HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Awards

These awards acknowledge members who have consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching Home Economics and/or its related subject areas.

HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Awards

Each year, HEIA(Q) calls for peer nominations of home economics teachers for the HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Awards. The recipients since 2015 are as follows:



Sue Smith, Clairveaux MacKillop College


Debbie Mawston, Pine Rivers State High School


Kate Moretto
Catherine Stickland, Grace Lutheran College
Terasa Wedley
Jo Wickham, Pine Rivers State High School


No awards were made due to COVID restrictions


Romana Wallace, Mackay North State High School


Michelle Harris, San Sisto College, Brisbane
Kerry Brady, St Patrick’s College, Mackay
Samantha Johnson, Moreton Bay College, Brisbane
Jill Shehab, All Saints Anglican School, Gold Coast
Belinda Ingram, Canterbury College, Waterford


Helen Willmett, St Margaret Mary’s College, Townsville
Kay York, Park Ridge State High School, Brisbane


Jane Greff, Marymount College, Gold Coast
Maria Learmonth, Emmaus College, Rockhampton


No nominations


Chris Capra, St Paul’s School
Karen Cridland, Mackay North State High School
Michelle Harris, San Sisto College

Recipient of the HEIA(Q) 2022 Teacher Excellence Award

The recipient of the HEIA(Q) 2022 Home Economics Teacher Excellence Award was Debbie Mawston from Pine Rivers State High School. Debbie was recognised for excellence in her profession by conference delegates as part of the opening ceremony of the HEIA(Q) state conference on 13 August 2022.  

Debbie is a passionate curriculum leader who has led the Home Economics faculty at Pine Rivers State High School to develop innovative teaching and assessment packages that align with curriculum priorities. This leadership extends to not only mentoring colleagues, but also her role as QCAA panellist for Hospitality as well as piloting syllabuses. This in turn has supported QCAA processes, professional development and resources.

Colleagues note Debbie’s love of Hospitality and how this has transferred to her students, with her commitment to providing students with practical opportunities in the industry, resulting in students developing high-quality skills transferable to employment opportunities.

 Debbie’s influence extends beyond her subject area. Her involvement in the school Literacy Committee is also of note. Debbie has collaboratively developed and presented literacy professional development to her colleagues and has mentored them with the implementation of literacy strategies. This in turn has also impacted on the Home Economics faculty, with the range of practical strategies and activities that were developed aligning with the school’s literacy priorities in the Annual Implementation Plan.

Congratulations Debbie!

HEIA(Q) members are encouraged to nominate fellow members who are practising teachers that have consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching Home Economics and its related subject areas. Such excellence might be demonstrated across a range of activities, including teaching practice, curriculum development, student success, and professional contributions and activities. This is an invaluable opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding work done by home economics practitioners. Home economics teachers contribute much to education in Queensland and this is one way the profession can acknowledge practitioners who excel.

Primary focus should be given to activities relating directly to home economics—for example, Home Economics; Food Technology; Food Studies; Food and Nutrition; Textiles studies; Textiles and fashion; Fashion Studies; Design; and Design studies; but may also include activities relating to, for example, hospitality and early childhood. Nominations must be made on the HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Awards nomination form  and sent to:

Teacher Excellence Awards
Home Economics Institute of Australia (Qld)
PO Box 581
Hamilton Central QLD 4007

or emailed to heiaq@heia.com.au

  • Nominees must be financial members of HEIA Inc.
  • A member who receives a HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Award is eligible for renomination three years after receiving their award.
  • A maximum of three awards are presented annually. A panel reviews the nominations and decides on the recipients.
  • The nomination must address at least two of the three criteria comprehensively but clearly and concisely, and occupy no more than two A4 pages.
  • A HEIA member may nominate a colleague or themself.
  • The nomination must be seconded by another member or by a school representative such as the principal.

Criteria (at least two of these must be addressed comprehensively)
  1. Demonstrated ability of the nominee to implement high-quality and/or innovative teaching practice to ensure maximum learning outcomes within the context of Home Economics
  2. Development of high-quality and/or innovative curricula within a school-based environment—this could include the development of programs that relate to syllabus documents, work programs or a contribution to syllabus development
  3. Contribution to professional activities by developing, facilitating or being involved in the implementation of professional development opportunities for colleagues.

The HEIA(Q) Home Economics Teacher Excellence Awards are presented at each annual HEIA(Q) state conference. Regional functions may be arranged to celebrate awardees from regional centres if awardees are not able to attend the annual conference

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