Question: Victorian Education Excellence Awards (30.05.2013)

Written on the 11 June 2013

Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) --


My question is also to Mr Hall as the Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession. I ask the minister: what is the government doing to acknowledge best practice in Victorian schools and preschools?



Hon. P. R. HALL (Minister responsible for the Teaching Profession) --


I thank Ms Crozier for her question, and I know of her continued interest in education. As a few of my colleagues have said during the course of this week, last week was Education Week, and Education Week was kicked off by the annual Victorian Education Excellence Awards. I was pleased to be able to go there again and acknowledge the fine work that is being undertaken within Victorian schools by teachers, principals, allied support staff and those who assist in the governance of schools through school councils.


Victoria has about 555 000 students who attend government schools, about 1537 government schools and 40 730 teachers, as well as 15 000 support staff, so by any measure it is a big industry. The education excellence awards give us an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work of all those categories of teachers, principals, support staff and broader school communities. I might add that while there can only be a few winners, the excellence of those winners reflects the abilities of members of these professions throughout the sector. I acknowledge that while there were only a few winners, we should all feel proud of the quality of people who serve in Victorian government schools.


It was a great night, and there were a number of award winners. I am not sure I have time to mention all of them; I know some of my colleagues have. Chris Barry won the Lindsay Thompson Fellowship.


Chris is an outstanding young teacher at Brentwood Secondary College who has developed an aviation applied learning program, which I know is of interest to the Minister responsible for the Aviation Industry. The School Leadership Team of the Year award was won by Dandenong North Primary School, a school I would encourage members to visit to see an excellent example of how the school works with newly arrived immigrants and refugees to the Australian community. It does a great job.


Primary Principal of the Year was Charles Branciforte from Keilor Views Primary School. Secondary Principal of the Year was Bronwyn Harcourt of Croydon Community School. I committed to Bronwyn to be principal for a day at that school later in the year, and I am looking forward to it.


The Outstanding Partnerships with Families and Communities award was won by Huntly Primary School.


An award I know Ms Crozier is very interested in is the Outstanding Youth Pathways and Transitions award, which was won by Berendale School and Montague Continuing Education Centre, a fine team of schools in her electorate.


The News Australia Outstanding Curriculum Innovation award was won by Bendigo Senior Secondary College. The Education Support Team of the Year award was won by Cowes Primary School. The bankmecu Business Manager of the Year award was won by Mary Hannett of Chandler Park Primary School.


One award that I know is of particular interest was for Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank Teacher of the Year -- Disability and Additional Needs, which was won by Amanda Purcell of Forest Hill College. She is the coordinator of the deaf facility at that college and has introduced Auslan as a language-other-than-English subject across the college so that students are able to engage with those who are deaf and hard of hearing at that school -- a great initiative.


My colleague Ms Lovell mentioned the Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank Early Childhood Teacher of the Year award earlier in the week. It was won by Louise Fitzpatrick Leach of Ouyen Preschool. The Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank Teacher of the Year -- Indigenous Education award was won by Janet Barnard from Swan Hill Primary School.


The Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank Primary Teacher of the Year was Rebecca Spink from Aitken Creek Primary School. Finally, the bankmecu Secondary Teacher of the Year was Britt Gow from Hawkesdale P-12 College.


It is truly a night where excellence in education is celebrated. As I said, the award winners reflect the great abilities of the many teachers who serve their students, their families and the Victorian people very well indeed.

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