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Catholic teachers shine in Queensland teaching awards

QCT awards winners

Queensland education minister Kate Jones, Jane Greffe, Dr Lyn Nothdurft and Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Dr Lee-Anne Perry at the Queensland College of Teachers Excellence in Teaching Awards. Photo: QCT.

QUEENSLAND’S top award for teachers has been given to two Catholics from Gympie and the Gold Coast.

Dr Lyn Nothdurft from St Patrick’s College, Gympie and Jane Greffe from Marymount College won two of four state-wide awards from the Queensland College of Teachers Excellence in Teaching Awards.

The annual awards coincides with World Teachers’ Day on October 27 and offers four Queenslanders a chance to be recognised as leading educators.

Dr Nothdurft, affectionately known to her students as ‘The Doc,’ has spent nearly five decades of her life to educating the children of Kingaroy and Gympie.

She received the Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award on Friday October 27.

With 47 years in the teaching profession, Dr Nothdurft previously won Brisbane Catholic Education’s Outstanding Contribution to Teaching and Learning Award for 2017.

She said her main job was inspiring students to succeed and hoped they could “recall the joy of learning”.

“What makes me most proud is when parents who were my students bring their own children back into the school because they loved learning here so much,” she said.

Ms Greffe was awarded for challenging her students to create products that offered sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Working alongside local charity Boomerang Bags, she has fostered an environmental consciousness among students by creating assessments in which they recycle discarded fabrics to make reusable shopping bags.

Her innovative leadership and teaching approach also helped the Hospitality and Home Economics teacher win BCE’s Excellence in Teaching Award this year.

One of her hospitality teams won three consecutive regional championships and the gold medal for Australia at the International Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge in Japan.

Ms Greffe also co-founded the Gold Coast Home Economics and Hospitality Network Group, which allowed teachers to meet regularly and to network to provide the best possible education for their students.

She said teaching was “the joy of my life”.

“Kids like to be challenged, and they will step up if you give them a challenging task,” she said.

“If you give them a tokenistic task, then they’ll just give you what they think you want.”

BCE Executive Director Pam Betts congratulated the two inspirational teachers, who were among hundreds of nominees and 21 finalists in the running for the prestigious state teaching awards.

Ms Betts said it was it was important to acknowledge those who shine in their endeavours.

“Teachers are highly influential in our life journeys,” she said.

“They help build the future by providing opportunities for positive outcomes in the lives of young people today.”

QCT Board Chair Emeritus Professor Wendy Patton congratulated each of the finalists on their exceptional skills and commitment to the teaching profession, which helped shape the future of the state.

“Queensland is privileged to have outstanding teachers right across the state, in all sectors of schooling,” she said.

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