As you would be aware, we had to postpone the 2020 awards, and we are planning on combining the 2020 awards with the 2021 awards. To acknowledge the excellent work of our 2020 award winners, I will be showcasing our winners in these fortnightly updates.

Warren Symonds
ACEL SA Branch President

Pip Field Emerging Leaders Award: Patrick Harmer
Patrick leadership of the teaching staff at Cardijn College have resulted in significant reforms throughout the college. These included the successful implementation of new requirements under the NCCD including staff development, effective management of data, direct support for special education staff, whole of staff commitment to Numeracy and Literacy and Action Research using student perception data to improve learning environment and student self-efficacy. Patrick is highly regarded by the staff for his leadership and commitment to supporting students and staff.

2020 ACEL SA Educational Leadership Medal: Deb Merrett
Deb has demonstrated excellent educational leadership in developing and implementing numerous significant educational initiatives and influencing educational policy in SA, leading to improved outcomes for students and educators. In her recent roles of Executive Leader Professional Practice Learning Improvement Division and Program Leader, Leading Learning Design, Teaching and Learning Services, Deb co-led the state strategies of the Results PLUS professional learning program for school leaders [2015 - 2018], the Learning, Design, Assessment and Moderation [LDAM] Strategy for the Primary Years, the redesign of the Sport and Water Safety unit and the design of the Learning Improvement Division officers professional learning program 2018 and 2019. Also, Deb co-designed and provided ongoing, customised and targeted Partnership professional learning working with 65% of Local Partnership leader groups over the last 5 years, focusing on developing leadership capacity to design whole site pedagogic change for improvement strategically.

A significant role Deb held, that had long term impact was her leadership of the negotiation, design and execution of the first state leaders' day, the 2014 Collective Action Conference. This launched a new model for professional engagement of 1000 SA site and system leaders.

Additionally, Deb was instrumental in developing resources to support the innovative SA's pedagogy framework TfEL:

  • TfEL Compass student and peer online survey tool
  • TfEL annual Teachers' Companion - 160,000 requested copies in the last 6 years
  • Leading Learning—Making the Australian Curriculum work for us' online resource - used in 106 countries
  • Leaders CORE instructional leadership materials

In these leadership roles, the outcomes Deb achieved are high level. Through strategic leadership actions, she genuinely partnered with and led the learning of site leaders, teachers, Education Directors and central office leaders in the development of a whole-of-system focus on pedagogy to lift the achievement of South Australian learners.


Your Full List of 2020 Awardees:

The Alby Jones Gold Medal Award 2020:

  • Simon Murray OAM

ACEL Educational Leadership Medal 2020:

  • Karen Fitzpatrick
  • Peter Mader
  • Deb Merrett

ACEL (SA) Fellowship Award:

  • Meredith Edwards

The Pip Field Emerging Leaders Award:

  • Martyn Anderson
  • Patrick Harmer
  • Rebecca Baker

The ACEL (SA) Distinguished Contribution to Research in Educational Leadership Award:

  • Associate Professor Mathew White
  • Emeritus Professor Kay Whitehead

The ACEL (SA) Media Award:

  • Tim Williams
  • Rob Johnson