Victorian Education Excellence Awards celebrate Victorian schools

A principal who helped the class of 2018 achieve the best results in their school's history and a primary school supporting Koorie culture and achievement were among the winners of the Victorian Education Excellence Awards (VEEA).

The VEEA ceremony coincides with 25 October on World Teacher's Day. The evening recognised inspirational teachers, principals, business managers and education support staff.

Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education

Mordialloc College principal Michelle Roberts won the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education for making the most outstanding contribution to Victorian government school education.

Michelle also won the Outstanding Secondary Principal Award which recognised her hard work to improve academic excellence at the school. Her 2018 Year 12 class achieved the best VCE results in the school’s history.

‘I see it as being a fantastic recognition for the school, and all of my staff, students and parents, that we can all celebrate this together,’ Michelle says. ‘It’s been a journey that everyone’s been prepared to commit to, and we should all feel really proud. It’s not about me; it’s about the school.’

Winning for making a difference

The Inclusion Support Team at Clifton Springs Primary School won the Outstanding Education Support Team award.

The team developed three programs to support students’ wellbeing. The Just Right Zone program focuses on emotional regulation in the classroom. Just Right Zone posters in the classroom ask students to check if they feel “too fast” or “too slow” and suggest activities they can do to feel “just right.”

The Life Skills program helps students learn skills for life beyond school like communication, transport and socialising. The sensory motor program is a set of sensory activities for students to complete outside of the classroom. This helps them meet their sensory needs and focus in class.

Inclusion support leader Tammy Corless says the programs have been positive. ‘We’ve seen improvements in students’ attitudes towards school and their social outcomes,’ Tammy says.

Birmingham Primary School won the Dr Lawrie Shears Excellence in Global Teaching and Learning Award.

Partnering with Monash University, the school teaches global education subjects to help students understand their place in the world.

Students learn to value similarities and celebrate differences among cultures. They develop ethical decision-making skills to become successful global citizens.

The school participates in international exchange programs welcoming students and staff from countries including Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, China and India. They also participate in the Future Problem Solving Program, where they study issues such as disappearing languages and animal welfare across the world.

‘We’re proud of our efforts to embed intercultural understanding and global mindedness across our whole school community and are happy to share what we’ve learned with other schools,’ says Principal Trish Enzinger.

Thornbury Primary School won the award for Outstanding Koorie Education for their work to support and promote Koorie culture, inclusion and achievement.

Principal Leon Bell says, ‘We believe that by accepting and understanding different cultures, we can create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.’

Every student at Thornbury has a weekly one hour lesson in Woiwurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri people. Wayapa, a mental health and wellbeing program, connects students to culture and the land of the Wurundjeri people.

Leon says these programs have helped form relationships with the wider Koorie school community. ‘They represent our commitment to honour the trust placed in us by Koorie families and make Thornbury a place where their children can thrive,’ Leon says.

Visit VEEA to see the other winners and finalists.