Educators recognised with Order of Australia awards - Education Matters Magazine
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Educators recognised with Order of Australia awards

Ten current and recently retired teachers and school leaders have been honoured in this year’s Order of Australia awards, including Senior Australian of the Year, Yolngu cultural teacher Yalmay Yunupingu.

Last year, only one current classroom teacher made the honours list. This year, more teachers are being deservedly recognised for the outstanding contribution they make.

Senior Australian of the Year, Yalmay Yunupingu, at Reconciliation Australia’s Australian of the Year Breakfast. Image: Joseph Lafferty and Reconciliation Australia.

Yalmay Yunupingu, who has spent her life advocating for bilingual education, is Senior Australian of the Year. Often referred to as the ‘mother of school’ for her dedication to education for community, Yalmay ‘s lifetime of advocacy has been recognised.

Yalmay started translating Dr Seuss books into her local Yolŋu-Matha language at a community library in North-East Arnhem Land. The Yolŋu woman is a qualified teacher, and alongside her late husband, she worked to develop bilingual education for her community in Yirrkala.

Mr Robert Hoff was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the General Division for significant service to primary education, and to professional associations. Mr Hoff was Principal at Immanuel Primary School, Novar Gardens (SA) from 1997-2018.

Recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division were:

  • Mr David Bean, for service to secondary education, and to rowing. Mr Bean was Deputy Headmaster at Hale School (WA) until 2023.
  • Mr Vincent Feeney, for service to secondary education. Mr Feeney has been Principal at St Francis Xavier College (VIC) since 2015.
  • Mr Bruce Murray, for service to secondary education, and to the community. Mr Murray was Assistant to Head of Senior School at Carey Baptist Grammar School (VIC) from 1982-1990.
  • Dr Stuart Quarmby, for service to primary and secondary education. Dr Quarmby was Foundation Headmaster at Wollondilly Anglican College (NSW) from 2004-2020.
  • Mr Allan Robinson, for service to secondary education. Mr Robinson was Principal at Montmorency Secondary College (VIC) from 2011-2021.
  • Mr Brian Short, for service to secondary education. Mr Short was Headmaster at Brisbane Grammar School (QLD) from 2006-2013.
  • Ms Suzanne Urbaniak, for service to secondary education. Ms Urbaniak is CoRE Learning Foundation Co-Founder and CoRE Lead (WA), since 2019.
  • Mr Ralph Wiese, for service to secondary education, and to cricket. Mr Wiese, a former principal, was Chairman of the Northern Territory Board of Studies from 2013-2022.
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