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Meet the 2017 Teaching Fellows

Schools Plus is thrilled to announce the 12 inaugural recipients of the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards.

The awards ceremony was held at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, where the outstanding teachers were formally recognised and celebrated as part of the new national Teaching Awards and Fellowship program.

The 2017 Teaching Fellows are:

• Sharyn Angel, Deputy Principal, Shailer Park State High School, QLD
• Chad Bliss, Principal, Canobolas Rural Technology High School, NSW
• Shanti Clements, Principal, Beauty Point Public School, NSW
• Leah Crockford, Principal, Berry Springs Primary School, NT
• Michael Devine, Principal, Western Port Secondary College, VIC
• Wilbur (Charlie) Klein, Teaching Principal, Tjuntjuntjara Remote Community School, WA
• Sarah Mathews, Master Teacher, Brisbane Bayside State College, QLD
• Lesley Mills, Principal, Tabulam Public School, NSW
• Christine Roberts-Yates, Assistant Principal, Murray Bridge High School – Disability Unit, SA
• Craig Skinner, Principal, Calista Primary School, WA
• Belinda Wall, Principal, Woonona High School, NSW
• Eddie Woo, Head Maths Teacher, Cherrybrook Technology High School, NSW


The Fellows come from all over the country and represent a broad cross-section of Australia. They include a former scientist, now high school maths and science teacher, from Brisbane who has transformed her students’ numeracy performance; a maths teacher from Sydney who also happens to be a YouTube sensation; and a West Australian Teaching Principal from one of the most remote schools in the country who has spent over 20 years working in isolated communities and is an articulate advocate for Indigenous learning excellence.

“These 12 outstanding educators go to inspiring lengths to provide the sort of teaching that opens up new possibilities for their students, no matter their backgrounds,” said Rosemary Conn, CEO Schools Plus.

“These Awards show our appreciation for the work they do and shine a light on the exceptional teaching that makes the greatest difference to students and the community.”

Each Fellowship is valued at $45,000, which includes $10,000 for professional development plus participation in a year-long program, including a group visit to Singapore to observe its education system valued at $5,000. Each Fellow’s school also receives $30,000 to put towards a significant project that will improve its students’ performance and wellbeing.

Launched in October last year as a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Bank and Schools Plus, the awards were created to recognise and reward great teachers and principals, especially those working in challenging and socially diverse communities. By sharing their inspirational stories and celebrating their achievements, the Fellowship aims to inspire other teachers and promote excellent teaching practice across Australia.

“All 12 of the men and women recognised as part of this year’s Awards are transforming lives. They’re providing their students with the gift of a great education – a gift that yields benefits far beyond the local school community,” said Ian Narev.

“We’re delighted to be able to recognise and reward them for their work, but, more importantly, we’re committed to helping them expand their programs and the many positive impacts they are delivering.”

To learn more about these inspiring individuals visit www.teachingawards.com.au.

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