Charter Leadership Awardees 2021

We are pleased to announce the following recipients of the Charter Leadership Awards 2021. Congratulations to the awardees and the many people who were nominated. Through the annual presentation of these awards, Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) seeks to recognise the outstanding contribution of women and men in the service of their school communities, in support of the vision and mission of EREA. By directly linking these awards to the Charter, we celebrate the many diverse ways that the four Touchstones are brought to life as a powerful expression of the charism of Edmund Rice alive today. In addition, the awards recognise the significant leadership roles of women and men in our schools and the impact that their leadership has on the lives of others.

Gospel Spirituality

Regina Rowan (Parade College, Bundoora and Preston, VIC)

Regina is teacher at Parade College, Bundoora and Preston who has recently stepped aside as the Assistant Principal Student Wellbeing after fifteen years of dedicated service. Regina currently holds the role of Special Projects Officer.  Regina’s work in establishing and embedding the College’s restorative practice approach to supporting students and staff has been transformational.  She continues to be an instructional leader through her witness and modelling of respectful relationships for the entire college community.  It has informed how the College upholds Child Safety and agency for student voice.  Both are now imbued in the College Pastoral Care Program where students are supported by Tutor Teachers to use their voice to be heard, believed and protected.  Regina is a passionate champion for the wellbeing of students.  This was demonstrated powerfully this year during COVID where Regina planned an online Valete Assembly video accompanied by a hamper that was sent to all families so they could share a meal virtually.  Regina creates opportunities, space and prayerful reflection for those in the community suffering loss, hardship and grief.  Her heart beats ‘for the other’ in the true sense of Blessed Edmund Rice’s invocation to ‘Live Jesus in our Hearts – Forever.’

Liberating Education

Michael Gallagher (Wollongong Flexible Learning Centre, NSW)

Michael is a teacher at the Wollongong FLC.  He has worked with EREA in the Flexi space for 21 years and is regarded as an exemplary practitioner in Operating by Principles, Common Ground and Trauma Aware Practices.  His knowledge, expertise, skill and experience has contributed significantly to the successful delivery of meaningful educational outcomes for countless young people.  He has re-written Certificate I and II courses that have gained accreditation and are exemplars for other providers.  Michael takes time to mentor, coach and train staff in the four Principles.  He is known as the ‘keeper of the four Principles’ through ensuring that all in the care of young people in the Flexi environment never lose sight that these are the fundamental precepts that must be practiced to ensure young people are engaged in their learning.  He has remained passionately steadfast in upholding these Principles as a teacher and is an inspiration to others in the field.

Justice and Solidarity

Mark (Bushy) Smith (St Virgil’s College, Hobart, TAS)

Mark is a Learning Support Officer at St Virgil’s College, Hobart.  His joint passion for land care, reconciliation and sustainability has made an indelible impression at the College.  He has created an Outdoor Learning Environment which allows students to maintain and harvest a range of seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the year.  It has become a place of connection, engagement and purpose for many students with diverse learning needs.   He has also included students and staff in a land care project to return the college property of 70 acres to its native state.  It includes working closely with Aboriginal ecological activist Jamie (Jam) Graham Blaire as part of the College’s Tunapri Makuminya Project to conserve and regenerate native flora as part of a cultural development initiative.  The project has identified 50 plants of significance on the Austin Ferry campus.  Mark is also a member of the Colleges Reconciliation Action Plan Committee which saw the College recognised as a finalist in the 2021 Narragunnawali Reconciliation Awards in November.  Mark is dedicated to giving students real and practical experiences in land management, appreciation and cultural awareness.

Inclusive Community

Andrew Kirkpatrick (Ignatius Park College, Townsville, QLD)

Andrew is the Indigenous and Multicultural Program Leader at Ignatius Park College in Townsville.  His contribution to the College’s cultural awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, land, art and heritage has been immense.  This includes his passion in maintaining a family and community space that celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.  His advocacy for First Nations students transitioning to employment through the Journey2Jobs program has been outstanding with over 95% of students enrolled in the program securing employment.  Andrew’s list of initiatives includes leading the cultural dance troupe, championing the Iggy Park Deadly Awards, coordinating the Palm Island Immersion experience and presenting as a keynote speaker at EREA Reconciliation forums.  Andrew’s cultural capital as an Aboriginal man and his commitment to Reconciliation has strengthened relationships between non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to achieve exceptional outcomes towards advancing reconciliation