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Education leaders make their mark


Six leaders in Catholic Education South Australia have been recognised for their work as emerging leaders by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL). 

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Each year, the South Australian branch of ACEL honours educational leaders who in the view of their peers have made a significant contribution to the understanding and practice of educational leadership.

The 2021 awards were presented at a ceremony at Government House last month, with the 2020 award winners also recognised due to last year’s ceremony being cancelled due to COVID-19.

Recipients in 2021 included Dr Neil McGoran, director of Catholic Education South Australia who won an SA Educational Leadership Award for commitment beyond his current role. Capabilities include high-level educational outcomes for himself and others, and the ability to inspire, influence, and implement change in an innovative manner.

Sr Jill Havey OP AM

Sister Jillian Havey OP AM, who retired as principal of St Dominic’s Priory College, North Adelaide, in 2019, also received an Educational Leadership Award. Sr Havey retired in 2019 after almost 50 years. SA Premier Steven Marshall paid tribute to Sr Jill, acknowledging that her unshakable belief in the potential of every student had empowered graduates to pursue their dreams with confidence and to continue making a positive contribution to the South Australian community.

Kerry White, principal of Holy Family Catholic School, Parafield Gardens, and Alice Dunlop, acting deputy principal of McAuley Community School, Hove, both received the SA Fellowship Awards. Kerry was recognised for transforming the small Catholic parish school to a growing and thriving primary school. Under Kerry’s leadership, the work of school staff has been recognised internationally.

Alice has been a teacher and leader for 11 years, currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Science and Mathematics Education. An Active member of ACEL, Alice was acknowledged for her passion for ecological sustainability.

The winners of 2020 Pip Fields Emerging Leader Award, which included Patrick Harmer and Rebecca Baker, were also recognised at this year’s ceremony.

The Pip Fields Emerging Leader Award is presented to an emerging educational leader in their first 5 years of a designated leadership position, who has demonstrated outstanding educational practice in the classroom and leadership that has made a significant difference to colleagues and students.

Patrick is deputy principal of Cardijn College, Noarlunga Downs, and has made a significant contribution to student outcomes and the professional development of staff. His passion is school improvement in Learning Environments and Wellbeing.

Rebecca Baker, assistant principal – Learning & Teaching, Thomas More College, Salisbury Downs, has been in her current role since 2018, after beginning her career as a Visual Arts teacher in 2010. During that time, Rebecca has worked across many areas towards a holistic change in college practices through developing key strategic goals across curriculum, subject offerings, wellbeing and transition programs, learning areas and more.


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