Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales Annual Dinner and Presentation of Awards for 2020

With the restrictions of large gatherings caused by the COVID pandemic, 2020 presented a multitude of pressing challenges and our awards presentation ceremony on Friday October 23, was different to any other year. A virtual awards event meant that we continued to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our teachers on World Teachers’ Day.

The evening celebrated the amazing, talented, innovative, progressive and essential work that educators do on a daily basis to ensure Australians have access to and receive the best possible education available.

The Awards event honoured 63 worthy recipients across the different sectors and stages of education. The awards highlight the achievements and diversity of the education profession across our State. This important occasion allowed us to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of all our teachers in an increasingly complex, multicultural and technological society.

This year we were delighted to honour in person, Dr Phil Lambert PSM, National President, Australian College of Educators with the Phyllis Evans Medal for 2020 and to acknowledge the Award Certificates in his honour.

Dr Phil Lambert PSM recipient of the Phyllis Evans Medal for 2020

I would like to particularly thank The Honourable Sarah Mitchell MLC NSW Minister for Education and Prue Car Member for Londonderry, Shadow Minister for Education, for joining our Virtual 2020 World Teachers’ Awards Ceremony. The Teachers’ Guild of NSW thanks the NSW Government on its support and outstanding commitments to ensure our education communities across New South Wales get the representation, recognition, infrastructure and services that they deserve. The Guild thanks Minister Mitchell and Minister Car in providing inspiring words of congratulations for our awardees on their incredible achievements.

The Honorary Fellowship (HFTGN) awards continue to increase the Guild’s Membership profile in acknowledging outstanding educators who have made major contributions both within their mainstream sphere of work and more broadly, across the profession. Our distinguished new fellows join a group of very accomplished leaders, who will provide significant value to our profession and be entitled to use the prestigious post-nominals HFTGN (Honorary Fellow of the Teachers’ Guild NSW).

The Teachers’ Guild of NSW congratulates our Honorary Fellows for 2020.

· Mr Russell Bailey HFTGN

· Mr Keith Dalleywater HFTGN

· Dr Andrew Eaton HFTGN

· Mr Anthony Nolan OAM HFTGN

· Ms Deborah de Ridder HFTGN

Our Awards for teachers in their early years of teaching in 2020 have been very popular and we thank the generous sponsorship by anzuk - providing quality educators since 2004; every way, every day, always in supporting this Award category.

In the Primary School Division, there were four outstanding finalists shortlisted:

· Emma Cullen, St Paul’s Grammar School

· Charlotte Paterson, Georges River Grammar

· Eleanor Reid, Pacific Hills Christian School

· Georgia Scott, Abbotsleigh

The 2020 Primary School Division winner was Charlotte Paterson from Georges River Grammar. The Guild congratulates Charlotte on winning the early career award category for the 2020 Primary School Division.

In the Secondary School Division, there were five outstanding finalists shortlisted:

· Ashley Hanning, Clancy Catholic College

· Rachael Keith, St Gregory’s College Campbelltown

· Holly Millican, South Grafton High School

· Paolo Torresan, Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba

· Taylor Zahra, St Andrews College Marayong

The 2020 Secondary School Division winner was Holly Millican from South Grafton High School. The Guild congratulates Holly on winning the early career award category for the 2020 Secondary School Division.

The Teachers’ Guild of NSW congratulates all our outstanding early career award recipients and we wish them well in their teaching careers.

The Guild Scholarship Prize is donated by the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales for an outstanding student in the second year of the MTeach program at the University of Sydney.

The 2020 Guild Scholarship winner was Clare Wade from the University of Sydney. The Teachers’ Guild of NSW congratulates Clare Wade as an outstanding student teacher and wish her well in the profession.

The Guild Research Award and Teachers Mutual Bank Award were offered to an educator who is currently completing, or has completed, outstanding research of direct benefit to classroom teaching. These awards have also been very popular and the Guild was delighted with the quality of the applications that were presented for consideration.

We thank the generous sponsorship from Teachers Mutual Bank – We put you first, in supporting this Award category.

In 2020, there were ten outstanding finalists shortlisted:

· Christopher Allum, University of New South Wales

· Teneille Biasetto, University of Sydney

· Melissa Carson, Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood

· Matthew Driscoll, Trinity Grammar School

· Dragana Gnjatovic, University of Sydney

· Justin Brayley and Amy Kirk, Newington College

· Helen Kardiasmenos, PLC Sydney

· Eleina Littlejohns, Charles Sturt University

· Jodie Torrington, Macquarie University

· Minami Uchida, Macquarie University

The judges rated the presenters as the best to date, in terms of quality of the presentations made by these amazing educators. Congratulations to all our finalists with their outstanding research towards classroom teaching.

The 2020 Teachers Mutual Bank Award winner this year was shared by Teneille Biasetto from the University of Sydney and Minami Uchida from Macquarie University.

We congratulate both Teneille and Minami on being awarded as joint 2020 Teachers Mutual Bank Award Prize winners.

The Teachers’ Guild of NSW Research Award winner for 2020 was Jodie Torrington from Macquarie University

We congratulate Jodie on receiving the First Prize of The Teachers’ Guild of NSW Research Award for 2020. We wish all our researchers the very best for the future.

The World Teachers’ Recognition Awards citations were presented to outstanding teachers who have made a wonderful contribution to their school in advancing the education profession.

Charlotte Allen- Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Mosman

Theresa Ardler- Trinity Grammar School

Aaron Batterham- St Philip's Christian College Waratah

Scott Bell- Blue Mountains Grammar

Alison Bones- Wentworth Falls Public School

Sherryl Bremner- Brigidine College, St Ives

Brodie Cashmere- St Philip's Christian College

Wendy Croger- Wollondilly Anglican College

Nathan Dumbleton- Barker College

Danie Evans- Blue Mountains Grammar

Peter Evans- Wentworth Falls Public School

Kerry-Anne Faria- Blakehurst High School

Sue Farroukh- Marist Sisters Woolwich

Matt Fletcher- Shore

Carey Furze- FamilyBookform

Ehab Gerges- James Cook Technology High School

Sabrina Jammal- Holy Family Primary School

Kevin Kennedy- St John Bosco College

Alexandra Krause- St Philip's Christian College

Carolyn Lain- PLC Sydney

Ashley Lucas- Trinity Grammar School

Bahia Malas- Blakehurst High School

Elaine Manners- Blue Mountains Grammar

Rebekah Margach- St Philip's Christian College

Belinda Nichols- St Philip's Christian College

John Palmer- Shore

Karen Perrett- St John Bosco College

Amanda Pfeffer- Shore

Jillian Pisano- St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School, Holsworthy

Priscilla Price- Blue Mountains Grammar

Mark Pullen- Penrith Anglican College

Aya Reynolds- Regents Park Christian School

Narelle Valentine- Georges River Grammar

Chloe Vardy- Brigidine College, St Ives

Melinda Wagner- St John Bosco College

Richard Warren- Regents Park Christian School

Darren Zammit- Wentworth Falls Public School

The Guild wishes everyone who works in schools, early childhood and other education settings a very Happy World Teachers’ Day. The recording of the 2020 Virtual Awards presentation has been included in the following link to re-watch, share and celebrate the incredible achievements of our 2020 award recipients https://www.teachersguild.nsw.edu.au/virtual-annual-awards-2020

What Now for the Knowing and Caring Profession

Dr Phil Lambert PSM

As an educator of over forty-three years, I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the knowledge and compassion that is part of the very fabric of our profession. People, like myself, who are drawn to teaching, take great pride in belonging to a profession that demands both knowledge and caring as central tenants and responsibilities.

In 1994 the OECD released its Quality in Teaching report. The report rightfully referred to teaching as the “knowing and caring” profession.

While other professions may lay claim to these qualities, teaching holds both as responsibilities of equal importance.

The noble role of teacher dates back to ancient times. It continues today as civilization has grown and developed through the centuries based on the transition of knowledge, insight and wisdom.

Spiritual leaders and scholars are recognised for the contributions they have made in teaching the multitudes, guiding generations, explaining the mysteries of life and living, and proposing ideas, explanations and solutions.

History has recorded the deeds of a long list of men and women who have made their respective contributions to the transfer of knowledge and educating people about the evolving world.

They have asked the important questions that encouraged and inspired others to explore new lands, the oceans, the air and space to find out the answers and solutions to stubborn issues and wicked problems. They have helped us to better understand ourselves socially, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

The history of human life is also the history of teaching. The learned became teachers elevating their position in society.

Civilisation has grown, matured and been maintained because of teaching. Through the contributions of famous teachers such as Aristotle, Confucius, Helen Keller and Maria Montessori or religious prophets, we are where we are today based on the teachings of these and many other recognised educators. Their words, advice and deeds have guided individuals, societies, nations and global masses throughout history.

Elders have also played a key role in educating younger generations about cultural norms. In some lands these valued custodians of knowledge and lore continue to provide direction and guidance for their people and new knowledge and perspectives for others. We, on this land, have benefitted greatly from our Indigenous elders past and present.

While the responsibilities of teachers are framed by the role once performed by the learned few, the inculcation of knowledge and values to complement that provided by elders and parents, and requirements specified in statutes and legal expectations under loco parentis, teaching is considered a caring profession for a number of other reasons.

Teaching involves nurturing and overseeing the development of the child physically, mentally, emotionally and, where relevant, spiritually.

As the knowing and caring profession, teachers have played a significant contributing role to date in supporting successive generations, society and the Nation by equipping young people with the knowledge, skills, and understandings required.

Teaching today continues to accept this responsibility. Yet what that means now is contextually and significantly redefined.

Teaching 2020 is not simply about equipping students with the academic fundamentals or even guiding individuals into subject areas they are both good at and interested in as a precursor to a future career. It is much more than that.

We have the responsibility, and we inherently know it, to guide and support the individual learning trajectories of students, ensuring they have the fundamentals on which to build further learning, and that they have the skills and dispositions to navigate life for not only the known but the unknown.

The volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous legacy the adults on this planet have created for our young people, referred to by the OECD and others as the VUCA world, has set the imperative for those in and out of schools to equip young people with a number of competencies.

While many of these are embedded in disciplines in one form or another these competencies are being elevated in countries and jurisdictions across the globe in a way not seen in previous times.

Once seen as somewhat important, competencies such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, data literacy, digital literacy, health literacy, intercultural understanding, resilience, respect, responsibility and indeed hope and trust are newly important.

COVID19 has not caused this – it has simply exposed in vivid and at times raw and uncomfortable ways why these competencies are now essential learning.

Such competencies are not the sole responsibility of families or a designated teacher. They can and need to be taught and modelled by all of us whether in or supporting schools – society’s potentially great equalizer.

Teaching is much more than a subject area or a string of subject areas – it is about equipping young people to live and thrive in life and work.

As someone who has lived and breathed education in many different settings throughout an entire lifetime, I understand deeply what makes teaching a truly rewarding career.

The words of Greek orator Pericles, “that what you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others,” best sums up for me the work and contribution of teachers.

When I think of all the children I taught as a teacher and other roles I have had in education I would like to think I made a difference, in a positive sense. Teachers make that same commitment and contribution every day.

Today, here now, we are acknowledging and celebrating teachers selected by their peers as outstanding examples of the knowing and caring profession – they truly deserve the spotlight shining on them today for what they do and who they are.

I am honoured to be in their presence, physically and virtually.