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Teacher receives $5000 PD grant after being recognised for excellence

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A Sunshine Coast teacher has been recognised as one of Australia’s most outstanding educators at the National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA).

Matthew Flinders Anglican College teacher Amy Cahill is the only educator in Queensland to win a prestigious NEiTA Apple Award and a $5000 professional development grant from the NEiTA Foundation.

The Year 5 level coordinator at the Buderim school has implemented, led and co-facilitated a number of innovative programs including ‘master-y’ in mathematics, the Dance Co curriculum program and the Design for Impact Summit, a three-day project that challenged students to think futuristically and re-design the Sunshine Coast.

“Working alongside industry experts, the Design for Impact Summit nurtured curiosity and creativity, and inspired students to imagine the Sunshine Coast in 2050, post-the Olympic Games,” Ms Cahill said.

“One hundred students took part in the Design for Impact Summit, however, I have my finger in a lot of pies at Matthew Flinders Anglican College, including choreographing the senior school musical, dance recitals and accompanying students on overseas musical tours.

“I perform my job in the hope I am making a difference to my students. The NEiTA Apple Award helps validate my efforts.

“I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had won. It was totally unexpected and I’m humbled to receive the award on behalf of the entire school.”

Related story: New principal to help college realise ‘ambitious vision’

Supported by Futurity Investment Group, NEiTA is a community-based awards program that recognises teaching excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

It has been running for the past 29 years and to date 1100 teachers have received more than $1.2 million in professional development grants and prizes.

NEiTA Foundation chairperson Catherine O’Sullivan said educators like Ms Cahill defined what it meant to be an exceptional teacher.

“Amy is an influential, caring and impactful educator,” she said.

“As a gifted teacher and role model, Amy is transforming lives and leaving an indelible footprint on countless students.

“The Matthew Flinders Anglican College and Sunshine Coast communities are richer and more successful because of Amy’s ability to teach and guide young lives.”

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