Interview: Salma Zarook

I recently caught up with Salma Zarook, one of the talented tutors from our Point Cook campus, to ask her a few questions about work and life...


I tutor English, maths and humanities at Five Tuition's Point Cook campus.


I love the relationships I form with my students. I love how this role gives me an opportunity not only to teach but to be a friend, a confidante and a supporter, as being a tutor means not only inspiring students to excel academically but personally as well. There’s nothing better than seeing a student build their confidence, enthusiasm and independence alongside their knowledge!

What are you doing at Uni this year?

I'm in my last year of a Bachelors of Arts at Melbourne University, majoring in Creative Writing and International Politics. 

What are you hoping to do in the future?

I am planning to do a Masters of Teaching in 2016. I hope to teach English and humanities at a secondary level.

Our wide access to knowledge is often taken for granted and gaining knowledge can sometimes be seen as a mundane task rather than an opportunity.

What are some of the greatest challenges you think students are facing at school these days?

One of the biggest challenges I think students face is a lack of motivation. I think much of this stems from students not having a vision and not realising how knowledge can help them achieve that vision. Our wide access to knowledge is often taken for granted and gaining knowledge can sometimes be seen as a mundane task rather than an opportunity. Without a vision, there is little to truly energise a student to work hard, to put time and effort into their studies.

That’s one of the reason why I feel having young relatable tutors is so beneficial. Students can see exactly how the knowledge comes into use and the different pathways it can take them. They are able realise exactly what their efforts can manifest into through the example of their tutors.

What can parents do to help their children thrive at school?

Encourage their children to dream as big as possible and show them that it is possible to EXCEL in anything they want to do if they set their mind to it!

What's the head scarf you wear, and why do you wear it?

The headscarf I wear is called a hijab and is an expression of my Islamic faith. Muslim women wear the hijab to deter the focus from the outer to the inner, encouraging people to look beyond the superficial aspects of a person and see their personality, humanity and intellect. Our religious text, the Quran, also emphasises the importance of women being recognised  and respected as Muslim women essentially become the ambassadors of God through their identifiable sign of faith. But above all, I wear it because I believe in a benevolent God and believe that whatever He asks, He does so out of love and in our best interest.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

I would change the strength of our empathy. So that we can no longer watch devastation unfold, grow used to it and change the channel. Desensitisation would not be an option.  

If you were stuck alone on a boat for five days and you could only take five things, what would you take?

  1. A good novel
  2. A large supply of tea
  3. A notebook
  4. A change of clothes
  5. A stick of cinnamon (I find the scent strangely comforting!)

We'll be sure to have some cinnamon at our Point Cook campus whilst Salma's tutoring! A few weeks ago I also asked Salma a few questions about Islam, which turned into a long and interesting dialogue about Islam and Christianity. We're considering turning it into a book! In the midst of some really negative media coverage about religion, we don't take for granted being part of an organisation where people of so many cultural backgrounds and beliefs can work together and learn from one another in peace.

Stay tuned for more interviews and get ready to be inspired.


Interview by Peter Hanley
Founding Director of Five Tuition