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Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools


Excellence in Leadership sponsor, Bill Thomson (Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund); finalist, Katrina Walton (Our Lady of the Southern Cross College, Dalby); award recipient, Chris Bartlett (Mater Dei Primary School); Dr Pat Coughlan (Executive Director: Toowoomba Catholic Schools)

On Wednesday, 21 October Toowoomba Catholic Schools presented its annual Excellence Awards. The awards recognise members of Toowoomba Catholic Schools whose outstanding contribution has assisted staff, students and their families to experience exemplary places of learning and academic success within a distinctly Catholic environment.  


Dr Pat Coughlan, Executive Director: Catholic Schools said, “As is often the case with award programs, one high performing recipient is selected from a list of many worthy, high performing nominees. This year over 140 nominations from across the Diocese were received.


“In what has been a tumultuous year it is fitting that we had the opportunity, as the year draws to a close, to gather and honour the abundant talent, generosity and professionalism of staff that has been on display so publicly this year.”


The Excellence Awards provide Toowoomba Catholic Schools with the opportunity to identify and showcase those staff who model, demonstrate and live excellence in their roles all day, every day.


“No system can rise above the capacity of its staff. We thank all of our finalists and recognise the invaluable contribution they make to moving our system of schools from great to excellent,” said Dr Coughlan.


The awards covered ten categories across three areas and the final recipients are listed below.

Excellence in education support

Teaching and learning support

Anne Woodcroft-Brown – Mater Dei Primary School, Toowoomba

Administration, finance and facilities support

Belinda Hayward – St John’s School, Roma

Volunteer support in a school setting

Belinda Saal – St Stephen’s School, Pittsworth

Excellence in teaching and learning

Early career teacher (less than 3 years of teaching experience)

Rebecca Smith – St Patrick’s Primary School, Mitchell

Primary expert teacher

Amanda Thompson – St Joseph’s School, Stanthorpe

Secondary expert teacher

Amanda Wighton - St Joseph's College, Toowoomba

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

St Joseph’s School, Chinchilla


Excellence in leadership

Emerging leader

Eleighta Hannam - St Mary's College, Toowoomba

Middle leadership

Kerri-Ann Manthey – Holy Name Primary School, Toowoomba

School leadership

Chris Bartlett – Mater Dei Primary School, Toowoomba