2015 Award Categories

Pre-Service Teacher Award
Quality HPE Teacher Award
Innovative Program Award
David Keating Voluntary Service Award
Teresa Carlson Award

The previous winners of these Awards are listed on our Honour Board.


A significant part of the Awards Ceremony is the presentation of Member Milestone Certificates for those who have achieved 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 years of membership with ACHPER. We thank all ACHPER members for their ongoing support.

2015 Award Winners


Pre Service Teacher Award

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Recognises the significant contribution made by a Queensland pre-service teacher who completed outstanding and consistent professional experiences/s, as well as the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles.

This year's winner is Erin Lee from Griffith University

Erin is an outstanding pre-service teacher who recently exceeded the QCT & AITSL expectations for Professional Standards for Graduate Teachers on her overall final HPE Practicum. She has also maintained an honours GPA Award Major GPA of 6.25 over the duration of her Bachelor of Primary Education, majoring in Health and Physical Education.

Academic studies and professional practice are not the only places that this pre-service teacher has excelled, having undertaken numerous professional development opportunities to extend her capabilities as a beginning teacher. Erin  attained several Level 1 Coaching certificates and attended the ACHPER QLD Brisbane conference over her time as pre-service teacher.

And if that hasn’t kept her schedule full enough, our winner this year has been strongly committed to providing opportunities for young people with physical and intellectual disabilities to fully participate in unique and engaging activities. To that end she has volunteered her time as an instructor for Riding for the Disabled in Tweed Heads, northern NSW.

Quality HPE Teacher Award

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Recognises the significant contribution made be a Queensland HPE teacher to the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles through quality teaching practices within the school community.

The winner of the Quality Teacher Award for Primary is Christine Newland from MacKillop Catholic Primary School.  

For her principal to have taken the time to submit this nomination demonstrates how visible and valued Christine’s work has been to the management of the school. Christine has spent an enormous amount of time organising events and opportunities for students to participate in sport and physical activity, and made the connection for the students between these opportunities and the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. Christine has also invested her time in raising the profile of HPE and healthy lifestyles within the school community, not only via events, but through newsletter contributions, weekly assemblies, staff, student and parent engagement. In addition, Christine has been strongly committed to her own professional development by attending the ACHPER HPE Conference and other PD opportunities. She is always keen to further develop her knowledge and keep abreast of changes that are happening, so that she can assist her students to further their own skills and knowledge in the area of HPE.

The winner of the Quality Teacher Award for Secondary is Melenie Urquhart from Innisfail State College

It is significant that Melenie was nominated by two people from outside of her school, demonstrating the breadth of Melenie's influence in her region and the important contribution she has made to ensure the high quality HPE is provided to as many students as possible. Melenie has demonstrated innovative, student-centred, teaching practices with a focus on assessment for learning that in turn improves the summative assessment experience.  She has modelled effective feedforward and feedback processes for students and colleagues. She has also developed the capacity to effectively align the curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in order to provide optimal opportunities for her students.  

Melenie's appointment to HOD - HPE and Panel Chair for Senior PE attests to her effective teaching and assessment practices and her influence on her colleagues’ work. Her leadership in this regard has been influential and she is well-respected in the teaching community. She has openly shared her work with teachers at regional ACHPER conferences and has also had an impact at her school, where HOD's from other disciplines have begun adopting her practices.  

Innovative Program Award - Urban

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Recognises the significant contribution made be a Queensland School (across education sectors) for an innovative program for the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles to one or more stakeholders of the school community.

The Innovative Program Award for urban setting goes to San Sisto College for their Physical Enrichment Program.

The second winner in this category has been awarded won this prize for its Physical Enrichment Program. The aim of the program has been to model a healthy setting for students and staff for living, learning and working, by providing them with opportunities to get involved in a range of fun, fitness-based activities that promote the benefits of leading a healthy active lifestyle. The program has been constantly evolving, as research, technology and staff change, yet its ongoing goal to provide an environment where engagement in physical activity is considered "normal" has not. The program has created an obvious change in school culture and attitudes towards healthy living at the college. Involvement in physical activity has been normalised in both the college’s students and staff.   This culture has corresponded with a healthy sense of community and has had a direct impact on college results at sporting carnivals and in its achievements in interschool sport.  Throughout 2014, the staff and students participated in regular Friday morning bootcamp sessions (attended by 80 students and staff), fitness, health and nutrition consultations for students and staff, self-defence classes via Taekwondo, a nine-week health and fitness program for staff, participation in community events such as the Women’s Day Fun Run and Beach Bash, regular student vs staff sports and activities across the college, as well as a variety of other instructor-led physical activities such as Zumba, pilates, and boxercise.

Innovative Program Award - Regional

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Recognises the significant contribution made be a Queensland School (across education sectors) for an innovative program for the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles to one or more stakeholders of the school community.

The Innovative Program Award for regional setting goes to the Miriam Vale Active After-School Communities Program.

Our regional school has been awarded this prize in recognition of the outstanding contribution it has made to its small, rural community through its Active After School Communities Program. Whilst many schools have delivered an AASC program, there are three points of interest in this particular nomination. Firstly, the contribution of volunteers to the delivery of the program has been significant, with fifteen of the school's nineteen teachers and teacher aides volunteering their personal time to gain accreditation and to plan, implement and supervise safe, quality activities for the participants. Approximately 600 hours of their own time was volunteered over the course of 2014 alone. Secondly, the program has proven to be exceptionally sustainable. It has been running for nine years and has continued in spite of the Australian Government discontinuing its funding for the scheme. And, thirdly, the program has made a highly valuable contribution to the rural community it serves in terms of providing access to sport and recreation. Parents have to travel approximately 175km round trip to access programs in the closest, larger regional centre. These significant distances, coupled with the rising costs of memberships to join clubs and groups, have resulted in many young people in the local community not having access to extracurricular, sporting activity.  This program has filled this gap.  Over the nine years of its functioning, the program has had approximately 70% of their 160 enrolled students enjoy healthy, fun activity,  for three or four afternoons each week, for 28 weeks of the year, supervised by skilled volunteers.

David Keating Voluntary Service Award

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Recognizes the significant voluntary contribution made by a Queensland individual or group in capacity building for active and healthy lifestyles in the school or wider community.   To be eligible for this award, nominee individuals/groups must have been active in their Queensland-based, unpaid activities in the past 12 months.

The winner of this year’s David Keating Voluntary Service Award is Kim Lavin.

The winner of this award is being recognised for her outstanding, voluntary contribution to ACHPER QLD. From the beginning of 2012 to March of this year, she was president of ACHPER QLD, overseeing the operations of the management committee and steering it through a number of difficult and challenging external situations that had the potential to threaten the very financial viability of the association. She also led an important process of formalising, codifying and updating the association’s policies and procedures to ensure the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of the association in the years to come. All this voluntary work, while not glamorous, has been integral to ACHPER QLD being able to fulfil its commitments to building school and community capacity for the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles. And, it was all performed in her rare “spare time,” while juggling the demands of high-level public service work with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority, as it underwent significant structural and organisational change. The fruits of her work for ACHPER QLD, and the way she was able to manage the competing demands and tensions of her presidency and her “day job”, are a testament to her commitment to the health and physical education learning area and to the health and physical education teaching profession.

Teresa Carlson Award

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Recognises an outstanding and sustained contribution made by a member of the health and physical education profession in the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles to the education community.

The 2015 Winner of the Teresa Carlson Award is Margaret Mary Opstelten from Gladstone West State School.

Margaret Mary is widely acknowledged as a leader in her field, not just in the region in which she teaches, but also around the State. It is not inappropriate to say that she is something of a legend to those that she has taught and taught with. She has, for more years than she likes anyone to be reminded, worked tirelessly at her school going above and beyond her subject specialist role to coordinate the implementation of government initiatives, organise fun runs and an extensive range of other extra curricular activities, particularly in the areas of dance, cheerleading and gymnastics. She is a leader in the use of ICT’s to extend and enhance outcomes in HPE and in services her peers in this area. She is also an exemplar of how HPE specialist teachers can work with their classroom generalist peers to plan and delivery integrated, authentic and innovative health and physical education beyond her own lessons. Mrgaret Mary also gives back to the profession by attending, presenting and generously sharing at ACHPER events, and coordinates a local network of HPE teachers, organising meetings and providing regular email updates.

Her contribution to active and healthy lifestyles over a sustained period of time has been truly outstanding. She is a consummate professional and a very, very a worthy recipient of the Teresa Carlson award.


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