Print this page or close print view.

Recognising our staff and students


The 2009 Qld Training Awards apprentice of the year (north Qld region) - Darrell Geary.

The department recognises and celebrates the achievements, talents, creativity and enthusiasm of our students, teachers and staff throughout the year at various events and competitions.

Participation in these events has led to opportunities in:

  • international study and recognition
  • employment
  • scholarships to further education
  • fast-tracking career development
  • showcasing of talents at state and national levels.

^ Top of page

Awards and programs

To find about more about our events and competitions or our scholarships and awards
Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage

Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage, the highest profile public event staged by the Department of Education and Training, celebrated Queensland's 150th birthday (Q150) at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre at Boondall on Saturday 6 June 2009.

Now in its fifth year of production, Creative Generation - State Schools Onstage has evolved into a renowned educational and entertainment event of the highest professional standard. The show annually showcases the wealth of talent in state schools and the quality performing arts opportunities offered to Queensland state school students.
Through the Q150 theme our people, our places, our stories, Queensland's most acclaimed state schools performing arts event presented opportunities for more than 2000 state school students through the development of a 70-piece symphony orchestra, a stage band, massed choir, dancers and talented featured and backing vocalists.

The performance was a heart-warming mix of education, entertainment and emotion that showcased the amazing talent being nurtured in our state schools.

This headline event was staged with the support of partners: Queensland University of Technology, Network Ten and The Courier-Mail.

Creative Generation Excellence Awards in the Arts

The Creative Generation Excellence Awards in the Arts recognise and celebrate talented students in the senior years of schooling. Students are rewarded with the opportunity to attend workshops in Brisbane with highly respected artists in a program specific to their art form. The challenging workshops take into account the breadth of artistic experiences across a wide variety of contexts, genres and styles within each art form.

In 2008-09 approximately 130 students from metropolitan, regional and remote Queensland were selected to practise, perfect and display their works in a professional setting. This experience also helped them explore post-schooling career options in the Arts.

The Creative Generation Excellence Awards have six strands, all of which were held in 2008-09:

  • Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Film, TV and New Media with the workshop program and awards ceremony held in August 2008
  • Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design with the workshop program and awards ceremony held in September 2008
  • Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Drama with the workshop program and awards ceremony held in April 2009
  • Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Instrumental Music with the workshop program and awards ceremony held in June-July 2009
  • Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Contemporary Music with the workshop program and awards ceremony held in April 2009
  • Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Dance with the workshop program and awards ceremony held in April 2009.


Students playing various classical instruments at the concert for state schools Fanfare music program at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex.

Fanfare is a biennial music festival that supports high-quality music programs developed by teachers and students in Queensland state schools. Since its inception in 1985, Fanfare has fostered the development of thousands of young Queensland musicians and highlighted the achievements of the music teachers of school-based ensembles in Education Queensland's instrumental music program.

More than 700 bands and orchestras from 360 schools and more than 20 909 students performed in Fanfare 2008. From this field, 11 school ensembles were chosen to compete in the state finals and five performed in the Grand Final Concert held at the QPAC Concert Hall in Brisbane on 31 July 2008.

Recognising sporting achievements

Recognising and encouraging the effort, dedication and achievement of our young sportspeople is a priority for the department.

One example of such recognition is the Pierre de Coubertin Award, for students demonstrating the Olympic ideals of egalitarianism, dedication, effort, fairness, teamwork and chivalry. In 2009 there were 213 recipients of the award.

The department also recognised many other young people's efforts by selecting them to compete at the Queensland School Sport State Championships. Sports included tennis, touch football, volleyball, rugby league, Australian football, netball and hockey with over 12 890 students from across the state participating.
The highest achievers (over 1100 students) from these State Championships were given the opportunity to represent Queensland at the various School Sport Australia National Championships.

The department continues to support teachers and students involved in competitive sports via recognition of achievements through various departmental publications, and through staff release to coach, manage and travel with representative sporting teams.

Premier's Reading Challenge

A group of primary school male and female students looking up at the camera showing their reading challenge certificates.

The challenge, an initiative of the Queensland Government, helps improve children's literacy by boosting the number of books they read, and encouraging more challenging texts.

In 2008 more than 65 000 students read over one million books. The Premier challenged every state and non-state school student from Prep to Year 7 to experience or read 20 books between 28 May and 5 September 2008. Children who took up the challenge and read the required number of books received a signed certificate from the Premier.

The Premier's Reading Challenge recognises the range of student abilities in Queensland classrooms. All students are encouraged to participate because the challenge is not a competition, but a way to encourage greater involvement and develop a love of reading for life.

Bid O'Sullivan Teaching Scholarships

Bid O'Sullivan was the first teacher of the School of the Air in Queensland. Bid became a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1963 for her 'outstanding services and devotion to the children of Queensland in the field of education'.

Since 1999 the Department of Education has offered the Bid O'Sullivan Teaching Scholarships annually to help Year 12 students from rural and remote areas who have chosen teaching as their career. The scholarships have been created to develop a workforce that is more reflective of its client group and provides opportunities to increase the number of rural and remote teachers in Queensland's education system.

The scheme provides financial assistance to the student while studying an undergraduate education course at a Queensland university. Following satisfactory completion of their course and gaining appropriate suitability ranking, scholarship recipients are guaranteed permanent employment with the Department of Education and Training in Queensland state schools in rural and remote locations.

Pearl Duncan Teaching Scholarships

Pearl Duncan was an accomplished individual in the education sector. Pearl was the first Aboriginal school teacher in Australia trained at a tertiary institution, recipient of the Centenary of Federation Medal for increasing Aboriginal participation in education and Senior Australian of the Year for Queensland in 2004.

The Department of Education and Training developed the Pearl Duncan Teaching Scholarships to help aspiring teachers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent to complete their degrees and make a difference in education.

The scholarships provide up to $20 000 for students to gain degrees in education at Queensland universities. Following the satisfactory completion of their course and gaining an acceptable suitability ranking from the department, scholarship holders are guaranteed employment with the department in Queensland state schools for a time equivalent to the duration of their full-time study.

The scholarships are targeted at school leavers, postgraduate students and Department of Education and Training staff who plan to undertake full-time teaching degrees.

The winners of the 2009 Pearl Duncan Teaching Scholarships were announced at a ceremony on 11 February 2009 at Parliament House, Brisbane.

Peter Doherty Awards 2008

The Peter Doherty Awards were established as part of the 2003-2006 Spotlight on Science initiative, and remain an integral part of the current Science Education Strategy 2006-2009.

The award is named in honour of Professor Peter C Doherty, the co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the nature of cellular immune defence. Professor Doherty was named Australian of the Year in 1997.

The awards recognise students, teachers, support staff and partner organisations demonstrating outstanding and innovative contributions to science and science education in Queensland.

On 20 August 2008, the then Minister for Education and Training and Minister for the Arts, Rod Welford MP, announced the winners of the 2008 Peter Doherty Awards for Excellence in Science and Science Education.

A panel of Queensland scientists and science educators selected this year's 25 winners, who will share $85 000 in awards and scholarships to further their science studies or continue their programs to inspire students and educators in the field of science.

TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarship

The TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and Scholarship is a memorial to Thomas Joseph Ryan, Queensland Premier from 1915-1919. The award recognises his dedication to public life.

Ten TJ Ryan Memorial Medals and Scholarships are awarded each year to support exemplary Queensland students who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their school and community, and academic excellence through their achievements in Year 12.

Ten outstanding Year 12 graduates were awarded a TJ Ryan Memorial Medal and a university scholarship worth up to $10 000 at a presentation ceremony at Parliament House on 11 March 2009.
A further five students were highly commended and received $1000 prizes to assist them in their tertiary studies. Another 13 graduates received certificates of merit.

Queensland Academies' Young Scholars' Program

This program provides academic enrichment for talented students across Queensland and aims to develop partnership strategies with other Queensland schools. Since its launch in October 2008, the program has received strong interest from the school community with:

  • 700 Years 5 to 7 students registered
  • 46 state primary schools registered as associate schools to help identify their brightest students for possible future entry
  • 285 students participated in the Gifted Education Research and Resource Centre workshops conducted in December 2008 and March 2009.

For more see the Young Scholars website External Link

Aerospace Project

Seventeen state and non-state schools across Queensland participated in the Aerospace Project with more than 700 students in Years 10, 11 and 12 studying aeroskill and aerospace subjects at the Aerospace Project Schools.
The award is named in honour of Professor Peter C Doherty, the co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Laureate in Medicine for discovering the nature of cellular immune defence. Professor Doherty was named Australian of the Year in 1997.

Students and teachers from state and non-state Aerospace Project Schools were recognised at the 2008 Aerospace Education Awards held in November 2008. Eleven winners and 24 finalists were recognised for outstanding accomplishments, leadership and innovation in aviation education.

Minister's Christmas cards

The winning entry in the Premiers 150 years of education Christmas card competition. The card shows past, present and future

In 2008 the Minister's Christmas Card Competition was open for entries from both school students and TAFE graphic design teachers.

The winning designs were featured on the electronic Christmas cards of the Minister, Director-General and senior departmental officers.

Queensland Training Awards

The Queensland Training Awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations within the vocational education and training sector who strive for excellence, best practice and innovation.

Now in their 48th year, the awards continue to showcase and highlight the significant contribution made by the vocational education and training sector to the wider Queensland community and economy.

The 2008 awards celebrated achievements by apprentices, trainees and vocational students across a range of fields, including Apprentice of the Year Rachel Niemann. Rachael began a four-year apprenticeship in cabinet-making at Hatchett's Joinery in Murgon and completed her Certificate III in Furniture Making (Cabinet-Making) in 2007. Now a fully fledged cabinetmaker, she works 30 hours a week to fit around her family life.

To find out more about the Queensland Training Awards External Link

Australian Training Awards

The Australian Training Awards are the peak national awards for vocational education and training, recognising innovation and excellence in the training sector. They are the culmination of the state and territory awards with winners from each state and territory competing in the national finals.

In 2008 Queensland had 11 nominees contesting Australian Training Award titles.

To find out more about the Australian Training Awards External Link

NRA Fashion Design Awards

In early April 2009 Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE (MSIT) continued its remarkable record of success at the 28th Annual NRA Fashion Design Awards. One hundred and thirty young Queensland designers entered the preliminary judging of the Student Designs category. The four finalists selected for the national final from Queensland were all from MSIT. Adding to this success was a former MSIT student winning a finalist place from New South Wales.

To find out more about the NRA Fashion Design Awards External Link

Argentum - Graduation Fashion Parade

Argentum graduation fashion parade with young women parading various outfits on the catwalk moving away from the camera.

In October 2008 MSIT celebrated 25 years of fashion, and graduating students presented their collections at Argentum. Held at the Old Museum at Bowen Hills and with an audience including VIPs from the fashion industry, media, and family and friends, it was a night filled with colour, creativity and fun as MSIT's best and brightest showed once again that the future students of Queensland and Australian fashion get their training at MSIT.

Hosted by TV and radio personality Sami Lukis, one of the highlights of the night was the awarding of the MSIT International Scholarship to Kimberly Lim, who now has the opportunity to study at the fashion college of her choice anywhere in the world.

Indigenous Art Award

Emerging Torres Strait artist Taum Reuben made an award-winning start to her career in 2008.
The Tropical North Queensland TAFE Indigenous art student claimed the inaugural Indigenous TAFE Student Art Award in October 2008. This has given her an exciting opportunity to showcase her work alongside some of eastern Australia's leading Indigenous artists at the annual National Heart Foundation Art Exhibition.

To find out more about the Indigenous TAFE student art award External Link

Indigenous Health Care Program

A unique school-based health care training program at Tropical North Queensland TAFE provided a pathway to employment for more than 20 Indigenous high school students in 2009.

Piloted in 2008 under a partnership between TAFE, Djarragun College and Queensland Health, the Indigenous Health Care Program encourages students to pursue careers in community-based health.


SkillsTech Australia manages the WorldSkills program on behalf of the Queensland Government. Held every two years, WorldSkills gives young Australians the opportunity to gain new skills, compete against their peers in their chosen trade, and fast-track their skills and career development.

In September 2009 four young Queenslanders will be part of the WorldSkills Australia 'Skillaroos' who attend the WorldSkills International competition in Canada and compete against 900 competitors from 50 countries in the pursuit of skills excellence.

SkillsTech Australia is proud to have three of the four WorldSkills Australia 'Skillaroos' as apprentices.

To find out more about the WordSkills program External Link

Queensland Skills Competition

The quality of SkillsTech Australia training continues to be recognised on a national level. Recently, two electrical technology students from SkillsTech won three awards and defeated teams from Queensland universities and TAFE institutes in the Queensland Skills Competition.

The team will now go on to the Australian and New Zealand competition.

Bakery awards

Three apprentice bakers training with Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE claimed coveted industry awards this year. 

The apprentices were each named North Queensland's best in their respective categories at the 2009 Queensland Baking Industry Awards.

Tap Girls

Six young women in orange and blue overalls looking at the camera.

Tropical North Queensland TAFE encouraged women from the Cairns region to pick up the tools with a new plumbing employment program in January 2009.

A 16-week course, called Tap Girls, provided training for 15 females and culminated with their full-time employment as apprentice plumbers. The project was a partnership with Construction Skills Queensland.
Trade Honours program

During 2008-09 the department secured funding from the Australian Government to start developing a Trade Honours program. Post-trade qualifications under the program provide career and study pathways for final-year apprentices, as well as tradespeople who are seeking to further their careers.

The underpinning philosophy of the Trade Honours concept is that students and employers will be able to select skill sets that are directly suited to their business, fostering the development of staff to fill higher level roles within their organisation.

Queensland Aspects

In October 2008 winners of the Queensland Aspects competition were announced at an award ceremony and exhibition in Brisbane.

Queensland Aspects is a statewide competition for TAFE Queensland students and teaching staff (from any industry area) to design a product suitable for inclusion in the Queensland Government's corporate gift range.

The competition, a three-year project from 2006 to 2008, was mostly funded by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. The Department of Education, Training and the Arts contributed supplementary funding and administered the competition.

For more about Queensland Aspects External Link

Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools

In the 2008 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools, Queensland state schools shared in more than $370 000 in development grants. This prestigious awards program has been running since 2000 and recognises and rewards state schools and institutes for education practices that significantly improve student learning outcomes.

Seventy-nine regional Showcase Awards were given across eight categories statewide, covering the different phases of learning, academic excellence, inclusive or innovative practices, leadership, and partnership with industry or the community.

Each regional winner received a $1000 development grant to use toward their winning program, and later went to compete at the state level. Out of the 79 regional winners, 24 were announced as state finalists and received a further $5000 development grant each.

Eight state winners were announced at the Showcase Gala Dinner, held on 5 September 2008 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, and each received a further $20 000 development grant.

To find out more about the Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools

State Education Week

State schools across Queensland celebrated State Education Week 2009 from Monday 1 June to Saturday 6 June.
Celebrating 150 years of education in conjunction with the state's 150th anniversary celebrations, schools participated in the week-long celebrations through a range of events and activities - from morning teas and open days, through to school parades and film festivals.

State Education Week is held annually, providing an opportunity for Queenslanders to recognise the talent and achievements of students and teachers in state schools. This year's celebrations provided an opportunity for schools to celebrate their achievements, thank their volunteers and showcase the wonderful work of their teachers and students.

Schools were also encouraged to get involved by participating in a range of exciting statewide programs such as My Favourite Teacher, Principal for a Day and Back to School.

To find out more about State Education Week

My Favourite Teacher

My Favourite Teacher is an opportunity to recognise and reward the commitment of Queensland state school teachers. In 2009, as part of the Year of Creativity in Queensland schools, students were encouraged to nominate a favourite teacher who inspires them to think creatively.

Unisys TAFE Queensland Excellence in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Award

This annual TAFE teaching award aims to:

  • encourage and recognise outstanding achievements in ICT teaching and the development of ICT learning resources and programs
  • foster a culture of innovation and commitment to ICT excellence within TAFE Queensland
  • offer opportunities for further development of industry knowledge and skills.

Premier's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management

The Premier's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management recognised and rewarded the outstanding achievements of work units and teams within the Queensland public sector that continue to strive for excellence, best practice management and improvements in workplace decision making.

In 2008 the department submitted 20 nominations. Nine project teams were recognised as finalists and five received awards, including one highly commended.

The department was also the recipient of the overall Premier's Award for Excellence.

For more about the Premier's Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management External Link

Professional excellence

The department has a number of awards that recognise professional excellence. In 2008-09 the department awarded grants for enhanced professional development as described below:

  • Minister's Awards for Education Futures (5 awards) - available to high performing teachers, associate administrators and school leaders to complete a four-unit independent research study. Research must focus on breaking new ground and propose innovative ideas and solutions for education into the future, specifically focusing on building high-performing classrooms and schools
  • Minister's Awards for Excellence in School Leadership (3 awards) - available to principals and deputy principals to access professional development that builds on the innovation that has led to the school and its leader being acknowledged as high performing
  • Minister's Awards for Teacher Excellence (4 awards) - available to high-performing teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching. These awards enable recipients to continue building on the excellence that has led to their being acknowledged as high performing
  • Regional Innovators Awards (10 awards) - available to all teachers, excluding school principals, and provides seed funding for individuals or interest groups to establish self-sustaining networks
  • Professional Development Grants for Teacher Aides (30 awards) - enable recipients to undertake professional development activities that further their knowledge and skills to better support teachers and contribute to improved learning outcomes for students
  • The Professional Year for Teachers - a self-funded sabbatical year to allow permanent teachers in Education Queensland to undertake professional development activities that may lead to improved learning outcomes for students
  • Smart Classrooms Teacher Awards (12 statewide and 26 regional awards) - recognises teachers who have made significant progress in making ICT integral to learning and who are committed to ongoing professional development
  • Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Fellow (1 award) - coordinated by the Public Service Commission and includes the Executive Fellows Program and the Executive Master of Public Administration degree program

Skills First Recognition of Prior Learning Assessors Champion Awards

In April 2009, outstanding work in delivering Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) services was recognised at the department's RPL Assessor Champion Awards. Seventeen TAFE staff shared the limelight. Ten were named RPL assessor champions and seven received certificates of high achievement.

The Skills First initiative created the awards as a showcase for best practice RPL and those who deliver it. Judges praised the high standard of entries received, which they said demonstrated how quality delivery of a sound concept benefited both TAFE institutes and industry.

Australia Day Achievement Awards

The Australia Day Achievement Awards are an initiative of the National Australia Day Council, and have been presented to departmental employees annually since 1994. These awards recognise and award the significant contribution made by our employees to the department and the wider community.

Thirty-two departmental staff received awards on Australia Day 2009.

For more about the Australia Day Achievement Awards

Public Service Medals

The Public Service Medal, established in 1989, is a prestigious award and part of the official Australian system of honours and awards. The awards program recognises employees who have consistently performed demanding jobs to the highest standards and have made a major contribution to the Australian community.

In 2008 two people from our schools received a Public Service Medal on Australia Day 2009 for outstanding public service.

For more about the Public Service Medals

Smart Classrooms Teacher Awards

This is an annual event, sponsored by industry, aimed at recognising teachers who have demonstrated innovation and excellence in their teaching and learning practice with ICT. Each award recipient receives $5000 in prize money to attend conferences or courses that extend their understanding and practices in ICT in education. In September 2008, 12 teachers received this award.

Career milestones recognised

In 2008-09 the department recognised the contribution of over 1605 staff, including 486 teachers, through the Teacher Excellence Career Milestone awards. These awards acknowledge the services of school teachers at five, 10 and 20 years service and all employees at 25 years service and at retirement.

^ Top of page