We sat down with new School Psychologist Natalia Zarzycka to find out more about her home and family life.
Tell us a bit about how you came to be at Mentone Girls’ Grammar…
Before coming to Mentone Girls’ Grammar I worked in an alternative education setting for boys who have social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. I absolutely loved working with all my boys and I was at my previous school for seven years, but I decided it was time to challenge myself and to try something different.
In addition to this, I have been working in a private practice setting for about five years and my clients range from three-years-old to 21-years-old. I am especially passionate about working with young people who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and I try to help them develop the skills to navigate the complex social world.
Where did you go to high school?
I went to Presentation College, Windsor before transitioning to Mac Robertson Girls’ High School.
Tell us about your family and/pets?
I have two dogs, but over the years I have also temporarily provided a home to many dogs and cats who have been rescued from pounds. When I was involved in animal rescue I offered pets a foster home and helped them to find loving forever homes.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
The bravest thing I have done is travelled overseas by myself. This was an incredibly daunting experience, but I ended up meeting some incredible people with whom I have become very close to.
Finish this sentence “I am at my happiest when…."
I am happiest when I am spending time with my family, friends or my pets. I also love travelling and immersing myself in other cultures.
What would the girls be surprised to know about you?
Last year I decided that I would try to learn how to skateboard because I had attempted (and failed) many times to develop this skill as a teenager. Given that I talk to young people about having a growth mindset I thought that I should listen to my own advice and challenge myself to acquire this skill. I can happily say that with some perseverance and a positive belief in myself I finally learnt how to skateboard!
What new things would you like to introduce at the School?
I love running wellbeing and social skills classes so if the Junior or Senior School girls have some ideas about topics that are relevant to them I would love to hear from them about this.
What is something you have experienced since joining Mentone Girls'?
At my last school I developed really strong relationships with many of my students so it was an extremely hard decision for me to leave my last school.
However, the girls at MGGS have been so incredibly welcoming and kind to me and I think that moving to MGGS is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have been so astounded by the many strengths and talents that the girls at MGGS possess, but most of all, I am so impressed with how compassionate and considerate they are of others.
Tell us about something you are personally really proud of?
I am most proud of achieving my dream of becoming a Psychologist and helping young people to overcome their difficulties.
Who from history or from the present would you most like to sit down and chat with?
Given that I’m a Psychologist I would absolutely love to sit down and chat with Sigmund Freud, who is one of the most influential figures in the history of psychology.