​Top prize awarded at Victorian Education Excellence Awards

​​A primary teacher with a passion for improving children's wellbeing has taken out the top prize at the 2016 Victorian Education Excellence Awards.

Outstanding Primary Teacher Award-winner Jacqui Gore, from Warrnambool Primary School, was selected from nine category winners to receive the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education.

In addition to those awards, the independent judging panel was so impressed with the Indigenous inclusion program Ms Gore developed and led, that Warrnambool Primary took out the Outstanding Koorie Education Award.

Changing the Tide @ Jamo was developed with the help of local Elders, and he​lps build cultural pride and connections with both the school and the wider Warrnambool community.

Jacqui has also designed a program focussed on teaching children life lessons with an emphasis on being good global citizens, and another that explicitly teaches 34 areas of wellbeing aimed at strengthening children's emotional intelligence and resilience.

Jacqui said she was overwhelmed and proud to receive the awards.

'I'm very shocked to be honest, and it makes me very proud of my school and the opportunities available to our students and it has spurred me on to do even better in the future.'

Jacqui, who has taught at Warrnambool Primary School for 18 years, said she believed educators could make a genuine difference to the lives of students.

'So many of our kids now, they're dealing with really heavy stuff at an early age and they don't have the skills to deal with that,' she said.

'So if we can give them those skills to help them to have a successful life — I mean, what more can you do as educators?

'I have big dreams and sometimes I wonder if those dreams can be achieved, but I have to start somewhere, and I believe that with the programs I've implemented within my school, change is happening.'

Jacqui joined 36 other individual and team winners across nine categories at the awards event, which recognised the outstanding principals, teachers, business managers and school support staff who are helping make Victoria the Education State.

Each category winner received professional development and research grants ranging from $20,000 to $25,000, with Ms Gore receiving an extra $20,000 for winning the Lindsay Thompson Award.


List of winners:​

​​​​​Outstanding Koorie Education Award​

Warrnambool Primary School

Outstanding Inclusive Education Award

Williamstown North Primary School​

Outstanding School Advancement Award

Tallis Street Campus - Northern Bay P-12 College

Outstanding Education Support Team Aw​​ard

Maryborough Education Centre – Specialist Setting

Outstanding Business Manager Award

Shirley Niblett, Lara Sec​​ondary College​

​​​Outstanding Primary Teacher Award

Jacqui Gore, Warrnambool Primary School

Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award

Hayley Dureau, Mount Waverley Secondary College

Outstanding Primary Principal Award

Jenny Manuel, Wilmot Road Primary School

Outstanding Secondary Principal Award

Peter Corkill, John Monash Science School

Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education

Jacqui Gore, Warrnambool Primary School

​For more information, see: Victorian Education Excellence Awards​