On Friday night, hundreds of inspiring educators representing both the public and independent schooling sectors converged at the second annual Australian Education Awards 2019 at Dockside Sydney.
The annual event was attended by 571 of Australia’s leading principals, department heads and teachers who cheered on their colleagues and celebrated the profound impact that Australian educators are having on the lives of the nation’s young people.
Sandra Sully, one of Australia's most trusted news presenters, delivered a classy performance as MC on the night. Sully, the editor and host of 10 News First, occasionally had to playfully shush the room of excitable attendees, each vying for 24 award categories that spanned the inspiring work being done in the fields of student wellbeing, curriculum design, STEM, innovation and more.
St Pauls School took home the Compass Education Australian School of the Year Award. Last year, St Paul’s School won the School Principal of the Year – Non-Government award, Atomi’s Best Innovation in Curriculum Design, Best School Strategic Plan and Best Professional Learning Program.
The spotlight also shone on Haileybury’s principal and CEO, Derek Scott, who was named the Microsoft Education Australian School Principal of the Year Award. In last year’s awards, Haileybury was named Australian School of the Year and Primary School of the Year – Non-Government for the profound work the school is doing across teaching, learning, innovation and student wellbeing.
The runner-up to the prestigious award was Paul McDermott, Blue Haven Public School principal, who was highly commended by the panel of esteemed judges.
Lisa Scobie from Kurri Kurri High School – who has helped transform the delivery of its curriculum through the redesign of learning spaces and class structures – was awarded The Educator’s Rising Star of the Year – a tightly contested category that recognises positive impact on students’ learning experiences, a commitment to professional development and the potential to become a future school leader.
Entertaining the guests between the night’s formalities were the Gotham City Horns whose funky tunes made sure the dancefloor was full and the night ended on a high.
AEA 2019 winners
- Best Co-Curriculum Program - St Andrew's Anglican College
- Best Professional Learning Program - Haileybury
- Smart Teachers Best School Strategic Plan - Saint Stephen's College, Coomera, QLD
- Best STEM Program - Taminmin College sySTEMic Collaboration Team
- Best Student Wellbeing Program - Mount View High School
- Teachers Mutual Bank Best Use of Technology - Callaghan College
- Boarding School of the Year - Wesley College, Perth
St Margaret's Anglican Girls School
- Department Head of the Year - Jason Fischer, Haileybury
- The Educator Education Rising Star of the Year - Lisa Scobie, Kurri Kurri High School
- Innovation in Curriculum Design - Ormiston College
- Innovation in Learning Environment Design - Redeemer Lutheran School, Nuriootpa
- Sound Scouts Primary School of the Year – Government - Blue Haven Public School
- Primary School of the Year - Non-government - St Paul's School
- Primary School Principal of the Year - Government - Paul McDermott, Blue Haven Public School
- Primary School Principal of the Year - Non-government - Sally Ruston, Abbotsleigh
- Regional School of the Year - Kangaroo Island Community Education
- School Principal of the Year - Government - Tim Lloyd, Plumpton High School
- JB Hi-Fi Solutions School Principal of the Year - Non-government - Derek Scott, Haileybury
- Secondary School of the Year - Government - Liverpool Boys High School
- Civica Secondary School of the Year - Non-government - Ballarat Clarendon College
- Special Education School of the Year - Giant Steps Australia
- Teachers Mutual Bank Teacher of the Year - Tony Vallance, Lilydale High School
- COMPASS EDUCATION AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL OF THE YEAR - St Paul's School
- MICROSOFT EDUCATION AUSTRALIAN SCHOOL PRINCIPAL OF THE YEAR - Derek Scott, Haileybury
- Highly commended: Paul McDermott, Blue Haven Public School
Given the sweeping policy changes, scandals and burgeoning workloads facing the K-12 education sector in 2019, bringing the industry together to celebrate achievements is more important than ever.
Many of those who attended the awards gala commented on how inspiring it was to see all sectors and school types represented under the one roof.
For The Educator, witnessing hard-working principals, department heads and teachers putting aside the pressures and demands of their roles to celebrate with one another was indeed special, and we appreciate your help in making the night a success.
Congratulations to all the winners, those highly commended and all the finalists – with hundreds of applications for the awards, simply making it to Dockside was a significant achievement.
We’d also like to thank all our judges, presenters and award sponsors. Got your eye on a trophy? The countdown to the 2020 Australian Education Awards begins now.