Release type: Media Release


Rewarding contribution to quality schooling

Ms Nicolette Burraston, a science teacher from New South Wales, has been awarded the Medal of Distinction at the 2008 National Awards for Quality Schooling.

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, presented the science teacher from Cowra High School and 58 other teachers, principals, support staff and schools across Australia with awards today at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

Ms Burraston has made a significant contribution to future generations early in her career by motivating and engaging students in the study of science.

Enthusiastic and inspirational teachers like Nicolette are the key to students having rich and rewarding experiences in science classes.

The Rudd Government is committed to delivering an Education Revolution, and has invested over $1.1 million in prize money for the awards.

A world class education system is crucial to ensuring our national prosperity into the future.

Research has shown that the most important factor in determining a child’s likely performance at school is the quality of their classroom interactions.

These awards are important for building a better understanding and greater appreciation of the work done in our schools.

As part of the Education Revolution, the Rudd Government has directed $400,000 to research in an effort to identify the best ways to reward quality teaching.

Australians need to encourage, support and recognise the important work of educators in our society.

A list of the winners is attached. More information is available

Photos are available from 4pm at:


2008 Australian Government National Awards for Quality Schooling

The seven major Award winners and their prize money amounts are:

Excellence by a Beginning Teacher, Recipient of Medal of Distinction

Nicolette Burraston, Cowra High School, NSW

Excellence by a Teacher

Carolyn Hayden, Lambton High School, NSW

Excellence in Teacher Leadership

Richard Nash, Ithaca State School, QLD

Excellence by a Principal

Peter Holcz, Mindarie Senior College, WA

Excellence by a Support Staff Member

David Simpson, Bonya School, NT

Excellence in School Improvement,

Owairtilla School - Canteen Creek, NT

Excellence in Family-School Partnerships

Kuranda District State College, QLD

The highly commended winners are:

Excellence by a Teacher -

Highly Commended

Kevin Bennett SC, Kent Street Senior High School, WA

Rebecca Chapman, St Benedict's Catholic Primary School, WA

Ramona Elliott, Willetton Senior High School, WA

Kerri Furlong, Mitchelton State High School, QLD

Noel Gibson, Bracken Ridge State High School, QLD

Graham Herlihy, Robina State High School, QLD

Mark Howie, Penrith High School, NSW

Julie Lambert, Seaford 6 -12 School, SA

Sarah Long, All Saints Anglican School, QLD

Rebecca Lowe, Kingaroy State High School , QLD

Ken McBeath, Campbelltown Performing Arts High, NSW

Emma Medhurst, Salisbury High School, SA

Robert Pratt, Campus Kindergarten, QLD

Kerry Short, Wanganui Park Secondary College, VIC

Andrew Thomson, Balgowlah North Public School, NSW

Excellence by a Beginning Teacher -

Highly Commended

Jennifer Bergstrum, St Aidan's Anglican Girls' School, QLD

Excellence in Teacher Leadership -

Highly Commended

Deborah Gilbert, Bulahdelah Central School, NSW

Elena Hawkins, Australian Technical College North Queensland, QLD

Suzan Hirsch, St Patrick's Catholic Primary School, Asquith, NSW

Leanne Randolph, Forest Lake State High School, QLD

Debra Turley, Salisbury High School, SA

Excellence by a Principal -

Highly Commended

Amanda Bell, Brisbane Girls Grammar School, QLD

Cherie Lutton, Fraser Primary School, ACT

David Morris, Northern Beaches State High School, QLD

Gavin Power, Springfield Primary School, WA

Steven Salamon, Maylands Peninsula Primary School, WA

Gail Dyer, Belmore South Public School, NSW

Paul Erickson, Kingswood High School, NSW

Excellence by a Support Staff Member -

Highly Commended

Maureen Bailey, Australind Senior High School, WA

Vicki Belletty, Kawana Waters State College, QLD

Helena Hewish, Seaford 6-12 School, SA

Desley Insall, Collingwood College, VIC

Trevor Muller, Murgon State High School, QLD

Margaret Papertalk, Aranmore Catholic College, WA

Karen Thomson, Blackwood Centre for Adolescent Development, VIC

Excellence in School Improvement -

Highly Commended

Bellaire Primary School, VIC

Birrong Girls High School, NSW

Boondall State School, QLD

Boulder Primary School, WA

Canberra College , ACT

Carroll College, NSW

Copperfield College, VIC

Eastwood Heights Public School, NSW

Keithcot Farm School, SA

Solomontown Primary School, SA

St Paul the Apostle Catholic Primary School, NSW

St Thomas the Apostle Primary School, ACT

Torquay Primary School, VIC

Wallan Primary School, VIC

Excellence in Family-School Partnerships -

Highly Commended

Greenwich Public School, NSW

Longreach School of Distance Education, QLD

St Michael's Parish Primary School, VIC