A montage of the people behind the awards — Dr Roger Hunter OAM, Dr Alan Druery OAM, Ms Merline Muldoon, Dr John Dwyer, 
     Dr Joe McCorley OAM, Professor Betty Hazel Watts OBE

Top row: Dr Roger Hunter OAM, Dr Alan Druery OAM, Ms Merline Muldoon.
Bottom row: Dr John Dwyer, Dr Joe McCorley OAM, Professor Betty Hazel Watts OBE.

Award eponyms

Celebrating 50 years of service

As the QCT celebrates 50 years of a teacher regulatory authority in Queensland in 2021, we have been reminded of the passionate intellectual commitment and contribution of so many to the early establishment of the Board of Teacher Education, and the ongoing development of teacher registration and associated processes in Queensland through the subsequent Board of Teacher Registration and Queensland College of Teachers.

In 2021, the TEACHX awards provide an additional reminder to celebrate not only the excellence of current teachers but to also recognise the many teachers who have served to establish and develop the teaching profession in Queensland. While we have had many examples of servant leadership throughout the 50 years of the QCT and its predecessor institutions, we have honoured six as eponyms for our awards.

These six individuals have between them devoted 86 years of service and leadership to the BTE, BTR and QCT. Four of them have led the Board as Chair, and the other two have each served for 23 years and 22 years respectively with significant periods as Deputy Chair. The significance of the work of these professionals is honoured each year through the TEACHX Awards.

The Queensland College of Teachers began its annual Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2009 as a way of acknowledging the outstanding work of Queensland teachers, and of informing the broader public of this work.

The first two eponyms, after whom the awards were named, were Dr Roger Hunter OAM and Dr Alan Druery OAM. Both Drs Hunter and Druery have served the profession of teaching and initial teacher education in Queensland for decades.

Dr Roger Hunter OAM

Dr Roger Hunter OAM began his teaching career at age 22 in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. He then worked in teacher education in PNG, New South Wales and at Griffith University in Queensland. He completed a Bachelor of Education, a Masters Degree with Honours, and a doctorate in America.

He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, and has served as President of Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ), as Executive Director of Lutheran Education Queensland, and as Adjunct Professor at Griffith University.

Dr Hunter served the Queensland College of Teachers and its predecessor the Board of Teacher Registration for 23 years, and much of that time as Deputy Chair. He resigned from the Board in 2015 and remains actively involved in the work of the QCT and in education in Queensland.

Dr Alan Druery OAM

Dr Alan Druery OAM completed his initial teaching qualification in 1955, and followed with a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Educational Studies, and a Master of Educational Administration.

He taught in both primary and secondary schools and began as Secretary for the Brisbane Catholic Education Council in 1970. As the first CEO and later Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Dr Alan Druery was, until his retirement in July 2001, an active advocate for the State’s Catholic education system for more than 50 years.

His leadership achievements also include McAuley College, which later became part of Australian Catholic University (ACU), where he served on the Senate for 20 years, the Archdiocesan Education Council, and 22 years’ service to teacher regulation, much of it as Deputy Chair with the QCT’s predecessors, the Board of Teacher Education and the Board of Teacher Registration. He has received honorary doctorates for distinguished services from both Queensland University of Technology and Australian Catholic University.

Ms Merline Muldoon

Ms Merline Muldoon was the first Chair of the Board of Teacher Registration when it was established in 1989 and served in this role until 1996. Ms Muldoon was a passionate advocate for teacher registration and in the late 1960s was at the forefront of the Queensland Teachers’ Union campaign which led to the establishment of teacher registration in this state. Ms Muldoon began teaching in 1954. As principal of West End Infants State School in the 1970s, Ms Muldoon helped turn the school into a unique educational environment to meet the needs of children from multicultural and underprivileged backgrounds. She ended her formal career as principal of the Royal Children’s Hospital State Special School in Brisbane. The Merline Muldoon Innovation in Teaching Award was established in 2019.

Dr John Dwyer

Dr John Dwyer has over 60 years’ experience in education and training, including as a teacher, principal, inspector, director and consultant. Dr Dwyer served on the Board from April 1988 to June 1989, and was appointed as Chair in 1997, a position he served until 2005. Dr Dwyer began his teaching career at Ironside State School and went on to become principal of a number of state schools, including Cherbourg, where his experience led him to specialise for some years in the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Dr Dwyer was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Queensland University of Technology in 1998. The award for Excellence in Leadership in Teaching and Learning was established in 2012.

Dr Joe McCorley OAM

Dr Joe McCorley OAM chaired the QCT Board from late 2009 until mid-2017. Dr McCorley’s professional career began in 1961 as a state primary school teacher and he later became a District Inspector of Schools. In 1980 he joined Catholic Education as Supervisor of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Rockhampton and was appointed in 1989 as the first lay Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese. He went on to become the Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. In 1995 he was awarded an OAM for his services to education and in 2008 was awarded an honorary doctorate by Central Queensland University. The Dr Joe McCorley award for Outstanding Contribution to School Community was established in 2018.

Professor Betty Hazel Watts OBE

Professor Betty Hazel Watts OBE made a significant contribution to Queensland’s educational landscape. Twice Chair of the Board of Teacher Education, a predecessor to the QCT, Emeritus Professor Watts was Queensland’s fourth female professor — progressing from teaching primary school students to shaping higher education at the University of Queensland with a strong focus on Indigenous and special education issues. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire — Officer (Civil) in 1976 for her service to education. The Professor Betty H. Watts Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Teaching was established in 2011.

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