2012 Award Winners

Living the Vision Awards of Excellence Winners

The Awards for Excellence panel met Thursday 7 March 2013. The panel members were Dr Shane Lavery (Notre Dame University), Dr Melinda Harris (former chair of Parent Advisory Committee), Tanya Thuijs, (Principal of St Emilie’s Catholic Primary School), Robyn Miller (Principal Kolbe Catholic College), David Wood (Chief Learning, Teaching & Innovation Officer and Michael Ciccarelli (Chair).

Clare Magee (Liwara Catholic Primary School), Julie Halvorson (Mary MacKillop Catholic Community Primary School), Director of Catholic Education Dr Tim McDonald, Patricia McGregor (La Salle College), Denise Conway (Aranmore Catholic College) and Kelli Jo Schmitt (Bunbury Catholic College) 

The following five awards were recommended by the panel:

In the category 'Learning Adventure'

Liwara Catholic Primary School - Gifted and Talented Children Extension (GATE)

The Coordinator of the program is Clare Magee. This program has been in operation since 2005 and the program’s focus is on reasoning, endeavour, analysing, challenge and higher order thinking. Strong links were made to the Australian curriculum and all staff are involved. The school has worked with internationally renowned thinking skills consultant Mr Graham Watts. The program involves Gifted and Talented Children Extension (GATE). This begins at year three. 

On average there are 12 students from each year group. Students who just fail to get into the GATE program go into a Matrix program. These are more hands on extension classes. In years 1 & 2 the Stretch program is an enrichment program for students with high literacy skills. Students are exposed to diverse speakers to provide inspiration as part of the Inspire program. 

In the category 'Truth and Justice for All, especially the most vulnerable'

Mary MacKillop Catholic Community Primary School - St Joseph Centre

Julie Halvorson is the Coordinator of the St Joseph Centre. The centre is a support facility for students with disabilities and their families. The objectives of the centre are to enhance the learning of each child whatever their disability, develop communication, independence and social comfort in their school environment.

Parents are informed of new skills developed are these are then reinforced at home. Data is collected and used to monitor student’s progress.

Embracing the Diversity of the Earth and all its People

La Salle College - The Enterprise Program

Patricia McGregor is the Learning Area Coordinator of Education Support. Many educational support students experience varied success in mainstream classes. The program was established for all students to become independent thinkers, promote social, personal and business skills. These skills are essential if the students are to function in the work place. In years 7 to 9, students were to produce a viable product.

In years 10 to 12, the focus is on business management. Students keep track of money, stock and supplies and are involved in the design phase. Through creativity and innovation, students have expanded the card business as well as sewing books bags, wine bottle covers and scrunchies. As one student said 'Its fun and amazing. I like creating'. As one referee said ‘The Enterprise Program' involves all students in all stages of production, it gives a sense of purpose and ownership'.

Capturing the Joy in the Mystery of the created Universe:

Bunbury Catholic College - Environmental, Sustainability and Stewardship Team (BESST)

Kellie Jo Schmitt is a science technician who manages the Bunbury Catholic College, Environmental, Sustainability and Stewardship Team (BESST). This program has been in operation for two years and is about sustainable education. 

The awareness is about the problem areas in relation to the earth’s ability to sustain all Gods creatures and the call to be effective and persistent stewards of the earth. The committee involves staff, stewardship captains and interested students. The program links to the Australian curriculum through the science strand, general capabilities, critical and creative thinking. 

The program has been responsible for food gardens, reduced use of paper, herb gardens, worm farms, year 8 retreat constructing fruit orchards as well as clearing and replanting food gardens. The activities are linked to Catholic Teachings about Stewardship and Mastery of Creation in religious education classes in year 8. Other outcomes have been the construction of an aquaponics system by year 10 students, involvement in a ‘Seed to a tree’ program and the establishment of student 'Green Team'.

Walking together in a Spirit of Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Aranmore Catholic College - Aboriginal Students’ Education Support Program/ Aboriginal Teaching Assistant

Denise Conway is the Coordinator of the Aboriginal Students’ Education Support Program/ Aboriginal Teaching Assistant. For ten years, the college has developed a strong curriculum to meet the educational need of aboriginal students. 

Denise’s motivation has been as a proud Noongar woman that Indigenous students in her care should share a pride in and respect for, the history, the traditions and cultures of Aboriginal Australians. The program has a multifaceted approach underlined by the six principles articulated in the College’s policies.

The approaches include an Aboriginal Boys leadership camp, three days working with the Wirripanda foundation to assist in team building capacities. The boys were also given mentor training and exposure to the Moore River native Settlement. This program has now been extended to Aboriginal female students. The program also has non Aboriginal boys partnering Aboriginal boys as part of the Partnership, Acceptance, Learning and Sharing (PALS) program.