Emerging Educator Award

Katrina Sadowski – Northern Territory Department of Education

Katrina has been employed with the Northern Territory Government for eight and a half years, working in the areas of child protection, domestic violence and education. She is currently responsible for the development and implementation of early years’ workforce initiatives and partnering with key early childhood stakeholders and registered training organisations to ensure the Northern Territory’s demands for quality early childhood educators are met.

Sue Hyde – Stop Wait Go

Sue is an experienced educational administrator, teacher, mother and grandmother. Her professional life developed into a career helping children and families who are trying to manage the sometimes challenging behaviour of young children. As Sue’s experiences as an advisory teacher in behaviour management expanded into the Darwin community, she found that many parents needed additional support dealing with their children as so many families live away from their extended families and their support networks. With this in mind, Sue opened her consultancy business to provide behaviour management support to those families and other children’s services professionals across the Northern Territory.

Georgie Nutton – Charles Darwin University

Georgie has over 25 years’ experience in early childhood education practice and applied research, as well as policy development and delivery of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment projects. Key projects have included:

  • analysis of national and international evidence-based interventions across health, child protection, community development and education disciplines;
  • co-authoring monograph chapter for the NHMRC Linked Data Project;
  • investigating continuities and discontinuities for pre-service teachers between prior-to-school and school settings;
  • evaluation of collective impact processes and outcomes for a partnership of non-government agencies and schools in Darwin; and
  • early childhood development, preschool teacher professional development and research capacity in Timor Leste.

Georgie enjoys teaching in a wide range of subjects for the bachelor and master degrees, in addition to course coordination…and especially seeing our graduates making a difference.

Outstanding Educator Award

Meagan Lake – Northern Territory Department of Education

Meagan has 20 plus years’ experience working across the Northern Territory in a range of teaching and corporate positions for the Department of Education. She has experience as a mentor teacher for a number of universities and is a pedagogical expert with a broad knowledge of services across the Northern Territory. Meagan successfully developed and implemented the Northern Territory Early Childhood Transitioning package, was a co-writer of the Northern Territory Preschool Curriculum and is a project officer for the implementation of the Age-Appropriate Pedagogies (AAP) program in Northern Territory schools.

Julie Cadd – Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education

Julie has 30 years’ experience in early childhood including holding roles as a director of childcare services in both urban and remote locations. Julie has experience working as an inclusion support facilitator and facilitator in assisting remote services to understand and implement the National Quality Framework. She is currently a Lecturer at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education, teaching Diploma and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care. Julie’s qualifications include a Batchelor of Education, Associate Diploma of Children’s services, Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and a Certificate III in Community Services.

Dr Aggie Wegner – Charles Darwin University

Dr Wegner is the elected Chair of Academic Board at Charles Darwin University (CDU) and sits on the CDU Council. In this role she works closely with her peers and colleagues across the sector. In her role as Senior Lecturer in the College of Business and Law she is interested in governance and policy, management and tourism. Aggie’s key strength is her ability to link, liaise and relate across different stakeholders and interest groups based on her multidisciplinary background and extensive experience in industry and academia. Aggie successfully works collaboratively with other academics, government agencies, community groups, non-governmental organisations and industry partners.

Outstanding Leadership Award

Belinda Hoult – Northern Territory Department of Education

Belinda has been an early childhood educator across the Northern Territory for more than 25 years. During this time she has held a variety of roles as classroom teacher, senior teacher, assistant principal, ESL teacher and special needs teacher. Belinda is currently the in the Department of Education and also lectures part time for Charles Darwin University in early childhood mathematics.

Dr Brenda Staley – Charles Darwin University

Bea Staley is a lecturer in Special Education and Inclusion at Charles Darwin University and teaches a variety of classes in the School of Education. Bea has a PhD in Multicultural Equity Studies in Education from Ohio State University. Her research interests broadly relate to diversity and difference; she studies children and youth in context of their families and communities. Bea is currently running two Darwin-based research projects in conjunction with the Early Intervention team at Carpentaria Disability Services. Bea is a member of the Australian Literacy Educator’s Association (ALEA), Speech Pathology Australia, and Early Childhood Intervention Australia – NT. Along with Dr. Linda Mahony, Bea is a co-editor of ALEA’s Practical Literacy: the Early and Primary Years.

Megan Lawton – VIVID Advice

Megan is a lawyer and recognised leader, achieving runner-up ‘Boss of the Year’ in 2015. She is CEO of the Law Society Northern Territory and working mother of three primary school-age children. Megan’s law practice offers advice to business about commercial, employment and workplace issues. Megan also shares her legal and governance expertise with a number of not-for profit and statutory boards.

Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Practice Award

Rawinia Schwalger – Australian Government Department Education and Training

Rawinia has worked with the Commonwealth Government Department of Education and Training in the Northern Territory State Office since 2005.  She has previously worked extensively with Budget Based services, particularly in the Central Australia region, but also right across the Northern Territory, and currently oversees the workload management of the Northern Territory team which undertakes Compliance and Assessments for Child Care Subsidy. She holds a Batchelor Social Science (Education & Economics) and Certificate III Children Services.

Shannon Hallett – OT for Kids NT

Shannon Hallett studied Occupational Therapy at Curtin University and has always been interested in working with children. Through fieldwork placements she transformed her passion for children into a goal….To improve the lives of children and provide them with the opportunity to laugh every day. Shannon has worked in a variety of roles, including allied health services, a specialty disability team, children’s development team and other project work. In May 2010, OT for Kids NT was born. Shannon continues to play a very active role in OT for Kids NT, as both a therapist and business manager.

Simone Pedder – Northern Territory Department of Education

Simone is the Abecedarian Manager in the Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program with the Department of Education. She has 20 years of experience working in various settings across the Northern Territory as an early childhood teacher. Simone has supported school leaders and early childhood professionals both nationally and internationally as a pedagogical leader in play based learning and early childhood best practice. In her current role, Simone provides educational leadership in the program design, implementation, training and development of Abecedarian Approach Australia (3a) throughout the Northern Territory.  She works with program advisors, family educators and family liaison officers to ensure the delivery of consistent, quality educational practices.  Simone has a Masters of Learning and Development (Early Childhood).

Outstanding Achievement in Community Engagement Award

Simon Cotton – Northern Territory Department of Education

Simon is a trained teacher. For more than 40 years he has worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in primary and high schools, in both urban and rural settings, in South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Simon is currently the Northern Territory Director of Connected Beginnings, which is a Commonwealth Government funded program. The program is a school readiness initiative focusing on children aged from birth to five years and their parents. Connected Beginnings programs currently operate in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Galiwin’ku. A new program will begin in Angurugu shortly.

Carly Singer – Early Childhood Australia NT Branch

Carly has worked in the early childhood sector for ten years; the last four of those have been in the Northern Territory. Her roles have included group leader, educational leader and inclusion professional. Carly is New Zealand qualified with a Bachelor Degree in Teaching Early Childhood. Carly is enthusiastic about creating environments to work as the ‘3rd teacher ‘- a part of the Reggio Emilia philosophy and enjoys guiding educators in reflective practice.

Lisa Louden – author and journalist

Lisa Louden is an author, journalist, and former television and radio news producer. After broadcasting, she served as a magazine editor and publisher for five years, growing her Australian-based magazine, Adore Animals, to national and international audiences; a communications lead for clients in multi-million dollar change projects; and founded the Adore Animals Foundation, volunteering as Managing Director for five years. Her authored works include 100 Years at the Cutting Edge, Moments of Connection and her first children’s book, The Pipey Fairy, which was recently shortlisted for Book of the Year 2018 (birth to 3 years) in the Speech Pathology Australia awards.