From remote regional towns to major city suburbs, 12 inspiring teachers and school leaders are today being celebrated for their exceptional work in the profession and an unwavering contribution to their students, the school and the wider community.

Their extraordinary programs of work include an immersive virtual reality experience to explain chemistry concepts, consulting with local Indigenous elders and leaders to implement their language into the school curriculum, and obtaining students’ input on their future subjects so they can be more engaged and find meaningful employment.

The annual Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards, co-presented with Schools Plus, celebrate and reward educators with the aim of inspiring excellent practice in schools across Australia, with a focus on helping to address the education gap in areas of disadvantage around the country.

Now in its fourth year, the awards are one of Australia’s most prestigious prizes for educators. Each recipient will receive a $45,000 fellowship, which includes $10,000 for their own professional development, $25,000 to roll-out a new education project in their school, and participation in an overseas tour to study a high-performing international education system.

The 2020 Fellows

In lieu of an Awards Ceremony this year, Teaching Fellows will be sent their awards via post. The 2020 Teaching Fellows are:

  • Scott Sleap, Deputy Principal at Cessnock High School, NSW
  • Jacklyn Roberts, Principal at Bakewell Primary School, NT
  • Chris Buswell, Higher Order Thinking Coach, STEM Coordinator Teacher at Mountain Creek State High School, QLD
  • Jay Page, Technology Specialist and Pedagogy Coach at Goodna State School, QLD
  • Sharon Case, Head of Teaching and Learning at Mossman State School, QLD
  • Wendy Goldston, Teacher, Program Coordinator at Frenchville State School, QLD
  • Julie Murphy, Principal at Elizabeth Vale Primary School, SA
  • Scott Dirix, Senior Leader of Alternative Programs at Salisbury East High School, SA
  • Warren Symonds, Principal at Mount Barker High School, SA
  • Jennie Vine, Assistant Principal at Wooranna Park Primary School, VIC
  • Matthew Knight, Principal at Cobram Primary School, VIC
  • Lisa Young, Teacher at South Kalgoorlie Primary School, WA

These 2020 winners will now join 36 alumni from previous years who have been nationally recognised as leaders and experts in their field, and who have made a real difference to their local community.

Changing lives

Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said: “Now, more than ever, the critical role teachers play in our society is clear. These 12 new Teaching Fellows embody the commitment of Australia’s educators to our students. We welcome them to the Fellowship and look forward to giving them a platform to share their practice and ideas on how to change the lives of students, particularly those who are most in need.”

Nathan Barker, Head of Community Investment at Commonwealth Bank, said: “It’s been an extremely challenging start to the year for educators across the country, so with greater reason today, we recognise those who go above and beyond for their students every day.

“The Commonwealth Bank Teaching awards not only honour educators’ incredible work in engaging young minds to learn, but also recognise a dedication to teaching in areas that need it most. Their work has not only made a positive and tangible impact in students’ lives, it has had a ripple effect throughout their schools, families and local communities.”