Outstanding STEM teachers celebrated at the CBA Teaching Awards

CBA teaching awards
With a background as a mechanical engineer, celebrated Teaching Fellow Adrian Casten has given his Burnside State High School students a flying start in STEM by establishing unique courses in aviation and using drones.

The 2022 CBA Teaching Awards celebrates local teachers forging significant pathways in STEM industries and helping students find their voices

Know a talented, passionate and community-minded teacher? Early this month we celebrated 22 particularly outstanding educators for their leadership, innovation and commitment to students as part of this year’s Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards.

In partnership with national charity Schools Plus, the 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards celebrates and rewards educators for demonstrating teaching excellence and helping to address the education gap in schools across the country.

Twelve of the 22 shortlisted winners will be awarded a $45,000 Teaching Fellowship to fund a strategic program in their school and provide unique opportunities for professional development.

CBA Teaching Awards
As a maths and science teacher, Teaching Fellow Liudmyla has implemented new technologies to transform her students’ learning experiences, including augmented and virtual reality technology.

Plus, in a new category, 10 early career teachers who have the commitment, potential and passion to make a significant impact in classrooms will score $10,000 for professional development and mentoring.

Above and beyond

So, what makes a teacher outstanding in 2022? This year’s cohort of award winners all demonstrated residence and innovation during a year peppered with unique challenges and disruptions.

While many of the 2021 Award recipients were recognised for improving outcomes through virtual learning when the pandemic hit, many of this year’s recipients have supported students in their transition from remote learning back to in-person learning in the classroom.

As a maths teacher, Early Career Teacher Holly Milician founded the ‘Annual Mathematics Olympics’ as a way to inspire her students, while destigmatising difficulties many students experience with maths.

Faced with natural disasters and ongoing classroom disruptions due to Covid, the shortlisted teachers were all quick to adopt innovative and resilient education practices that fostered personal connections both with students and their community. 

Initiatives included everything from developing unique learning programs such as ‘Annual Mathematics Olympics’ and ‘Project Medical School’, to pioneering new eSports and drone technology courses.

“Schools Plus is proud to support schools and teachers who have shown innovation, resilience and tireless commitment to their students,” explains Rosemary Conn, Chief Executive Officer of Schools Plus.

“Teachers and educators play such a vital role in preparing the next generation to meet the demands of an evolving workforce, economy and society and we congratulate our 2022 Award recipients for their exceptional contribution to schools across the country,” adds Luke Schepen, Commowealth Bank’s Head of Community Investment.

Champions of diversity

It’s pretty clear that this year’s cohort of Award winners are committed to equality and inclusivity, developing programs where students of all learning abilities and backgrounds can engage, learn and feel supported.

“We are delighted to celebrate these inspirational teachers, who share our commitment to addressing the education gap in areas of disadvantage, particularly over the past two challenging years,” stresses Rosemary. 

The 22 Award recipients have been selected from more than 2000 educators who were nominated for their outstanding contribution to their schools and broader communities. The 2022 Commonwealth Bank Teaching Award winners are:

Teaching Fellows:

  • Trent Cowley, Kingston State School, QLD
  • Jenna Cullen, Marsden State High School, QLD
  • Daniel Edwards, Montello Primary School, TAS
  • Toni Hatten-Roberts, Mastery Schools Australia, QLD
  • Adrian Casten, Burnside State High School, QLD
  • Michael    Hornby, Mabel Park State High School, QLD
  • Brendan   Kenna, Wilmot Road Primary School, VIC
  • Peter Langham, Monterey Secondary College, VIC
  • Fransina Norval, Tennant Creek High School, NT
  • Ian Preston, Murrumbidgee Regional High School, NSW
  • Stephanie Salazar, John Purchase Public School, NSW
  • Shane Wilson, Marble Bar Primary School, WA

Early Career Teachers:

  • Holly Millican, South Grafton High School, NSW
  • Lauren Walters, St Agnes Catholic High School, NSW
  • Kylie Chatfield, Christmas Island District High School, WA
  • Liudmyla Kovalev, Loganlea State High School, QLD
  • Stella Ding, The Ponds High School, NSW
  • Alys Tipler, Browns Plains State High School, QLD
  • Justin Betts, Sunnybank State High School, QLD
  • Claire Vogan, Minyerri School, NT
  • Jessica Cridland, Monterey Secondary College, VIC
  • Kathleen  O’Rourke, Cootamundra Public School, NSW

The 2022 winners will join 60 alumni from previous cohorts, who’ve all been nationally recognised as leaders in their field and made a serious difference to the future of their students.

For more information on the Commonwealth Bank Teaching Awards, head here. 


Cassie Steel

Author: Cassie Steel

As Refraction’s digital editor, Cassie Steel spends her days researching robots and stalking famous scientists on Twitter.


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