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Leader of the Year Award

ACCE/ACS Leader of the Year

The ACCE and Australian Computer Society (ACS) Award for Outstanding Leadership in the use of ICT in Education is a national award that acknowledges the work of educational leaders and innovators. The award recognises significant advocacy, support and promotion of the use of ICT in education. Typically a candidate will be a leader / mentor / advisor to a school or broader educational community group, and generally their major role is not as a classroom teacher, Candidates will have had a distinguished career and proven inspirational achievement in leading the ICT in education community.

This may include their work in 
→ Achieving excellence in ICT in education innovation and development and work tirelessly to improve the quality of education
→ Assisting in the building of partnerships to advance the use of ICT in education (eg. school and community partnerships, school and industry partnerships)
→ Planning, developing and implementing programs to advance ICT in Education
→ Providing advocacy for ICT in Education to the extent that their work is used as a model for others
→ Serving as a catalyst for policy change and development in ICT in Education
→ Contributing to CEG and/or ACCE work and actively participate in the professional communities of these organizations
→ Nurturing and mentoring individuals, groups and/or associations to enhance the use of ICT in Education
→ Conducting research and/or write about ICT in Education
→ Inspiring others to strive for excellence

Each state member association has the opportunity to nominate a member for the award. The nominee will usually be the recipient of a state award.

The award is announced and presented at a national conference where practical.

The winner of the ACCE Award for Outstanding Leadership in the use of ICT in Education
→ receives up to $2,000
→ receives an ACS membership for a year 
→ receives a plaque
→ is recognized on the ACCE web site 
→ is invited to present at the next ACCE conference
→ may be nominated as the ACCE candidate for the relevant ISTE award
Selection process
The selection committee for the award will consist of a panel designated by the ACCE Board and will consider the submissions according to the award criteria. The selection committee, where practical, will not contain the ACCE representatives from the states / territories from which nominations have been submitted. The selection committee will be chaired by the ACS representative or a nominee of the Chair of the ACS national Computer Education committee. Successful applicants may not necessarily fulfill all criteria. nominees for a national award must address some or all of the criteria for the award.
To be eligible for the awards candidates must be individual members of their state / territory CEG.
Submission process
An electronic copy of a state / territory nomination to the national awards shall be supplied to the Chair of the selection committee by 31 October annually. Submissions for either award should be restricted to six pages only (or equivalent) of printable information with a further four pages of supporting documentation in any media.
Application should include:
• Application Form
• Nomination Statement (including reference to the criteria)
• Curriculum Vitae
• Letters of Recommendation (minimum of two)
Criteria for selection
The evidence should show that the applicant is respected as a leader and innovator to the benefit of ICT in education. The evidence should be organised under the following headings:
• Significant positive impact on technology use in education; locally, regionally, state wide, nationally, worldwide.
• Efforts to involve the community in the initiative or program to facilitate partnerships with business and/or legislative initiations to advance the use of technology in education.
• Works tirelessly to genuinely improve the quality of education.
• Integrates deliberate planning in an effort to improve education through the use of technology.
• Education and/or work experience has been significantly advanced in the nominee’s workplace as a result of the nominee’s efforts.
• Active member of professional organizations.
• Contributed to the profession by presenting at professional conferences, seminars and/or workshops or publishing articles in print or through electronic media.
• Work can be used as a model.
• Work reflects the mission and purpose of ACCE.
• Will represent ACCE well in all forums.
Karen Swift from QSITE

Karen Swift from QSITE

2019 Leader of the Year

Karen is the Head of Department for Information Technology at James Nash State High School in Gympie. She was nominated for this award by QSITE (Qld Society for information Technology in Education).

Karen is an outstanding educator and leader of eLearning, digital pedagogies and ICT agendas at all levels, from the classroom with her own students, through to ICT leadership within the school and beyond to state, national and international roles related to Information Technology Education.

Karen served as the Chair of the eLearning Reference Group for James Nash SHS for a number of years and forged ahead with innovative programs and practices including personalised professional development for teachers, enabling them to shift their digital pedagogy practice through the SAMR model. Leadership of the “Going Mobile” program was also one of Karen’s significant achievements within her school.

Karen has also been identified within the Gympie region a key innovator in eLearning, presenting  Lead and Learn workshops for North Coast Region HODs, for example. She was also acknowledged as a Teacher Champion with the Scootle Community and contributed to the AITSL Illustrations of Practice on behalf of ACCE. Karen has also presented internationally at a number of ISTE conferences.

Karen has served at a state level as a member of the QSITE Board and was the coordinator and leader of the 2013 and 2014 ACCE Study Tours. Karen has also been a member of the ISTE Board, serving as the Board Treasurer and a member of committees such as the Governance Leadership Committee, the Audit Committee and the Linkage Committee. As a member of the ISTE Board, she lobbied for a more international approach within the ISTE policies and actions.

Yvonne Harrison

Yvonne Harrison

2018 - Deputy Principal of Singleton Primary School.

Yvonne was nominated for this award by the Educational Computing Association of Western Australia (ECAWA). Yvonne has played a significant role in developing both her own school in the area of ICT, as well as sharing that information with ICT leaders nationally and internationally.

Yvonne is an active participant in an extremely wide global Professional Learning Network that incorporates educators using Games in Education, Problem-based Learning, STEM and Education Futures. She has collaborated with others to investigate and develop professional learning possibilities within SecondLife and to use Minecraft as a learning platform for student-led projects.

Yvonne regularly shares her knowledge of such innovations across global social media streams and within her blog. It is important to Yvonne that she helps open others’ horizons to the possibilities of new teaching approaches and the technologies used to support many of these.

Yvonne is also critically thoughtful about how new technologies can be incorporated
into the classroom, particularly considering the effects of the technology on very young children. She works to promote the principles of safe and secure technology use, as well as advocating for teacher research and preparedness in using any new form of technology within the classroom. She is not only an outstanding example of a professional learner but is also valued mentor for others.

Kevin Richardson

Kevin Richardson

2017 - Immanuel College South Australia

The Australian Council for Computing in Education (ACCE) in conjunction with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) is pleased to announce that Kevin Richardson, principal of Immanuel College Adelaide, has been judged as Leader of the Year.

He was nominated for this award by EdTechSA whose president, Tina Photakis, commented:

“Kevin has played a significant role in developing both his own school in the area of ICT, as well as sharing that information with ICT leaders nationally and internationally.“

He has had major roles in the development and implementation of the DECStech program in schools, the domain sa.edu which won the Federal Government IT productivity award, SSONet to empower schools to more easily access critical digital information, the Discovery and Global Discovery school program, the Discovery teachers program and the overseas IT travelling scholars program.

As such he has had significant positive impact on technology use in education; locally, regionally, state wide, nationally, and globally.

“Kevin has had a long history representing IT in schools in the national and international arena as a presenter and consultant. He was the inaugural Australian keynote at the first International Confederation of Principals in Geneva 1992, and regularly writes articles for the Australian Council for Educational Leadership, Education Today, and other technology magazines around Australia.” said Martin Levins, President of ACCE

The award of Leader of the Year carries a $2 000 prize, kindly sponsored by the Australian Computer Society and is to be used to further the awardee’s professional learning.

2016 Katrina Falkner South Australia
Associate Professor Katrina Falkner, Head of the School of Computing Science at Adelaide University. ACCE, together with the Australian Computer Society (ACS), provides the award of Leader of the Year to recognize the contribution of an individual to the advocacy of ICT in Education. Recipients receive a $2 000 cash award, intended to be used to further the recipient’s professional learning. They are also be recognised on the ACCE web site, and in the program for the three day ACCE National Conference, held in Brisbane on September 29 this year. Martin Levins, President of ACCE, commented: “This award acknowledges the work of educational leaders and innovators who have made a significant contribution to the use of ICT in education through advocacy, support and promotion of the effective use of ICT in Education” Katrina’s work in Computer Science Education is internationally renowned, through contribution of education research outcomes improving global understanding of how we teach Computer Science, industry­based work in understanding the impact of technology on diversity and culture, and in more recent work in supporting Australian teachers through the CSER Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Under Katrina’s leadership, the Computer Science Education Research (CSER) Group at the University of Adelaide has developed free online professional development courses, with accompanying sustainable online communities. These ongoing courses, to date, have seen 5,060 Australian educators enrol, with an estimated impact on 62,666 Australian students and the delivery of an estimated 51,612 hours of professional development. The online community has expanded to a network of 1,880 educators, with over 4,036 resources shared by teachers. Within the community, teachers can continue professional learning, acquire just­in­time support, share expertise, and view up­to­date resources. In particular, our community­based model has been reported as extremely valuable by teachers in remote schools, who are usually at risk of being isolated during curriculum implementation. Her approach has been recognised through international peer­reviewed publication, and acknowledged by international stakeholders and associations. Katrina’s roles as Associate Dean and Director of Teaching in the School of Computer Science, as well as leadership of the Computer Science education research group has seen significant growth in the School of Computer Science, making it the most awarded discipline for learning and teaching excellence at the University of Adelaide. She is Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) Australia, and Co­Chair of the Australasian Computer Science Education Conference (2015­2016). From 2011­2012, she was a founding member of the inaugural Australian Council of Deans of ICT Australian Learning and Teaching Academy, and now sits on the Australian Council of Deans of ICT Executive. Katrina is also a member of the inaugural Australian Computer Society Education Board, and the ACARA Digital Technologies Stakeholder Advisory Group. Katrina describes her work in ICT education thus: “I can truly say that this is my mission, reflected through my research into new models and approaches for Computer Science education, and my work to facilitate and encourage others to embrace and discover Digital Technologies.”
2015: Trudy Sweeney South Australia
Trudy has been an active member of the Management Committee for EdTechSA (formerly the Computers in Education Group of South Australia – CEGSA) for twelve years. As President since 2007, her leadership developed unity as the committee strived towards a shared vision and organisational strategy, based on teamwork, integrity, and clear communication and decision-making procedures. Affectionately, this process was described as identifying the right people for the seats on the bus, setting the coordinates for the GPS, and keeping the wheels turning. As a testament of Trudy’s leadership, EdTechSA recently hosted the successful national conference ACEC2014. Trudy is currently employed as Senior Lecturer, Digital Media in the School of Education at Flinders University. In this role, Trudy provides leadership on the use of ICT and digital technologies with F-12 teachers, preservice teachers and postgraduate students in South Australia and Internationally. Trudy collaborated on the Teaching Teachers for the Future Project as the Flinders University Project Coordinator and was a member of the project’s Research and Evaluation Working Group. She has conducted ICT research and published multiple peer-reviewed papers. At ACEC2010 she received a best paper award. Recently, at ACEC2014 she chaired the Refereed Papers sub-committee and co-authored the conference proceedings. She has presented at numerous state, national and international educational technology conferences including ACEC (since 2004) and ISTE (2012). As a long-standing member of the ACCE Board since 2007, Trudy has demonstrated leadership at the national level through her voluntary management of two AITSL funded ICT projects related to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in 2011 and 2012. Trudy designed and led ACCE’s 2012, 17-day study tour to the USA and Canada with 24 participants. She was ACCE Treasurer for five years (2009 to 2014) and is on the editorial board for the Australian Educational Computing Journal.
2014: James Curran New South Wales
Dr. James Curran has provided outstanding leadership in advancing computer science at a state, national level and international level with both educators and secondary students alike. He is best known for running the National Computing Science Summer School for over a decade where students from around Australia meet at a residential camp (University of Sydney) to further their skills in programming and the creation of complex websites based on a ‘real world’ need. James is also known for the National Computing Science School Challenge where students from various ages and backgrounds participate in an online programming challenge using the Python programming language. The competition lasts for 5 weeks, is fully done online, various readings and problems are given to students and students submit their responses online and get instantaneous feedback. Mentors are on standby during this period to respond to students’ questions. Both the above programs make use of talented and enthusiastic undergraduate and postgraduate students who become mentors for both educators and secondary students (with an occassional primary student). James has been involved with ACARA and the development of the Digital Technologies course and has created high-quality, engaging teaching resources and delivered professional development to educators around Australia. In addition he has been involved in various outreach progammes outside of the Sydney area with a focus on getting females more interested in information technology. Dr. James Curran has been a catalyst for change in computer science for over the past decade.
2012: Co-Leader of the Year 2012 Western Australia
Lynley McKernan has provided exceptional leadership in educational computing at a local, State and national level. Lynley is recognized within Western Australia for her outstanding leadership because of her tireless, dedicated and highly collaborative work in supporting teachers of computing and of those using information and computing technologies to facilitate learning. Her commitment is clearly evident through her long and significant contribution to and the management of Educational Computing Association of Western Australia (ECAWA) as a committee member, Conference Convenor, President and Secretary. She is well-known for her dedication to supporting teachers of Computing and teachers integrating ICT’s and Learning Technologies into their practice, within her school, the Catholic education system and across Western Australia, however her contribution to ECAWA, The Educational Computing Association of Western Australia, is without comparison. Teachers, school leaders, whole schools, education sectors and curriculum developers have benefited from Lynley’s dedication to promoting and supporting the use of ICT in education. Through her involvement with ECAWA teachers have been encouraged and mentored in the development and implementation of courses and resources. Many teachers have participated in and gained from her workshops and conference presentations. ECAWA members have benefited from her management, organizational and facilitation skills and from professional development opportunities supported and motivated by her ability to manage the diversity of tasks as well as lead by example. Lynley is highly respected educator, both locally and globally, and has those exemplary characteristics of a leader which provide inspiration to all.
2012: Co-Leader of the Year 2012 Victoria
Adrian Camm is an educator, speaker and presenter who is passionate about providing students and teachers with engaging and authentic learning experiences. His main interests lie in gaming, cryptography, physics and mathematics, and he believes that all students are capable of achieving success in these areas. Adrian regularly advises on educational reform, 1:1 programs, technology integration, personalisation and project-based learning. He has worked in a variety of roles, including work with the Innovations & Next Practice Division of DEECD. His pioneering use of current and emerging technologies is impacting positively on student engagement and learning outcomes across Victoria and beyond. In 2010, Adrian received the Mecu Outstanding Secondary Teacher Award at the Victorian Education Excellence Awards, as well as two awards at the 2009 Australian Awards for Teaching Excellences: Best National Achievement, The Minister’s Award for Excellence in ICT and Highly Commended Excellence by a Teacher. Adrian extensively promotes, supports and advocates the use of ICT in education. He has written articles for Educational Technology Solutions, ICTEV and VITTA, is a prolific speaker at both national and international conferences, and is currently involved in research investigating new and best practices in online education for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students and the professional development of teachers.
2011: Donna Gronn, ICTEV, Victoria
In particular Dr Gronn’s was recognised for her work work as Chair of ICTEV’s conference committee, her commitment to ICTEV over many years and at present, her commitment to the role of vice-president ICTEV, her co-chairing of the program committee for the 2010 ACCE National conference, her chairing of the Volunteer Committee for the same conference, her work in primary and secondary schools, her commitment to the development of ICT at ACU and her work as co-editor of the ACCE journal, Australian Education Computing
2010: Jeremy Pagram, ECAWA, Western Australia
2009: Paul Newhouse, ECAWA, Western Australia | Monika Stinton, QSITE, Queensland
2008: Anne Ballard South Australia
Because Anne was seen as a leader in the educational computing community, she became part of the small group that founded CEGSA. Anne has been the first R-7 computers in education advisory teacher, and following this had moved to support ICTs across the curriclum, as well as to teach specialist informtion technology subjects in an R-12 school. She has always sought to support the needs of secodnary teachers, both the teachers using ICTs to support their teaching and students’ learning, and the specialist needs of Information Technology (Computing Studies) subject teachers.
2007: South Australia
Sue Hollands, Technology School of the Future, CEGSA
2006: Queensland
Lindy McKeown, University of Southern Queensland, QSITE
2005: Victoria Tony Brandenburg, Catholic Education Office Ballarat, ICTEV
Tony Brandenburg is the President of ICT in Education Victoria and Board member of the Asutralian Council of Computers in Education. His paid employment is as Professiona Assistant to the Director of Catholic Educaiton in the Diocese of Ballarat, a role that includes responsibility of ICT in the diocese. He is also the Victorian representative on the National Catholic Educaiton Commission Technology Working Party and on many committeess of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. Tony has been involved in ICT in education since graduating from the Australian Catholic University in 1978 where in his final year he received an award for research into the integration of IT into the primary curriculum. At this time his work was with BBC Master Computers and the original Apple computers, many of which he still has in the garage at home. He is still an Apple users, something he doesn’t let his colleagues forget. Tony lectured in Computers in Education at the Australian Catholic University for three years in the early nineties, focusing on his passion for the integration of ICT into subject areas, arguing that the teaching of computers had little to do with a ‘primary curriculum’ as an identified subject. Tony was instrumental in the creation of the Victorian Wide-Area Catholic Virtual Private Network, a network that now connects catholic schools in Victoria, sharing data, resources and providing internet connection. He holds a Masters Degree in Education, a Graduate Diploma of Education Studies (Computing) and a Bathcelor of Education. He is a member of the Australian College of Educators and a member of the Australian Council of Computers in Education. He has attended and presented at ICT conferences nationally and internationally and presented at many various gatherings.
2004: Victoria Dr Geoff Romeo, Monash University, ICTEV
Dr Geoff Romeo a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash Unviersity, Australia. He has been with the faculty since 1991. Prior to this he was a teacher with the Education Department of Victoria. He has taught in a number of schools in Victoria including Waverley Meadows Primary School, Rowville Primary School and Mossgiel Park Primary School. In 1989 he was an International Teaching Feelow and taught for 12 months at Galveston Elementary School in Arizona, USA. Geoff is the Chair of the faculty’s Information and Communication Technologies in Education Committee, a member of the Faculty of Computing and Information Technology Faculty Board, Course Director of the Primary Program at Peninsula, the Coordinator of Educational Computing and Senior Lecturer in ICTE at the Peninsula Campus. He is a member of Monash University’s HEPCIT (Higher Education Partnerships in Communication and Information Technology) Committee and Chair of the InterLearn Steering Committee. His research interests include the use of ICT in education (from early childhood education to tertiary education) to improve teaching and learning, online teaching and learning, the development of primary and middle school curriculum, action research and education in general. Dr Romeo is the Immediate Past President of ICT in Education in Victoria and a past member of the Australian Council for Computers in Education and the Standards Council of the Teaching Profession. Geoff is a respected lecturer, researcher, presenter and author, and is active in delivering and organising professional development for schools, organisations and teachers. He has presented at conferences, seminars and workshops in Australia, the United Kingdom, USA, Demark and Chile.