Outstanding Early Career Secondary Teacher Award Finalists

Outstanding Early Career Secondary Teacher Award Finalists for the Victorian Education Excellence Awards program.

Tanna Hardinge, formerly of Lilydale Heights College

During her time at Lilydale Heights College, Tanna Hardinge’s knowledge and passion for educating others, especially in the role of First Nations advocate, has transformed the college’s culture.

Creating new opportunities and curriculum, her initiatives are already resulting in positive learning outcomes for both students and teachers.

Outstanding in her ability to promote Koorie cultures, she has elevated Koorie perspectives and presence across the college community and curriculum. Tanna’s leadership of Mob Monday, Campfire Conversations, and collaborations with organisations such as Yarra Ranges Technical School and ‘DeadlyScience’, are ensuring that the College is a welcoming and safe place of learning where Koorie students have a voice and belong.

Inspired by her own experience, Tanna has developed curriculum and led professional development for staff who embedded their learning throughout the whole-school curriculum. Her inclusive approach has significantly improved students’ learning and wellbeing outcomes and increased enrolments of Koorie students to the college.

Laura Benney, Phoenix P-12 Community College

Since taking on a full-time educator’s role at Phoenix P-12 College in 2022, Laura Benney has demonstrated her passion for teaching and learning by expertly performing leadership roles and responsibilities.

In performing the roles of Transition Coordinator for the secondary college, and coordinating both the Debating and Public Speaking Program and the Academic Achievers Program, Laura demonstrates her belief in nurturing the whole child from their point of need.

Laura’s informed application of data to renew practice and programs, her engagement with professional learning and her consultative approach with staff, students, and parents, is exemplary. Her expertise at teaching Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) level has led to improved student outcomes in English, Psychology and History.

Whether applying her skills to the coordination and planning of programs, extra-curricular initiatives or classroom lessons, Laura’s example as an early career educator provides a positive role model for students and staff at the college.

Alice Hu, Elevation Secondary College

Before coming to Elevation Secondary College, Alice Hu participated in several national and international programs aimed at improving women’s access to STEM subjects, particularly mathematics.

Despite mathematics being a subject that students can find challenging, graduate teacher Alice has built positive and high-achieving classroom environments with her passion for evidence-based teaching practice. Applying her mathematics expertise with a differentiated teaching approach, Alice is helping her students to recognise and celebrate their progress towards individual learning goals.

Alice’s determination to deliver fully differentiated mathematics learning for students of every ability has significantly increased student engagement and outcomes at the college.

Engaging the Mathematics Department at The University of Melbourne to run logic and career inspiration workshops at the school, Alice worked with teachers to identify mathematics potential in female students. Over 40 students attended the voluntary workshops, with Years 7-9 girls now demonstrating higher ‘mastery’ levels.