The Teacher Awards recognise outstanding approaches to teaching and school leadership.

Teacher magazine has a proud history of highlighting the incredible work of teachers and school leaders working in primary and secondary school settings to lift student achievement and wellbeing. In 2023, we launched the inaugural Teacher Awards. The 8 Award Categories were open to educators working in the K-12 school education community and recognise achievements of the last 12 months.

The 2023 Teacher Awards winners are:

Leadership Award for Driving School Improvement
Melissa Shepherd from Laura State School, Queensland

Improving Student Learning and Progress
Catherine Young from Newman College, Western Australia

Cultivating an Inclusive and Positive Culture
Dr Todd Zadow from St Margaret's Berwick Grammar, Victoria

Excellence in Staff Collaboration
The team at Goondiwindi State High School, Queensland

Excellence in Curriculum Design and Implementation, sponsored by Grok Academy
The team at Catholic Education South Australia

Fostering Strong School-Community Partnerships
Rubina Shaheen Nawabi from Noble Park English Language School, Victoria

Improving Health and Wellbeing, sponsored by Bank First
Kate O'Donnell from GOAL College, New South Wales

Special Contribution Award
The team at Broadwater Public School, New South Wales

The Judging Panel for the awards is comprised of 10 experts in education. The Judging Panel is the second tier of the Awards evaluation process. Preceded by a selection committee which selects a shortlist of candidates, the Judging Panel reviews the shortlist and goes on to select the winner in each category.

Use #TeacherAwards23 to follow along on social media. If you have any further questions, contact the team.

Award Categories

Judging Panel

Associate Professor

Marnee Shay


Geoff Masters


Amy Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles


Lyn Sharratt


Pauline Taylor-Guy

Alex Wharton

Mali Jorm


Pasi Sahlberg


Troy Meston

Ben Sacco


Who can enter?

Entries are open to educators working in any sector in the K-12 school education community in Australia. At this time, we are not able to accept entries for educators working outside Australia.

Can I nominate myself? Can I nominate a colleague? Can a group of people be nominated together?


Can I nominate someone I don’t work with?

Nominating for a Teacher Award involves sharing information about teaching strategies and student outcomes. Therefore, if you would like to nominate someone you don’t work closely with, we recommend you encourage this person to complete the nomination process themselves. You are able to cover the entry fee if you wish.

What time frame is being considered? Can I nominate myself for an award based on work I have done at a former workplace?

Entries should be based on work that's been undertaken within the last 12 months. You can nominate yourself for an award based on work you’ve done at a former workplace, however we recommend you advise the relevant school leader at your former workplace before entering.

Are there any terms and conditions?

You can read the terms and conditions for entering Teacher Awards here and the Privacy Policy here.

How long does it take to enter? Do I need to complete the nomination process in one sitting?

There is a 1000-word limit on nominations and you also have the option to attach supporting documents. We recommend you have your information ready to go before you begin your nomination.

You will not be able to save the form and come back to it later. Once you submit your nomination, the information is final and cannot be edited.

Do I need to meet all the criteria outlined in the award description?

No. The award description is there to help guide your thinking and offer suggestions for practices that are relevant to the award.

Can I upload supporting documents?

Yes, however please ensure your supporting documents are no longer than 4 pages. Including supporting documents is optional.

Can I enter into multiple awards? Can I use the same entry to apply for multiple awards?

Yes. We recommend tailoring each entry to respond to the specific criteria for the award you are entering.

What is the entry fee? Why is there an entry fee?

The entry fee is $100 (+GST). Teacher is published by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), a not-for-profit organisation. We recognise that each entrant has dedicated time to complete the application process, and as such, we are committed to ensuring that time is taken to consider each entry. Your entry fee contribution helps make Teacher Awards possible.

What payment methods are accepted?

All credit cards are accepted.

Will I be sent a receipt/tax invoice for my payment?

Yes. Once payment is made, you will receive a receipt and invoice number from the Australian Council for Educational Research Ltd. ACER ABN 19 004 398 145, Address 19 Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell, Victoria, 3124.

What is the judging process?

There are 2 stages to the judging process. In the first stage, our Selection Committee will consider all entries to create a shortlist. If your entry is shortlisted, it will be brought to our Judging Panel for the second and final round of judging. Winners will be decided from this final round of judging. You can read more about our judges here.

Will I receive feedback on my entry?

We won't be providing feedback. Only award winners will be contacted.

How will I find out if I am a winner?

Successful entrants will be contacted by email or phone on 29 August. Winners will be announced publicly on Friday 1 September.

What do winners receive?

Winners for each of our 8 awards will be celebrated on Teacher and will have the opportunity to be interviewed for an article. They will also receive a media pack to share the news with their own networks.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on this page, please contact the Teacher team at Click here to view the Terms and Conditions or the Privacy Policy.