If anyone needed living, breathing proof of how valued a school's support staff is you'd need look no further than Tahlia Moran.
The 13-year-old is a member of Illawarra Sports High School's student representative council - and could not be more proud.
But in the pride stakes, Tahlia probably comes a distant second to student learning support officer Skye Lenard.
"My role was to make Tahlia feel welcome, supported and comfortable settling into high school," Ms Lenard explained.
"Right now I'm over the moon to see like the difference in Tahlia - being in that supported setting has helped her thrive," Ms Lenard said.
To the extent that Tahlia delivered a speech to her whole year group to earn selection on the student council.
"Tahlia is now a respected member of the SRC and helps contribute to the decision-making of the school. it's enormous."
Now Ms Lenard has moved off the casual payroll into a permanent position, thanks to the NSW Department of Education's Temporary Workforce Transition Initiative. It began as a Labor election promise and has now evolved into a government program.
"I have always known I wanted a career that gave me a sense of purpose. Now I have job security for the future."
And she's not alone. The Berkeley school has nine teachers and six support staff who have previously worked on year-long contracts (or even term-long contracts) now in permanent roles.
Across the state 9000 teachers and 7700 school support staff have accepted permanent contracts as the government attempts to reverse the casualisation of the education workforce.
Another at the sports high is school administration support staffer, and library assistant, Theresa Sirl.
Just like Ms Lenard, she has been at the school a little over four years when she was offered a permanent position.
Having come from an admin background in a different sector, Ms Sirl first worked in the office before she found her happy place - the library.
"I just love working there. From helping the teachers to helping the students, it's just a very wonderful place to work."
Of course there's the added extras, too - from ensuring the library provides a positive learning space to adding to the school vibe.
For Ms Sirl, it's a give and take relationship.
"The Year 12s came in on their last day wanting photos and I was lucky enough to do their gowns too - size them up, put their sashes on them and all," Ms Sirl said.
"It was special."
All that the two women add to the school community is not lost on onetime PE teacher and now principal Kerrie Powell.
"We are blessed to have been able to move support workers like Skye and Theresa into permanent positions," she said.
"It takes a special kind person to be a support officer. Whether it's in the mainstream or with students who have difficulties - whether that be behavioural, learning or physical - they make school life so much better for so many," Mrs Powell said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.