Wednesday 10 October 2018


Twenty-seven of Queensland’s most inspirational teachers have been named as finalists in prestigious state teaching awards.

The finalists include teachers from the Gold Coast to Cairns who have:

  • championed non-mainstream students for more than 40 years
  • revitalised an Indigenous language
  • paired kindergarten students with aged care residents and an Indigenous elder
  • changed careers, including from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and from science and medical fields, to bring their real-world experience into the classroom
  • brought in a Holocaust survivor to teach students about human rights
  • introduced a system to help quadriplegic students communicate
  • helped special education students attain jobs in the ADF
  • provided work experience which has kept graduates in mining towns
  • inspired dozens of girls to join a tech club
  • changed the way teachers and students have been communicating for more than 100 years
  • taught kindergarten students sign language, which they use in an acknowledgement of country every morning.

The winners of the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) Excellence in Teaching Awards, which are the only state government awards that recognise teachers from all schooling sectors statewide, will be announced on October 25, on the eve of World Teachers’ Day celebrations in Australia.

QCT Board Chair Emeritus Professor Wendy Patton congratulated each of the 27 finalists on their exceptional practice and the difference they have made.

“Queensland has exceptional teachers right across the state, in all sectors of schooling,” Emeritus Professor Patton said.

“The finalists have made extraordinary differences in their communities and it is a privilege to be able to highlight and share their work,” she said.

“I’d also like to thank the hundreds of teachers who were nominated for the awards for their teaching excellence. Your achievements and the difference you are making are to be celebrated and valued.”

The finalists in the five award categories include: (For their stories visit the QCT Teacher Stories website)

Excellence in Beginning to Teach

Jack Burrows, Coomera Rivers State School

Mweisi (Moy) Carra, C&K White Rock

Kylie McKenna, Brightwater State School

Lachlan McKenzie, Eidsvold State School

Dean Ryschka, Queensland Academies — Health Sciences Campus, Southport

Ian Vogt, Yeronga State High School

Excellence in Teaching

Natalie Harris, Pacific Pines Primary School

Kathleen Heath, Hervey Bay Special School

Wendy Mercer, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School

Ollie Narbey, Ithaca Creek State School

Melanie Ralph, Indooroopilly State High School

Rachael Tranter, St Monica’s College, Cairns

Excellent Leadership in Teaching and Learning

Majda Benzenati, St Hilda’s School, Southport

Stephen Crapnell, All Hallows’ School

Ida Pinese, St Stephen’s Catholic College, Mareeba

Mia Pinnington, Coomera Rivers State School

Megan Rauchle, Emerald North State School

Outstanding Contribution to School Community

Elissa Brinckman, The Sycamore School

Narelle Dawson, Bribie Island Community Kindergarten

Matthew Hartigan, Marsden State High School

Jessica Walker, Yeronga State High School

Gemma Whapham, Moranbah State High School

Outstanding Contribution to Teaching

Stephanie Furlong, Cairns State High School

Gail Newman, Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School

Colin Orevich, Australian Industry Trade College

Shona Press, Marymount College, Burleigh Waters

Jane Sleeman, Queensland Academies — Health Sciences Campus, Southport

For further information please contact QCT Media and Communications Manager Tanya Chilcott on 3377 4776 or 0499 10 53 63 , or Public Relations and Marketing Officer Jessica Schwilk on 3377 4790.