Education awards for extraordinary service to education

 Nine outstanding educational leaders and a journalist were recognised for their exceptional service to education, at a dinner at the National Wine Centre on Friday 20 May 2016.

The first South Australian branch of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) awards night was held in 2006 with about 30 people attending. In 2016 we had 154 guests for canapés and drinks, followed by a presentation dinner at the National Wine Centre.

Guests for the evening included:

  • The Hon Dr Susan Close, Minister for Education and Child Development
  • Dr Jim Watterston National President Australian Council of Educational Leaders
  • Hon Greg Crafter, ACEL (SA) Patron and Mrs Crafter
  • Mr Tony Harrison Chief Executive Department for Education and Child Development
  • Ms Monica Conway, Assistant Director Catholic Education South Australia
  • Mr Peter Lind Registrar Teacher’s Registration Board of South Australia
  • Ms Aasha Murthy ACEL CEO
  • ACEL National Board members, Keith Newton, Tony Roberts, Ann McIntryre, Christine Cawsey, Kevin Richardson and Dr Deb Kember

Three categories of awards were presented:

The Alby Jones Award was presented to Professor John Halsey, who is currently Professor of Rural Education and Communities at Flinders University in South Australia, and Senior Associate, Centre for Relational Learning, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Professor Halsey’s work and commitment to rural education and communities is framed and grounded by the challenge of vibrant, productive rural communities being integral to Australia’s (and the world’s) sustainability. Population growth and an increasing preference for urban living linked with the challenges of food security, water supply, energy sufficiency, environmental health and territorial security underpin this position. Professor Halsey believes that in order for rural communities to survive, prosper and be the innovative places and spaces Australia requires, it is essential that children, families and communities can readily access high quality education and care. Rural educational leader and teacher formation is therefore critical to achieving this as is ensuring rural communities are valued and supported by governments and policy makers.

This award acknowledged meritorious educational leadership achievements and recognises an educational leader whose achievements have shown exceptional merit in areas of major concern to Dr Alby Jones, after whom this award is named.

Educational Leadership medals recognise exceptional educational leadership in a school, sector or system were awarded to:

  • Ms Marilyn Clark, Preschool Director, Balara Park Kindergarten and President of the Preschool Directors Association of South Australia
  • Mr David Edwards, Principal, Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish School, Pennington SA
  • Ms Wendy Johnson, Principal, Glenunga International High School SA
  • Ms Christine Hatzi, Education Director, Department for Education and Child Development
  • Ms Panayoula Parha, former Principal Norwood Morialta High School.

The ACEL SA Pip Field Emerging Educational Leadership Medal, Inaugural Award 2016 was named in honour of Phillipa (Pip) Field (FACEL) to perpetuate the memory of her life and contribution to the Australian Council for Educational Leaders in South Australia and nationally, and to emerging leaders in education. It acknowledges an emerging leader in their first five years of leadership.

The Pip Field Emerging Educational Leadership Medals were awarded to

  • Ms Olivia English, Acting Principal, Padthaway Primary School
  • Ms Rebecca Huddy, Principal, Westport Primary School

The awards were presented by Mr Chris Field and Mr Rob Field, brothers of the late Pip Field.

The ACEL (SA) Media award was presented to Ms Martina Simos, The Adelaide Advertiser, in recognition of her advocacy for education and reporting on the positive contribution that education makes to the lives of children and students. Martina’s journalistic style reflects her passion for education. She is positive and supportive of school leaders, teachers and students. Her creative and proactive journalism has resulted in both promoting the importance of education and in providing educational resources for thousands of leaders, teachers and students in South Australia.

The ACEL SA Distinguished Contribution to Research in Educational Leadership - Inaugural Award 2016 was presented to Associate Professor Robert Hattam, School of Education, University of South Australia; Associate Head of School: Research, Director of the Centre for Research in Education, and Leader of the Pedagogies for Justice research group.

Associate Professor Hattam is acknowledged in this award, for his significant contribution as a researcher, in both creating new work, and using existing work, to generate tools for critical thinking by practitioners in relation to the educational practice of leading schools. He asserts that how we engage with or for teachers and students in dialogue about education is as important as establishing future directions and enacting them. His contribution to educational leadership is focused on the ways we think about education and leadership in order to think critically and identify possibilities for better ways to work together for the benefit of students and the professional learning of teachers and leaders.

The South Australian Branch of ACEL believes it is important to acknowledge excellence in educational leadership and positive reporting on educational matters in the media and recognises the important work of educators in leadership roles at a classroom, school or system level.

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