My name is Natalie Philpott I am a newly appointed DEC scholar. I was born in the rural country town of Orange, I then moved to Boowora which is a little town with a population about 1500. I went to Boowora central school which is k-12. Having graduated there I then went to the University of Wollongong and studied a Bachelor of mathematics education.

I was originally studying International Studies at the University of Wollongong and then after a year I was doing that, I somehow decided, "nope this isn't for me", maths teaching sounds like a good idea.

I have been working with the New South Wales Department of Education Millennium marching band, since I was in high school and the teachers in that band were just fantastic and they really inspired me to look into teaching. My year advisor from my high school was just amazing and the support and encouragement they gave me made me think that teaching is a really good career to get into, so I got into it.

I've always loved maths even, when I was doing international studies I had my calculator with me at University and I just couldn't let it go so it's pretty clear that maths was where I was going to end up.

I found out about the DEC's scholarship program when I was in my second year of my maths education degree. Some of the girls I was studying with were part of the program and they found out about it when they were in high school. I thought this sounds really good, you get paid for a few years and then you walk out of university with a guaranteed full time position. It takes so much of the stress off everything from the classes to graduation.

So far beginning teaching I've had really good experiences at the school I've taught at. All the staff are really willing to help and offer support and there's always someone around that you can ask.

To someone considering applying for the Department scholarship I recommend you to just do it. It's such a relief to know that when you graduate you have a full-time job and you don't have to apply for jobs, and worry "will I or won't I get it". You know it's there, you know your future is very secure.

To someone considering doing maths teaching I say welcome to the club. It's a really rewarding subject and it's got its challenges, but it's also really good and we always need more maths teachers around.

Teach and make a difference.