A highlight of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders Victoria Branch is the annual celebration and presentation of awards. ACEL VIC honours those educational leaders who in the view of their peers have made a significant contribution to the understanding and practice of educational leadership.

To assist in this process, we urge all ACEL VIC members to consider nominating worthy candidates for recognition of their leadership and service to education. The award nomination process is confidential until completed, and nominations have been approved. The ACEL VIC Awards committee will evaluate nominations with respect to the essential criteria.

The ACEL VIC awards committee will contact successful nominees on the completion of the process. In all cases the Committee Convenor will also contact all nominators in relation to the outcome of their nomination. Nominators seeking further information or assistance should contact the ACEL National Office at branch@acel.org.au to obtain contact details for the VIC Committee Convenor.

The ACEL VIC Debbie Locco Leadership Award

Coralee Pratt, President of ACEL Victoria and the Victorian Branch Executive are proud to announce the inclusion of a new annual award to recognise and perpetuate the memory of the life and work of Debbie Locco FACEL (Vic).

Debbie Locco, a highly esteemed ACEL Fellow was tragically killed in a traffic incident in May 2020. Debbie was known to thousands of Victorian educators through her career as a teacher, principal and system leader. After her principalship, Debbie worked as a Senior Advisor, Area Director, Executive Director of School Improvement and Acting Regional Director. The impact of Debbie’s work in these roles has been huge and will endure.

Debbie was an outstanding role model for all educational leaders, and women particularly. She modelled the characteristics of a high performing leader including integrity, empathy and humility. She empowered others on their leadership journeys and was a constant source of encouragement and authentic support.

Nominations must be received by Friday 30th July 2021


The ACEL VIC Hedley Beare Educator of the Year Award

This award acknowledges the exceptional legacy made by Professor Hedley Beare to Australian and International education. Hedley was an inspirational and pragmatic leader who had experience of educational leadership at every level. His many achievements include creating the Northern Territory and ACT Schools’ Authorities, a Harkness Fellow, a Doctor of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness (ICSEI), National Patron of ACEL, recipient of the ACEL Gold Medal (1991) and William Walker Memorial Orator (1998).

The ACEL VIC Hedley Beare Educator of the Year Award is presented to an outstanding ACEL member who is a ‘true educator’, upholds and contributes to the aims and objectives of ACEL, promotes ACEL activities and excels as a leader within an educational setting.

The ACEL VIC Brian Caldwell Research Award

This award acknowledges and pays tribute to the scholarship and work of ACEL Victoria Patron Professor Brian Caldwell (FACE, FACEA). Brian is an outstanding and influential scholar whose work has played an influential role in reshaping thinking, policy and practice about educational leadership nationally and internationally. The recipient of this award is presented to an ACEL member and teacher, principal or academic who has made an important and distinctive research contribution to educational leadership, policy and/or practice in Victorian education.

The ACEL VIC Debbie Locco Leadership Award

This award acknowledges and perpetuates the memory of the life and work of Debbie Locco FACEL (Vic). Debbie was an inspirational and influential educator who played a pivotal leadership role in empowering and shaping future leaders. The recipient of this award is an ACEL member who has demonstrated Debbie’s passion, energy and commitment, to inspire current and future leaders and members of the profession, to engender the best possible educational outcomes for children and young people.

The ACEL VIC Media Award

This award is presented to a journalist from the print, radio, online or television media who has made an outstanding contribution to raising the level of public awareness and the quality of debate on significant local, state and/or national education issues.

Fellowship Awards

ACEL presents Fellowships to those who have made outstanding educational leadership contributions to ACEL and/or whose work has influenced educational practice at a state and/or national level.

Nominees for ACEL VIC Fellowships must be members of ACEL with at least five years standing, or if retired, must have been a member of at least five years standing at the time of retirement. (Please note, however, that the Committee may waive this condition and accept a shorter period of membership in the light of special circumstances or other evidence provided.)

Any member of ACEL in the field of educational leadership or education may be nominated for an ACEL VIC Fellowship. Nominees are also expected to have made an active contribution to ACEL. Members receiving fellowships are permitted to use the post nominal FACEL (VIC).

Evidence needs to be mapped against the following criteria.

Australian Professional Standard for Principals:

  • Leading teaching and learning
  • Developing self and others
  • Leading improvement, innovation and change
  • Leading the management of an organisation
  • Engaging and working with the educational, wider community and/ or profession

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