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Educators of the Year Awards 

Award WinnersEach year, DATTA Vic celebrates the hard-working, committed and creative Design and Technologies teachers who work in schools throughout Victoria. Please help us celebrate and spread the word about the fantastic work that goes on in our classrooms and workshops every day of the school year.

Congratulations to our Current Award-Holders

The Foster Adem Award for Leadership in Technologies Education 2023

The Secondary Educator of the Year Award 2023

The Secondary Educator of the Year Award 2023

Anthony Gasson

Banyule Nillumbik Tech School/

Diamond Valley College

Michael Dale

Mount Lilydale Mercy College

Dylan Coleman

Trinity Grammar School

Anthony has pioneered an engaging, student-centered approach to STEM education, collaborating with various schools linked to Banyule Nillumbik Teach School and beyond. Known for his openness to unconventional ideas and willingness to tackle any challenge, Anthony fosters a supportive learning environment where students feel empowered to explore solutions. As a true facilitator, he values shared successes and failures, fostering growth within his team and among students. Anthony always demonstrates flexibility and accessibility, adeptly incorporating new technologies and best practices into educational settings, including online platforms during the pandemic. He actively assists teachers in implementing technology and has established a loan library for schools in need, ensuring equitable access. Anthony's contributions extend beyond his immediate role, as evidenced by his involvement with DATTA Vic, where he has promoted Design and Technologies education through professional development sessions and workshops. His dedication to supporting both students and educators, particularly in Systems Engineering, has left a significant impact on schools and teachers. 

Michael prioritizes relationships above all else in his teaching approach, fostering enthusiasm and critical engagement among his students by establishing meaningful connections with them. As a First Nations teacher, he seamlessly integrates First Nations culture into his curriculum, offering a captivating lens through which students can explore local and broader history. From year 8 to year 12, Michael makes product and design education captivating, encouraging students to pursue their interests, whether in jewellery making, furniture design, or 3D printing. He facilitates a safe and creative environment where students can express themselves and produce work they take pride in. Michael extends his impact beyond the classroom through incursions, cross-curricular activities, and lunchtime clubs, promoting sustainability and enhancing technological literacy within the school community. Renowned for his dedication, Michael generously invests his spare time in supporting both students and colleagues, creating an engaging and hands-on learning environment that students eagerly embrace.

Dylan is someone who fully embraces new technology and has an incredible talent for creating projects which challenge students. He is very well read and versed in the continuing changing materials and processes and is always looking to learn new techniques and test them which keep him engaged and students motivated. Since Dylan joined his current school, the area has grown in popularity and his Emerging Technologies classes have grown exponentially. He shows a genuine interest in all students work, he has developed strong relationships with other STEM departments, and this has been fruitful in students seeing the connection between the subjects. Dylan is a fantastic teacher and inspiring person and his enthusiasm and passion are infectious. He is a very worthy recipient and should be rewarded for his long standing commitment to the subject.  He has this amazing ability to get the best out of all students. He is always looking to improve his skills and breadth of knowledge in different materials and processes.

The Primary Educator of the Year Award 2023

The New to D&T Teaching Award 2023

The Community Service Award 2023

Daniel Edwards

Montello Primary School

Fenja Johnson

Carey Baptist Grammar School

Roman Schroder

Upwey High School

Daniel's approach to engaging students revolves around empowering their agency, allowing them to leverage their strengths and interests in projects they care about. Through initiatives like the Greenpower program, which integrates roles based on student expertise and aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Daniel fosters project-based learning and problem-solving. His innovative methods, including the Personal Pathways Program, emphasize student choice and involvement in design and technology, particularly evident in the success of competitions like FIRST LEGO League and Young ICT Explorers. As the Founder & CEO of GreenSTEM Education, Daniel advocates for equitable STEM education and has introduced programs like Greenpower to his school and the wider Tasmanian community, further promoting hands-on learning opportunities through initiatives like STEM Unlimited at the Burnie Community House.

Fenja has injected fresh energy into the Middle School textiles program, leveraging her background in English and Media to invigorate the curriculum. Despite not initially being trained in PD&T, she eagerly embraced learning from her colleagues and integrating the design process into student work. Fenja's openness to learning and incorporation of her own practice enriches the classroom environment, providing students with diverse insights into textile creation beyond garment construction. Notably, she successfully led a bodice-making workshop for DATTA Vic in 2023. In her inaugural year teaching PD&T, Fenja not only devised new projects but also organized and established a cohesive workshop space, showcasing her adaptability and dedication to enhancing the learning experience.

Roman volunteers pro bono at the school, focusing on students with disabilities, those marginalized, or facing difficulties. He goes beyond conventional volunteering by offering direct financial assistance to students and resourcing materials for those in need. With a remarkable skill set, Roman intuitively navigates the design process to guide students towards success in their projects. Actively engaged in professional development, particularly with DATTA Vic, Roman tirelessly promotes and attends related conferences. For over a decade, he has generously donated his time and resources, including large quantities of cut flowers to support educational needs and fundraising efforts at the school.

Congratulations to our shortlisted teachers:

Alan Burnell, Hallam Secondary College; Anton Wilson, Damascus College; Ashli Roberts, Viewbank College; Derrick Williams, St John's Regional College; Ian Tilley, Numurkah Secondary College; Jonathan Heywood, Bacchus Marsh Grammar; Phil Coombs, St Paul's Anglican Grammar;  Sean Berend, Kolbe Catholic College;  Stephanie Pavlou, Melbourne Girls' Grammar School.

Congratulations to our Previous Award-Holders

The Foster Adem Award for Leadership in Technologies Education

The New to Technologies Teaching Award

The Community Service Award

The Secondary Educator of the Year Award

Michael Slinger,

St. Leonard's College

Letitia Crispin

The Lakes South Morang College

Aaron Dove

Nathalia Secondary College

Brendan Darcy

Kardinia International College

Michael was nominated twice for our 2022 awards. He is an inclusive educator who has a strong vision and is enthusiastic about promoting and extending the reach of Systems Engineering within his school as well as supporting other schools. His blend of theoretical and practical approach as well as his support engenders a sense of enthusiasm in those of us that have been able to work with him.  His nominator told us “Michael has been key in my first year as a systems teacher, he has provided mentoring, as well as teaching material (basically anything he had and I needed). His inclusive approach serves as a model for encouraging and supporting new teachers to teach the systems program, whilst developing their skills.”

Michael is pictured with DATTA Vic's Jacinta O'Leary, as well as his beautiful daughter Heidi!

Letitia has been put in charge of the school's D&T faculty and has worked tirelessly to find new and relevant experiences to engage students. What should be commended is her approach to the subject, being comfortable with seeking help and getting new ideas so that it benefits the student experience back in the classroom. Letitia has worked very closely with the Whittlesea Tech School this year to utilise the support that the Tech School can offer. Her approach in engaging students is to always link the work students complete in the classroom to real world applications.  Not only does this teach the design thinking process but embodies the mindset of a design thinker. She tries to understand her students' needs and prototype classroom ideas with the aim of improving them through student feedback.

Letitia is pictured here receiving her award from DATTA Vic Committee member Jacinta O'Leary.

Aaron works as a Technician 3 days a week at Nathalia Secondary College. Despite being a person with a serious vision impairment, he is a invaluable member of the team. Using his previous knowledge as a carpenter and from working in the mines in WA, he ensures that the Design & Technologies teacher is fully supported with all of this classes. As his nominator told us, “he has total respect from all of the students, and it has enabled them to be aware that life can change and you have to adapt…I couldn’t do my job, nor enjoy it as much as I do, without his support.”

Aaron is pictured receiving his award from DATTA Vic Committee member Jacinta O'Leary.

Brendan teaches VCE Systems Engineering. His nominator told us, “The sheer number of students that take VCE systems at our school is purely through the hard work and dedication that Brendan spends in developing engaging, current and relevant projects that teach students the principals behind engineering. He uses current best practice to deliver programs that teach students the skills required to be leaders in the field in the 21 century.” Brendan is active in helping to improve the quality of Systems Engineering education across the board at Kardinia and is active in helping schools who are offering systems for the first time in their schools helping to set them up with his recourses. He is also an active contributor to DATTA Vic discussions and helping improve the delivery of Systems Engineering Education across the region and state.

The Secondary Educator of the Year Award

The Primary Educator of the Year Award

Lisa White

Viewbank College/ Warrandyte High School

Lisa is always ready to adapt and innovate. She took the arts program to a new high at Viewbank college by embedding technologies in her work. For one project for Year 11 students, she partnered with Dr Onisha Patel, a leading medical researcher and artist to bring the International protein database project to Australia. This led to the first ever Australian entry into the European Protein Database Competition, with two of the student projects being published in their prestigious calendar and a place in the virtual exhibition. Lisa co-developed the year 7 Art/Tech program where students use art and technology skills in a project based learning program with a focus on sustainable development goals.

Christine Gilligan

Glendal Primary School

Chris is the STEM Coordinator at Glendal Primary School, and during her time there, has run a wide range of successful robotics programs for her students. Just this year alone, she coordinated award-winning teams in both VEX robotics and Robocup robotics. At the regional VEX Competition in September, her amazing students won 4 awards, including the Overall Championship Prize for their level and the Teamwork Challenge. Two of her students also took the first and third place spots at the Robo-cup State Competition in the same month! Congratulations Chris for our outstanding achievements.

Congratulations also to the following educators who were shortlisted for our 2022 awards:

  • Lynette Bushell from MacKillop College 
  • Maurice Di Muzio, St Monica's College Epping
  • Bianca Neil from MacKillop College
  • Nicholas Nicholaou from Bentleigh Secondary College
  • Diana Eau from MacKillop College
  • Vicky Rumble from Wantirna College
  • Lou D'Amico from Yarra Valley Grammar
  • Corey Genis from Williamstown High School
  • Rachel Bor from Viewbank College

About the DATTA Vic Educator of the Year Awards

There are 2 ways for an educator to be entered for these awards:

  1. An educator can be nominated
  2. An educator can apply themselves

The award categories are:

  • New to Technologies Teaching
  • Primary Educator of the Year
  • Secondary Educator of the Year
  • The Foster Adem Leadership in Technologies Education Award
  • The Community Service Award

Important Information
  • One of the recipients will be nominated for the DATTA Australia Technology Educator of the Year Award.
  • All nominees must be members of DATTA Vic - either as an individual or through their school.
  • You must provide sound reasons for the nomination/application.
  • The Community Service Award is open to teachers, technicians or support staff.

Recipients of Awards will receive:

  • a gift voucher
  • a certificate

Awards are presented at the DATTA Vic Annual Conference each year.

The winners will be listed in the DATTA Vic News.

A profile of each of the winners including a photo will be included in TECHNOTES.





ABN 97 315 356 383

 03 9349 5809

 pl@datta.vic.edu.au

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