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Dr Janet Reynolds Award for Service to HEIA(Q)

The Dr Janet Reynolds Award is awarded for outstanding service to HEIA(Q) over a period of time. The HEIA(Q) Committee of Management decides on the recipients of this award, which is presented at the HEIA(Q) annual state conference. Two awards were made in the inaugural year, and one each year thereafter:
• 2015: Denise McManus and Cheryl Conroy
• 2016: Aileen Lockhart
• 2017 Susan Smith
• 2018 Rosemarie Sciacca
• 2019 Derryn Acutt.

Recipient of the HEIA(Q) 2019 Dr Janet Reynolds Service Award
The Dr Janet Reynolds Service Award is made to acknowledge outstanding service to the Queensland division of the Home Economics Institute of Australia over a considerable period of time. The 2019 award was presented to Derryn Acutt of The Cathedral College in Rockhampton, in front of over 350 of her peers at the HEIA(Q) state conference.

Derryn Acutt has taught at The Cathedral College in Rockhampton since 1995. Whilst at the college, Derryn has held various positions such as Dean of Technology and Academic Dean (Hospitality). In the broader community she has been a panellist and then chair of the Home Economics Rockhampton District Review panel and Regional Representative for round five of accreditation for Early Childhood school programs.
But the Dr Janet Reynolds Award is for outstanding service to HEIA(Q) over a period of time, and that is what was celebrated at the conference. In her role of Rockhampton Regional Co-ordinator for the HEIA(Q) Professional Development Program, Derryn has made a significant contribution to our members’ ongoing professional development. She has held this role for a substantial period—15 years or so—and is recognised not only for the length of time in the role but also for the aplomb with which she has carried out this role. We recognise the huge commitment that this has been, thank you Derryn.
Those who have presented at or participated in workshops organised by Derryn have experienced first hand the expertise with which she carries out her role. From the perspectives of participants, presenters and the professional development committee, Derryn is known for her extremely efficient, calm and professional way of operating. Thanks to her to efforts, professional development in Rockhampton has all just happened so smoothly. HEIA(Q) concurs with her colleagues’ comments that her no-fuss way of dealing with matters really drives things—in a good way—and that her attention to detail makes her a great coordinator. HEIA(Q) wholeheartedly endorses the comment made by another of Derryn’s colleagues, who said that she is super organised!
With this approach, Derryn has actively embraced the new ideas presented in the regional workshop programs and enthusiastically supported the entire program. She was one of the first to pioneer holding an HEIA(Q) regional full-day workshop on a weekday, rather than on a Saturday. In the first year of this initiative, participant numbers went through the roof and they have never looked back. Rockhampton workshops are now firmly scheduled as a weekday program—as are those for Mackay and Townsville.
Sadly, after more than 15 years of service Derryn is leaving the Rockhampton Regional Co-ordinator for the HEIA(Q) Professional Development Program this year. While we are sad to lose Derryn’s expertise in this role, we happy to honour her with the Dr Janet Reynolds Award for outstanding service to HEIA(Q) in her last year in it. Congratulations Derryn and thank you for all that you have done!

Teacher Excellence Awards

Each year, the Queensland Division of the Home Economics Institute of Australia calls for peer nominations for the HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Awards. Peers are encouraged to nominate practising teachers who have consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching Home Economics and its related subject areas. Such excellence might be demonstrated across a range of activities, including teaching practice, curriculum development, student success, and professional contributions and activities.

Primary focus should be given to activities relating directly to home economics but may also include activities relating to, for example hospitality and early childhood. Nominations must be made on the nomination form and sent to:
Teacher Excellence Awards
Home Economics Institute of Australia (Q)
PO Box 581 Hamilton Central QLD 4007
or emailed to

• Nominees must be financial members of HEIA Inc (individual or school).
• A member who has received an HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Award is eligible for re-nomination three years after receiving the award.
• A maximum of three awards will be presented annually. A panel will review the nominations.
• The nomination must address at least two of the three criteria comprehensively but be clear and concise, occupying no more than two A4 pages.
• You may nominate a colleague or nominate yourself.
• The nomination must be seconded by another member or a school representative such as the Principal.

This is an invaluable opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding work done by home economics practitioners. Home economics teachers contribute much to education in Queensland and this is one way the profession can acknowledge practitioners who excel.

Successful nominees are decided by a HEIA(Q) subcommittee on the basis of peer nominations that must address at least two of the following criteria:

1. Demonstrated ability of the nominee to implement high-quality and/or innovative teaching practice to ensure maximum learning outcomes within a context of Home Economics
2. Development of high-quality and/or innovative curriculum within a school-based environment—this could include the development of programs that relate to syllabus documents, work programs or a contribution to syllabus development
3. Contribution to professional activities by developing, facilitating or being involved in the implementation of professional development opportunities for colleagues.

The Excellence Awards are presented at the annual HEIA(Q) state conference. Regional functions may be arranged to celebrate awardees from regional centres.

Recipient of the HEIA(Q) 2019 Teacher Excellence Awards
The recipient of the HEIA(Q) 2019 Teacher Excellence Award was Romana Wallace from Mackay North State High School. Romana was recognised for excellence in her profession by more than 350 delegates as part of the opening ceremony of the HEIA(Q) state conference on 10 August 2019.

Romana is not only a curriculum leader within Home Economics, but also across other subjects at her school. She actively seeks out new subject offerings to meet the needs of students and is a trailblazer within her school, mentoring her colleagues to align their teaching practices with the school’s pedagogical model.

As Head of the Home Economics Department, Romana has taught, contributed to the review of and prepared units of work across the gamut of subjects under her supervision. She is a driver both in her school and her district for the development of high-quality programs and resources. Romana is the person people turn to for help and she often reaches out to beginning teachers in remote schools within her district to share resources with them and provide support.

Romana has been a long-term HEIA(Q) Regional Co ordinator for the Mackay region and is well known for her engaging presentations and excellent organisational skills. She is a colleague who leads with her heart, always considering what is best for her students and her staff. Congratulations Romana!

National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative (NESLI) Awards

For the past several years, HEIA(Q) has partnered with NESLI and encouraged home economics teachers to apply for the NESLI awards. NESLI has been very supportive in the partnership and has made special awards available only to home economics teachers and home economics middle leaders. In 2019 the partnership shifted to a national level with HEIA partnering with NESLI, rather than HEIA(Q), and thus awards being made available to home economics teachers across Australia.

In 2019, NESLI expanded its program options, offering scholarships for two of their programs: the Advanced Leadership Program, for those wanting to transition to senior leadership; and the Middle Leaders Program, aimed at those seeking middle-leadership opportunities.

Between the two programs, NESLI awarded nine scholarships to HEIA members across Australia—one full scholarship (valued at $4609) and four partial scholarships ($2000 each) for the Advanced Leadership Program; and one full scholarship ($3069) and three partial scholarships ($1500 each) for the Middle Leaders Program.

Three of these nine scholarship winners were from Queensland, including the recipient of the full Advanced Leadership Program scholarship. HEIA(Q) is proud to have the efforts of its members

L-R: HEIA President Kay York with Nikki Boswell, Ngaire Mayo and Tina Sketchley

acknowledged in this way. The successful Queensland candidates who were announced, introduced and celebrated at the HEIA(Q) 2019 state conference were:

  • Full Scholarship, Advanced Leadership Program:
    • Nikki Boswell from Hervey Bay State High School
  • Partial Scholarships, Advanced Leadership Program:
    • Ngaire Mayo from Woodcrest State College
    • Danielle Gibson from Coolum Beach Christian College (unfortunately, Danielle could not attend the conference).

The significant contingent from HEIA(NT) who attended the conference celebrated their member Tina Sketchley from Darwin State High School being awarded a partial scholarship for the Middle Leaders Program.

Thank you to NESLI for continuing to provide opportunities for powerful and effective leadership professional development opportunities for HEIA women members. Congratulations to all scholarship winners. We trust you will find participating in the NESLI programs valuable and look forward to hearing about how the opportunities have supported your leadership journeys.