Staff Spotlight – William Simon

William Simon is a self-proclaimed Janeite, Princess Diana enthusiast, Head of English and Languages Facilities and Editor of The Collegiate Press.

What do you love about your job?

I love assisting all students in loving English, enabling them to be proficient communicators, avid readers and civilised and contributing human beings. I love that my job allows me to continue being an uncompromising advocate of integrity: personal, professional, academic, but foremost, textual!

What made you want to study teaching?

Strangely enough, my disillusionment in law at the University of Sydney was a deciding factor. My decision to dedicate myself to education, which I have been doing since the 1980s, was a combination of my personal traits (empathy, compassion, respect, resilience, patience) and my soft skills (passion for books and cinema, wordsmithing, ability to synthesise information and embrace divergent paradigms, and commitment to issues of social justice and inclusivity).

What is one thing you would go back and tell your 14-year-old self?

Be more confident and assertive. Refrain from contributing too excessively and let other young people exhibit! A modicum of panache will not go astray in life. Make sure you match the colour of your silk ties with your lunch. Continue to help others. However, if you want to make money, choose a trade.

What is one thing you would love to do, if you could you do anything?

I would love to be able to sing and lose myself in the beautiful mythopoetic world of opera.

If you could invite anyone to dinner, who would be seated at your table?

I would love to witness the banter between Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen, both erudite and brilliant authors. French President Emmanuel Macron and Hillary Clinton would keep things real. I would love to hear of the quixotic adventures of Alexander the Great, and of course, Princess Diana would add a touch of glamour to the proceedings.