Australian Positive Teacher

of the year 2016

Positive Teacher of the Year 2016 is
proudly supported by
The Positive Schools Initiative
Geelong Grammar School Institute of Positive Education & Principals Australia Institute
About our selected 2016 positive teachers

Martin Leach, Positive Schools QLD
Principal, Narangba State School
The following are quotes have been taken from the TWELVE nominations that Martin received from his colleagues:
‘Martin is a great Principal, person and educator. He is so approachable to all teachers and everyone who is associated with Narangba. He is a Principal who truly has an open door and makes time for everybody, no appointment required ever.’
‘Through relationships based on respect Martin has fostered both a supportive and collaborative place to learn. Each stakeholder in our school knows there are jobs to be done and each and every staff member and student knows how much he values us.’
‘I am a Guidance Officer and I have been in education for 31 years and I have never met a Principal like Martin. He is a skilled leader and a kind person who helps everybody follow their individual dream and he truly cares that you get there. Amazing!’
Rachael Robertson, Positive Schools  WA (inc NT)
Level 3 teacher and Year 2 classroom teacher, North Woodvale Primary School
From Rachael’s nomination, written by her deputy principal Tom Hills:
‘Rachael organised GYMD at our school after seeing the success Geelong Grammar had experienced. The day included exercise, inspiration, mindfulness and fun. It was featured on Nine News, further spreading Positive Education with the wider community.
Rachael is the team leader of Positive Education and implemented the Kids Matter initiative across the whole school. She has emphasised the importance of building positive relationships and models this around the school.
Rachael runs a lunch time gardening club at our school to engage students who find playtime difficult. It's open to all students but targets children who need another alternative at lunch whether it's physically, socially or emotionally.’
Desy Pantelos , Positive Schools VIC (including SA)
Positive Education Specialist Teacher, Kidman Park Primary School
From Desy’s nomination, written by her colleague Teresa Marshall:
‘After many years of teaching in the classroom, Desy began her role as our very first Positive Education Specialist teacher. In lessons she teaches all our classes about character strengths, mindfulness, gratitude, forgiveness and many other things.
Many of our students have issues with anxiety amongst other things and Desy is not only here for the students during class time but she offers a lot of her own time to support, listen to and encourage students to find their personal happiness.
Desy has created 'a sanctuary' for her classes to enjoy. This room is called the PEARL Room. Pearl stands for Positive Education Assists Real Learning.
It is a beautiful decorated room, mostly done with Desy's own money.
This room is calm & inviting.’
Ralph Johns,  Positive Schools NSW (inc ACT)
Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing K – 6, Lakes Grammar - An Anglican School
From Ralph’s nomination from a colleague:
‘Ralph implemented the Kidsmatter framework, grew the number of artistic, cultural and sporting activities for students, numerous Gallup and ACER surveys of the school community show consistently enhanced wellbeing among students, staff and parents.
Ralph has led the school in implementing a Student Representative Council for Student Voice, a K - 6 Peer Support Program, a Macquarie University trial of Cool Kids and Friendly Schools Plus and completing Kidsmatter implementation with the community.
Ralph proactively meets parents, makes phone calls and chats in the playground to build strong family relationships. He's worked as a team with our Chaplain, Counsellor and Executive to make us welcoming. Introduced Kinder transition & Harmony Day”
Every teacher in this list has been nominated for Positive Teacher 2016 because the outstanding work they do to support student and staff wellbeing in their school community has been noticed!
Thank-you to all teachers for all you do to ensure that Australian schools are positive schools.
(listed in alphabetical order by School/College name)
Julie Ralph,  Adelaide High School;  Rhonda Thearle,  Alesco Illawarra; Jean Varty,  Ardmona Primary School;  Luke Hanley,  Arndell School; Deborah Doyle, Ashdale Secondary College;  Jane Reeves,  Aspect Hunter School; Eleni Diakos,  Belmont State School;  Sammi Jo Hyland,  Biloela State High School; Lindy Bartlett,  Blackwood High School; Derek Reilly, Blaxland East Public School; Jennifer Francis,  Bold Park Community School; Trish Hilton,  Bold Park Community School; Amy McDermott,  Bold Park Community School; Sarah Polson-Brown,  Bold Park Community School; Sarah Weaving,  Bold Park Community School; Krystal Stanley,  Boulia State School; Maria La Selva,  Box Hill North Primary School; Allison Johansen,  Brigidine College,  Indooroopilly; Sunday Ciastkowski,  Brindabella Christian College; Benjamin Nicol,  Brisbane Waters Secondary College; Marcel Walter,  Busselton Primary School; Karen Scott,  Callaghan College Waratah Technology Campus; Allison Blight,  Callaghan College,  Waratah Technology Campus; Melanie Armstrong , Capalaba State College; Jason Goudie ,  Catholic College Sale; Kieran O'Dwyer,  Catholic College Sale; Natalie Hamill,  Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs;  L Edmonds,  Cedar Creek State School;  Wendy Gerrard,  Cedar Creek State School; Melanie Schuhkraft,  Chisholm Catholic College;  Narelle Pell , Cobram Primary School;  Wendie O'Connell , Colyton High School;  Emma Cattapan , Como Secondary College;  Peter Schmidt , Como Secondary College;  Adriana Grant , Coral Park Primary School;  Adriana Grant , Coral Park Primary School;  Nicole Brown , Dakabin State High School;  Martin Corcoran , De La Salle College Ashfield;  Aaron Davey , Dominic College; Aaron Davey , Dominic College;  Scott Trewhella , Echuca Primary School;  Kate Mamone , Eden Marine High School; Kathy Street , Edge Hill State School;  Sara Hayson , Elanora Senior High School;  Jasmine Ivett , Elanora State High School;  Jodi Russell , Ellenbrook Christian College;  Nathalie Driver , Ellenbrook Secondary College;  Leah Bushell , Emmaus College;  Karen Hill , Errington Special Education Centre;  Tamara Rodgers , Evans High School;  Jenny Sutton , Fairholme College;  Cassandra Richardson , Faith Lutheran College - Plainland;  Sarah Corn , Geelong East Primary School;  Khrystyna Greenfield , Georges Hall Public School;  Brad Taylor , Georgiana Molloy Anglican School;  Justine Drew , Glenmore Park High School;  Ellen Richardson , Glenmore Park High School;  Fiona Elsegood , Gooseberry Hill Primary School;  Marco Geurzoni , Guilford Young College;  Jason Nguyen , Hampton Senior High School;  Nicole Bonino , Heckenberg Public School;  Kate Regan , Heckenberg Public School;  Paula Sellars , Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School;  Jenny Lynn , Ingham State High School;  Paula Rand , Ingham State High School;  Mandeep Kaur , Jasdev Singh Sandhu College Of Education;  Veronica Huff , Jeparit Primary School;  Arlene Monaghan , Kandos High School;  Cheryl Murray , Kandos High School;  Claire Mincham-Trowbridge , Kangaroo Island Community Education;  Desy Pantelos , Kidman Park Primary School;  Melissa Kenehan , Kirrawee High School;  Helen Del Frate , Lake Joondalup Baptist College;  Ralph Johns , Lakes Grammar - An Anglican School; Dayle Gamble , Lightning Ridge Central School;  Kim Bence , Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak;  Joanne Foley , Loreto Toorak;  Sarah Akkermans , Lucindale Area School;  Carolyn Phillips , Maclean Public School;  Shungo Sawaki , Macrobertson Girls High School;  Karen Blatchford , Maitland Grossmann High School;  Troy Yates , Margaret River Montessori School;  Marnie Hibbin , Marra Creek Public School;  Mark Chifley , Merici College;  Omind Fanayan , Millen Primary School;  Phillip Winterling , Mitcham Primary School;  Felicity Godson , Mylor Primary School;  Martin Leach , Narangba State Primary School;  Tracey Byrne , Narara Valley High;  Angela Morrah , Nerang State High School;  Rachael Robertson , North Woodvale Primary School;  Natalie Aco , Nuriootpa High School;  Natalie Axo , Nuriootpa High School;  Anne Barclay , Nuriootpa High School;  Michelle Ogilvie , Osborne Primary School;  Christine Wilks , Our Lady Of Good Counsel Catholic Primary School;  Kelly Moore , Oxenford State School;  Lisa Capewell , Pia Wadjarri Remote Community School;  Kylie Unkovich , Port Hedland Primary School;  Anna Benson , Ringwood Seconday College;  Ayesha Meer , Rockingham Montessori School;  Jo Emond , Romsey Primary School;  Charu Sharma , Rostrata Primary School;  Emma Devine , Rouse Hill High School;  Krista Cameron , Sandgate District Senior High School;  Fiona Walsh , Santa Maria Del Monte;  Alexandra Harper , Scecgs Redlands;  Georgy Jureidini , Seymour College;  Linda Holmes , St Anne's Catholic Primary School;  Leigh Murray , St Anne's Catholic Primary School;  Helen Patroni , St Anne's Catholic Primary School;  Joshua Barnett , St Columba Anglican School;  Ella Lakin , St Columbia Anglican School;  Jamie Brett , St Francis Xavier's School;  Rachel Turpin , St James Lutheran College;  Kerri Hilton , St Norbert College;  Phil Ruxton , St Patrick's College Sutherland;  Kerrie Anglin , St Peters Lutheran College,  Springfield;  Angie Sinclair , St Philip's Christian College Port Stephens;  Denise Morgan , St Thomas More's Catholic Primary School;  Cathy Aitchison , St Ursula's College Toowoomba;  Karyn Sookee , St. Anthony's Catholic Primary School;  David Lyons-Nash , St. Norbert College;  Andrew Kelly , Swan Hill Primary School;  Maree Gray , Swanview Senior High School;  Amanda Banister , The Cathedral School Of St Anne & St James;  Judy Peterson , The Patch Primary School;  Jody Yandle , The Patch Primary School;  Lyn Massey , Trinity College Blakeview;  Shaun Bollmeyer , Trinity College Blakeview School;  Kelly Douglas , Trinity College Blakeview School;  Terri Meldrum , Trinity College Blakeview School;  Paul Pearce , Trinity College Blakeview School;  Leonie Smith , Upper Orara Public School;  Yvonne Colsey , Walford Anglican School For Girls;  Robert Dart , Warrnambool College;  Karen Holdsworth , Warrnambool East Primary School;  Keliesha Barns , Watervale Primary School;  Kathryn Taylor , Wingham High School;  Laury Furney , Wollongong High School Of The Performing Arts;  Shane Matthews , Woodland Road Public School;  Angela Mills , Woodthorpe School;  R. Packham , Woodthorpe School - Cunderdin Campus;  Tammy-Anne Caldwell , Woodthorpe School Albany Campus;  Elissa Sewell , Yarraman Oaks Primary School;  Heath Henwood , Yeppoon State School
Positive Teacher is proudly supported by
Geelong Grammar School Institute of Positive Education
Principals Australia Institute  

& The Positive Schools Initiative








An opportunity to acknowledge Australia’s most positive teachers for their outstanding contribution to school wellbeing in 2015.





Australian Positive Teacher of the Year aims to celebrate and acknowledge the vital contribution that teachers make to social and emotional wellbeing and positive education in their classrooms and schools. 


It is time we considered great teachers to be the teachers who help young people to thrive and flourish, not simply to achieve academic outcomes. As such, all submissions should be made on the basis of a teacher’s contribution to developing and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing within their school community.


We would like to acknowledge all the positive teachers you tell us about by making sure they receive a special thank-you at the events and in the conference booklet, on the Positive Schools website and on the

Positive Times online magazine


In addition


Four ‘Positive Teachers of the Year 2016’ will be invited to attend each of the four Australian Positive Schools 2016 conferences where they will be our guest at the event and receive a formal onstage thank-you from the legendary Ita Buttrose, a Fitbit Surge and a letter of thanks from the Positive Schools Initiative.


In addition, each of these four special teachers will be invited to present their own education story at Positive Schools 2017.


Submissions are invited from teachers, principals and other members of the school staff who have an in-depth knowledge of their colleague’s contribution to wellbeing.  Note you may tell us about teachers from anywhere in Australia – all positive teachers that you tell us about will be considered for special mention according to their nearest Positive Schools 2016 event.


‘Positive Teacher of the Year 2016’ is proudly supported by


PSI (The Positive Schools Initiative),

Geelong Grammar School Institute of Positive Education,

beyondblue, Principals Australia Institute, KidsMatter & MindMatters


In 2015 we received over 750 submissions from around Australia.  As ever the final selection process was challenging with so many great teachers deserving of recognition.


Our four outstanding Positive Teachers for 2015 will be presenting their positive schools journey at each of their respective events