Follow us on:

Celebrating outstanding commitments to children and young people

02 Nov 2020

On Wednesday, the ACT Children's Week Award ceremony recognised teachers, staff, students and volunteers in ACT public schools who make a difference in the lives of children and young people.

The winners come from a variety of roles within the school community, from students, to learning support assistants and business support officers.

Director General of Education, Katy Haire, had the pleasure of announcing the award winners and personally thanked each for their outstanding contributions.

“It was a great pleasure to join the ACT Children’s Week festivities as we celebrate Canberra’s children and young people and their right to enjoy their childhood.

“We are proud of our students, their parents and carers and our teachers in the way they all responded to these challenges and Children’s Week provides a valuable opportunity to celebrate the rights, talents and citizenship of Canberra’s children,” Katy said.

Award winners of the day include:

Trish Wilkes, with Bryanee and DG
Pictured: Southern Cross Early Childhood School board member, Trish Wilkes, with Bryanee and
Director General of the Education Directorate, Katy Haire.

Nicole and DG
Pictured: Nicole Somerville-McAlester with Maribyrnong Primary School Principal, Andrew Buesnel and
Director General of the Education Directorate, Katy Haire.

Significant Support Award - Nicole Somerville-McAlester

A science teacher at Maribyrnong Primary School, Nicole has created a program to attract female students to STEM subjects, highlighting the value of STEM in their educational and career pathways.

Through collaboration with local community STEM experts, Maribyrnong Primary School students are developing skills in mending or making objects needed by the school community. Students are mentored in matching the needs and skills of the community and canvassing volunteers to run workshops.

Dr West with DG
Pictured: Dr Susan West with Katy.

Intergenerational award (including Exceptional Senior award) - Dr Susan West

Dr Susan West is a volunteer for the Music Engagement Program at O’Connor Cooperative School, she has worked with children, teachers and families across the school community for many years, and most recently, as a volunteer.

Susan’s work in the community has resulted in improved educational, social, health and wellbeing outcomes for students, teachers and the community. Susan’s work has also helped enhance literacy development for students. Children sing regularly and have been inspired to innovate on texts, using known melodies to enhance poetry as well as singing for pleasure.

Nathan Young with DG
Pictured: Nathan Young with Katy.

Significant Support Award - Nathan Young

Nathan is a Learning Support Assistant at O'Connor Cooperative School, who also takes time outside of his normal duties to read to students and encourage those with a range of abilities to engage in sporting activities.

O'Connor Cooperative School Principal, Jenny Loudon said: “Nathan often spends his break time reading with a child - usually mobbed by others wishing to join in.”

Significant Support Award - Jose Bustamante

Jose has been the Building Services Officer at Southern Cross Early Childhood School for 14 years. He cares for the buildings and playgrounds with great pride.

Catherine Dillon, former Principal at Southern Cross Early Childhood School, nominated Jose for the award: “Jose’s contributions to supporting the educational and wellbeing outcomes for children far surpass his role as a Business Services Officer. He contributes to our culture of kindness and always comes from a position of compassion. Jose cares for children,” Catherine said.

Exceptional Young Person Award - Bryanee Mackin-Noy

Bryanee is in her final year of school at Lake Tuggeranong College. She has shown passion and curiosity for learning, engaging with her education and peers through her love for Animal Science and Biology, always attending and participating in all learning opportunities within and beyond the classroom.