and mentors who not only provide academic support but also offer guidance and advice to students in the process of transitioning to university life. As the law team leader, I was able to further develop my leadership skills through working with and learning from Jess and an incredible team of facilitators. PASS is a highly valued program in the Law School. My experience as a PASS facilitator enabled me to take on a position as a tutor in Contracts in 2018. In addition to all the above, PASS makes excellent conversation during interviews. It would be a wasted opportunity not to discuss it with your interviewer!

Our PASS program is the most awarded program in the Australasian region. Over the past 11 years the program has won consecutive awards, across the institutional, national and international levels.

The program has greatly enhanced peer education and student engagement, and contributed to the overall satisfaction of our students’ university experience. Students from the University of Sydney Business School and Law School have been recognised for their contributions in the 2018 Australasian Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) Leader Awards.

Australian PASS award winners

Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Program - 2020 International Centre for Supplemental Instruction, University of Missouri

The International Centre for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri, in Kansas City, has chosen Sydney's PASS as this year's Outstanding Supplemental Instruction Program.

PASS at the University of Sydney, has grown since its implementation in 2005 to provide 200+ hours of support with a weekly capacity for 3600+ students. PASS will be implemented in 32 units in 2020, supporting core and transitional units in the Business School, Law School and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The impact of PASS is significant with not only a consistently high participation rate, but also enhanced student academic performance and a high satisfaction rate amongst students and facilitators.

Read more about the award for our PASS program.

Anastasia Radievska - 2018 Australasian PASS Leader Award

Anastasia has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment not only to building her own skills as a facilitator, but also to delivering an active learning environment for her peer participants. Her focus on student collaboration has required Anastasia to cultivate strong questioning techniques and engaging materials to allow students to learn on a deeper level; both of which are the essence of the PASS model.

In addition to her in-class strategies, Anastasia’s commitment goes beyond the classroom as she manages the administration and execution of timetabling for the entire team each semester. She embodies the true spirit of the PASS program and it is an honour and a privilege to have someone so engaging and dedicated to student learning in the Sydney Law School.

University of Sydney Business Law Team: Karen Gan, Bryan Dai, Luna Jia and Stephanie Noronha - 2018 Australasian PASS Team Award

Under the mentorship and guidance of their team leader, Karen Gan, the Business Law team has contributed significantly to the academic achievements of both their undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts, as well as well as helping students develop their critical thinking skills.

The challenges faced by this team were plentiful, including facilitating a high percentage of international students, and facilitating a unit with challenging reading materials. The strategy and emphasis was consistently on collaboration to transform the traditionally independent self-study of law into one that the PASS model prescribes; an active learning environment.

The University of Sydney Business Law PASS team are truly deserving of the honour of this award.

Rita Mikhael - 2017 Australasian PASS Leader Award

Rita Mikhael was awarded the Australasian Outstanding Senior Leader prize for her exceptional contribution to peer education. Rita quickly became an indispensable member of the PASS team through her contribution in multiple role as facilitator, discipline team leader and PASS mentor during 4 years.

Rita’s true embodiment of the PASS spirit shines through her professionalism, superior interpersonal skills and communication skills which have allowed her to cultivate strong relationships with her peer students and university academic staff. Her demonstrated interest in the welfare of her colleagues, students and PASS program, as a whole, makes her a valuable asset to not only her discipline teams, but also the wider PASS community.

Law Team - 2016 Australasian PASS Leader Award

Law Team is the second University of Sydney PASS team to be awarded the Australasian "Outstanding PASS Team” of the year, by the PASS Australasian Centre. The team consists of (top - bottom, left - right) Jialu Xu, Henry Cooper, Musood Darwish, Anna de Sterke, Michael Gvozdonovic and Adam Hanssen. The evidence of the team’s success and hard work not only comes through the enhanced grades that their students have achieved but also the extremely positive feedback from all stakeholders. The International Judge, Catherine Unite, from the University of Texas Arlington, commended the team on their understanding of peer learning theory as demonstration by their outstanding performance, commitment and leadership. They deserve such an achievement for their dedication to the student experience and mental wellbeing of their students in these highly competitive courses.

PASS Office

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  • Room 3043, Abercrombie Building (H70), Darlington Campus
Last updated: 27 September 2022

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