School: Milpera State High School
Number of years teaching: 50 years
Adele has been at the helm of Brisbane’s school for refugee and migrant students since it opened in 1984 — a role that has not only led to national recognition as an expert in multicultural education, but earned her the endearing name of ‘Mother Milpera’ from the young people who credit her for helping create a better life in Australia. Although the school was devastated during the 2011 floods, Adele took the six-month relocation in her usual calm and accepting stride — encouraging students from more than 120 countries to find their feet after often highly traumatic experiences, while inspiring colleagues and a network of volunteers to follow in her footsteps. Through her vision of compassion and perseverance, Adele has been awarded a Churchill Fellowship and established a study program that has equipped the next generation of specialist ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers to continue her legacy.