HomeAwards & Recognition2011 - 2012 Awards for Meritorious Contribution to the Profession

2011 - 2012 Awards for Meritorious Contribution to the Profession

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APTA would like to congratulate the following 2011 -2012 Awards for Meritorious Contribution to the Profession recipients:

Bronwyn Hession                   New South Wales
Dr Emily Matters                     New South Wales
Professor Wayne Sawyer     New South Wales
Sue Hamilton-Smith              Queensland

Bronwyn Hession

Bronwyn Hession has had a long and distinguished connection with professional teachers associations in NSW and beyond. In recent times she has held Executive positions on both the Economics and Business Educators of NSW and Business Educators of Australasia Boards and has worked tirelessly to develop and deliver quality professional development for teachers of Commerce, Business and Economics over a sustained period of time. She has represented Economics and Business Educators on the Board of the Professional Teachers’ Council of NSW.

Always putting the learning of others first, Bronwyn has a generosity of spirit that has seen her contribute across a wide range of contexts and use her own learning to develop others through mentoring and guidance. She has contributed to national partnerships, consumer and financial literacy projects, teacher quality projects, Australian Government Quality Teacher Programs and most recently as a member of the Expert Reference Group for the Australian Curriculum for Business and Economics Education.

Bronwyn is an outstanding leader of educators and works with energy and passion for the betterment of all students. Her deep knowledge of student learning, the way that education systems work; and the role of educational leadership in promoting and enhancing student learning has been applied to consideration of current educational reforms for many stakeholders. 


Dr Emily Matters

Dr Emily Matters has given a lifetime to the cause of Classical language teaching. Beginning in 1972 as a foundation member of the Latin Teachers Association, now the Classical Languages Teachers Association, Dr Matters has held the office of President for ten tears spread across four decades. Her leadership in this role has given outstanding direction and encouragement to Classics teachers throughout Australia.

Dr Matters’ teaching career has seen her involved at every level to improve the lot of Classical languages teachers and to advance the cause of Classical scholarship – as a syllabus writer, a Chief Examiner, a developer of Gifted and Talented programs, an organiser of Classical Drama Festivals, working with indigenous languages and as an advocate for the inclusion of Classical Languages in the National Curriculum.

Dr Matters has an international reputation as a leading figure in Classical education. She is a worthy recipient of this APTA Award for Meritorious Contribution to the Teaching Profession.


Professor Wayne Sawyer

Wayne is an esteemed educator who is held in the highest regard within the profession, both across Australia and internationally. Wayne has had a profound influence on teaching and curriculum through his publications, his research, his teaching and various key roles in teaching associations and universities.

Wayne is a staunch and active member of the English Teachers Association NSW throughout his teaching career. He was the NSW delegate to the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE) and the Editor of English in Australia (the journal of AATE) (1999-2004).

He fulfilled with great distinction the presidency of ETANSW from 2002-2004. He provided outstanding leadership and represented the interests of the membership insightfully, with alacrity and dedication to the government, the media and other institutions.

Wayne’s research work has focused on exceptional learning outcomes for students and more recently supporting teachers in low SES schools on theTeachers for a Fair Go project.  Together with his academic team he studied the work of 30 teachers in Priority Schools in the NSW Department of Education and Communities who were highly successful at engaging students through their pedagogy. The study explored the causal impact of the teachers’ work on the academic engagement of their students. The research studied in detail the critical pedagogical work along the length (stages and critical milestones) and breadth (specific contexts and geographical locations) of schooling.

Wayne has supported teaching associations in developing whole of career teacher development support. He has actively built partnerships between universities, schools and teaching associations for the benefit of teachers and students. Wayne has actively engaged in the Professional Teachers Council NSW forums in the areas of professional teaching standards, accreditation, curriculum development and the governance of professional teaching associations. He assists teaching associations in developing leadership sustainability involving mentoring early career teachers and future leaders of associations.


Sue Hamilton-Smith

Sue Hamilton-Smith is an active member of the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association. She is currently President of the Mackay and Whitsundays Local Council of ALEA. Sue has held a leadership role with the ALEA Local Council since 2007 where membership engagement went from10 members to 2000 educationalists accessing the opportunities offered by the local council. Sue has instigated a range of activities that have helped to improve literacy development and language learning at all levels. She has gained the respect and support of the wider community.  She has highlighted the voices of teachers and professional teaching associations.

Sue mentors educationalists to have a presence at community functions such as Let’s Read “Teddy Bears Picnic In the Park” attended by scores of young families. After the 2008 Mackay floods, those affected needed an avenue to tell their stories. On behalf of ALEA, Sue sought community support and grants to facilitate creative writing workshops and to collate narratives that were published in A “Flood of Words” and presented to its contributors at a public function in the local library.

Sue mentors local teachers to share best practice at a national level, including submitting articles to ALEA national journals and conferences. She uses electronic communication technologies to reach out to Local Council members by sending monthly newsletters, email communication, and posting notes and video clips from professional learning sessions onto the Central Queensland Learning Place “Sharing Images of Success” literacy professional learning community website.