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System Excellence Award

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Suzie Cottle

Early childhood leader, Mount Gambier Regional Office

Suzie’s work highlights the impact of inquiry and reflective practice on pedagogy and professional capacity in early childhood educators. Sustainable change happens when educators are supported to engage in rich dialogue, informed by current theory and research. As a result, sites have reported increased engagement and motivation in literacy learning and the project has grown into a portfolio-wide professional learning community.


Adam Box

Education director, Mount Gambier Portfolio

Adam has led a continued and successful focus on developing learners who are resilient, powerful and engaged with their communities. He drives system excellence across the Mount Gambier Portfolio by creating conditions and a culture where partnerships actively work towards the ideal of becoming ‘one big school’, seeking improvement opportunities not only for their own students, but for all children.

Heidi Unferdorben

Senior policy and project officer, Volunteers, Engagement and Wellbeing

Heidi has a passion and commitment to ensure strategic, safe and meaningful volunteer involvement within the department. This has resulted in statewide system reform to embed better support for sites to involve volunteers. With  more than 25,000 volunteers working within DECD, Heidi’s work is very important in ensuring children and students are given opportunities to reach their full potential.


Public Education Awards

Phone: 8226 2339
Emailpubliceducationawards [at] sa.gov.au