2017 Teacher Awards

2017 National Winner

Hamish Gibson

Georgiana Molloy Anglican School , WA

A teacher from Western Australia, Hamish began his teaching career working in isolated and distance education. He now leads the science department at a secondary school on the south coast of Western Australia. He believes that teachers should show students where to look but not what to see. As such, he sees his role as a facilitator and an active participant in a learning process that encourages students to think freely, and make evidence based decisions.

Teacher finalists

Colin Price

Daramalan College, ACT

After many years of working as an exploration geologist, Colin changed careers and moved into education where he now works as a science teacher at Daramalan College in Canberra. Colin is passionate about making science and STEM engaging for his students through self-guided lessons, open-investigations and practical activities. Colin prepares his own workbooks which are tailored for each unit and emphasise Science inquiry. Colin also leads the school’s science project pathway from Year 7 to Year 10 which helps six gifted students undertake an advanced investigation that is innovative and pushes boundaries of current knowledge.

Dylan Thomas

Clifton Hill Primary School, VIC

As head Science teacher at Clifton Hill Primary School in Melbourne, Dylan relaunched the school’s science program by developing a sequential and engaging science curriculum for students from Grades One to Six. Dylan believes STEM education develops important critical thinking and creative solutions skills, and addresses the problems facing our world today. Dylan uses Inquiry-based teaching methods to provoke curiosity and engage students. He encourages students to generate their own questions for investigation and devise rigorous methods for testing their theories.

Kate Harden

Berry Springs Primary School, NT

As Growing Green Kids Coordinator at Berry Springs Primary School in the Northern Territory, Kate supports students, teachers, parents and community members participating in exciting projects and learning activities both at school, as well as at the Territory Wildlife Park. As part of Berry Springs leadership team, Kate ensures that science, inquiry and investigations remain a strong focus for the whole school. She has worked at embedding a STEM approach to the Great Start induction program that all classes follow at the beginning of each semester. 

Megan Hayes

Mudgeeraba Creek State School, QLD

As a STEM teacher at Mudgeeraba Creek State School in the hinterland of Queensland’s Gold Coast, Megan Hayes is committed to developing an interest in STEM fields among her students. Megan sees a particular need to encourage girls to embrace STEM disciplines. Megan has introduced a STEM lab initiative into the school that has created opportunities for students to develop critical thinking and creative skills, as well as the opportunity to apply science literacies and maths skills. Her program fosters collaboration and team work as the children work together to solve problems. 

Sarah Finney

Stirling East Primary School, SA

Sarah Finney teaches her students that science means understanding our world. Sarah believes that teaching and learning STEM involves being ready to discard any hypothesis if the data does not support it, natural scepticism, vigorous questioning and following the data. Her philosophy is that scientific literacy and STEM understanding are essential to making informed and sensible decisions as human beings. 

Simone Summers

Burnie High School, TAS

After teaching in London, Simone moved to Tasmania where she has worked as a science and numeracy leader at Burnie High School in Tasmania for the last four years. Simone sees STEM education as spanning beyond the core disciplines to develop a suite of 21st century skills that are vital for our society’s future needs. Open-ended inquiry is an important feature of her teaching. She says it’s vital for teachers to guide students without being prescriptive while having a broad knowledge base in the relevant field so the results can be effectively analysed and interpreted. 

Anjali Chandrasekar

Castle Cove Public School, NSW

Educated in India and the United States, Anjali has a PhD in Ecology and Biodiversity and extensive expertise and research in Wildlife and Small Mammal Ecology. Anjali later trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. Anjali has been educating and inspiring students to study science ever since. Anjali is on the steering committee of the STANSW Young Scientists Awards and has been a judge in the competition since 2013. Anjali creates units of work based on teaching students critical thinking and investigative skills. 

Award partners