Accolades flow at gala ceremony 18 Nov 2014

Five honours in three prize categories were bestowed on the Department of Education at the recent Chief Minister’s Awards for Excellence in the Public Sector. The tally comprised the Remote School Attendance Strategy (Strengthening Government and Public Administration) Growing Green Kids NT (Excellence in Partnering) and three recipients of the Public Sector Medal.

The Remote School Attendance Strategy (RSAS) garnered an award for reversing a decline in attendance in most of the 30 Territory government schools involved in the program. Assistant Director Enrolment and Attendance, Eddie Gacitua, said the initiative has demonstrated a marked improvement in the majority of RSAS sites this year due to a close collaboration with all key stakeholders. Berry Springs Primary School was acknowledged for its educational alliance with the Territory Wildlife Park. The project operates as part of the new Growing Green Kids NT program. Students from preschool through to Year 6 undertake science studies in conjunction with the park.

Principal Leah Crockford said the expertise of the Territory Wildlife Park is a critical component in giving kids expertise and a detailed understanding beyond that available in the classroom. “The staff and kids are really proud of the partnership, and certainly this award would have been impossible without the park,” she said. Both Eddie Gacitua and Leah Crockford collected a trophy, a certificate, and a $12,500 cheque.

Public Sector Medals were awarded to the principal of Maningrida School Stuart Dwyer, for his commitment, leadership and mentoring in small community schools, Records Management Unit officer Eucharia Tipungwuti, an employee of 27 years’ service in schools and corporate environments, and posthumously to Carmelita Sceney, who worked in and for education in the Territory during more than a decade of major reform.

Chief Minister Award 2014

Anzac competition winners announced 12 Nov 2014

Four Territory school students will next year visit the hallowed ground of Anzac Cove after winning the Chief Minister’s Anzac Spirit Study Tour. The Year 9 to 11 contestants, Amy Chittick (Darwin High School) Juliette Parsons (Darwin Middle School) Jack Lake (Palmerston Senior College) and Stevie Pocock (Taminmin College) were chosen based on their superior print and video responses to the question: The Anzac Spirit arose from the actions of soldiers 100 years ago. Given their passing, what is it that keeps the Anzac Spirit alive?

The trip to Gallipoli will coincide with the Anzac Centenary commemorations and feature a tour of battlefields in Turkey and attendance at the Anzac Day Dawn Service.
The students were named as the award winners at a ceremony at Larrakeyah Barracks. They will be accompanied on the trip by Palmerston Senior College teacher Robert Lee, and defence attaché Corporal Cynthia Gilchrist.

The centenary marks the 100th anniversary of the nation’s involvement in the First World War.
(Left to right: Juliette Parsons, Jack Lake, Amy Chittick, Stevie Pocock)

Anzac competition winners

Maths-strong Matthew breaks medal drought 12 Nov 2014

Mathematics whiz kid and Dripstone Middle School student, Matthew Chapman, has returned to Darwin following his medal win in the Australian Mathematics Competition in early August.
The honour bestowed on Matthew is the first AMC medal awarded to the Territory in a decade. The international contest set five papers for Middle Primary, Upper Primary, Junior, Intermediate and Senior year levels, and attracted challengers from more than 40 countries to tests grading from very simple to complex exercises.

The school’s mathematics teacher Maha Bishay has been involved in the competition for nearly twenty years, but never witnessed such an extraordinary result.
“I’ve seen outstandingly talented students participate, but I’ve never had one win a medal,” she said.
“Matthew has an intrinsic ability to analyse a problem and find a solution. The school is immensely proud of his achievement.”

Matthew collected his medal from His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, at the national award ceremony at Brisbane’s Government House.

Australian Mathematics Competition