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Staff Stories: Nizam Abdallah

DipEd (Secondary Education and Training), BCom (Acc & Acc/Bus Man)

When Mentone Grammar’s Head of Humanities and Commerce, Nizam Abdallah, first stepped into a classroom after a career change from Junior Accountant to Secondary School Teacher, he knew he had made the right decision. Since becoming an educator, Nizam has helped hundreds of students share his passion for Business Management and Accounting, which in turn has resulted in outstanding VCE results. 

Nizam grew up in the beachside suburb of Chelsea, where he attended St Joseph’s Primary School followed by St Bede's College. Throughout his youth, Nizam enjoyed being active, playing football and cricket for the Chelsea Seagulls. His sporting passion has continued into adulthood, where he enjoys hobbies like fishing and watching his favourite football team play. 

Nizam’s parents immigrated from Lebanon when they were teenagers and worked hard to build and run multiple businesses around the Bayside area. Nizam fondly recalls growing up in a large and loving family that encouraged him to work hard to achieve his goals. “Even as a teenager, my parents were pushing me to set aside money for a house deposit and think about the long-term. At the time, I hated it but when I was able to enter the property market at 22 years old, it made sense. I am now so grateful. 

“That’s what I want my students to understand about accounting, how being responsible with their money and building good habits in the short-term can impact the rest of their lives.” Nizam started his career as a Graduate Accountant at KBH Partners Pty Ltd. “I always wanted to be a teacher, but I also wanted to explore the accounting industry first. After three years, I found that the corporate scene didn’t suit me.” He returned to university to complete his Graduate Diploma of Education and stepped into his first role at a government school in Glen Waverley. “I was surrounded by amazing people, teachers and students, and I knew I had made the right move.”

While working as a VCE Examination Assessor, Nizam met Christine Altidis, our Head of Teaching Practice at Mentone Grammar. After hearing Christine talk about the incredible work she was doing, Nizam knew where he wanted to be. “Mentone Grammar has an amazing reputation for excellent teaching practice, outstanding results and a good culture. It’s such a great place for young teachers to develop.”

After just one year at Mentone Grammar, Nizam had achieved outstanding student outcomes and demonstrated an admirable dedication to his work, students and staff. In recognition of his service and skills, he was appointed as the Head of Humanities and Commerce. “The team is so dynamic and hardworking, I have grown so much professionally and personally. We, as a faculty, set high expectations, and I’m proud to lead a team that always wants to improve.” 

The secret to his success? “It’s no secret. We implement various formative strategies in VCE Business Management and Accounting that make the lessons fun but also very effective for student learning. Plus, a lot of hard work by both students and teachers.”

Nizam gets up for work in the morning with a spring in his step. “It’s the students that make my job so enjoyable. They are so respectful, appreciative and keen to learn. What more could I ask for?”

Author: Steph Kinnear

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