Nominations for the 2020 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards will open online on Monday 9 March, 2020.

Recipients - 2019 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards

Maureen Burton

Consultant: Inclusive Education, Brisbane Catholic Education North Service Centre

(Archdiocese of Brisbane)

 Nat See Kee

School Officer, Our Lady Help of Christians School

(Diocese of Cairns)

 Bronwyn Reguson

President, Parents and Friends Association, St Joseph’s Catholic School, The Strand

(Diocese of Townsville)

 Kathleen Hore

School Support Officer, Religious Education and Mission, Chanel College

(Diocese of Rockhampton)

 Emily O’Sullivan

Volunteer, Mary MacKillop Catholic College

(Diocese of Toowoomba)

 Dr Shannon O’Gorman

College Counsellor, St James College, Spring Hill

(RI/PJP Schools)

Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Awards

 Robyn Bloomfield

Senior Boarding Supervisor, Holy Spirit College, Cooktown

 Deadly Indigenous Education Workers (Team Award)

Emma Shaxson, Melisia Ellis, Marita Murray, Good Shepherd Catholic School, Rasmussen

Nominees - 2019 Spirit of Catholic Education Awards

This year 130 nominations were received from Catholic education communities across the state.

View the list of all nominees below.

2019 Spirit of Catholic Education Nominees

Maureen Burton

Maureen Burton

Consultant: Inclusive Education, Brisbane Catholic Education North Schools Service Centre, Archdiocese of Brisbane

Maureen is a consultant in inclusive education in a number of schools and is based at Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) North Schools Service Centre. In 2018, Maureen was pivotal in providing emotional, financial and physical support to a BCE employee, a refugee from a country besieged by war. This person was alone in Australia and supporting their family, who remained behind and was being targeted by a terrorist group.

Maureen stepped in to support her co-worker in seeking immigration advice and in lobbying politicians for clemency when there seemed no progress towards Australian visas for other family members, all the while supporting them in the workplace.

When two visas were finally granted, Maureen instigated fundraising to enable her colleague to purchase airline tickets and to find accommodation for the family. She then galvanised BCE’s office community into providing donations of furniture and other needs, and organised helpers to move her co-worker into new accommodation prior to the family arriving here.

Maureen’s efforts spurred the entire office community. The story also inspired many in schools who donated time and effort in helping find the colleague a community of people who genuinely care. Maureen is an unsung champion, who shows the true spirit of Catholic education.

Nat See Kee

Nat See Kee

School Officer, Our Lady Help of Christians School, Earlville, Diocese of Cairns

Nat See Kee has spent 15 years serving the Our Lady Help of Christians School community with great commitment and care for all students.  Students trust Nat and love the care and attention she delivers.

Nat actively participates in classroom activities and discussions and always helps support those students who are in need, particularly those students who have additional learning and behavioural needs.

Her commitment to the school extends beyond classroom activities and Nat volunteers her time with students to help run the school’s Community Cup program and is an active member of the staff community social club. Even the tuckshop benefits from Nat’s generosity as she often steps in to help or runs the tuckshop if the convenor is away.

Nat goes above and beyond her hours of work and can be found in the Year 6 area from 7:30am each morning helping students with homework or assessment tasks.

Nat’s generosity does not stop at the school gate.  Outside school hours Nat volunteers with the Rosie’s team serving the homeless people of Cairns.

She is personable, kind-hearted and selfless and a worthy recipient of the Spirit of Catholic Education Award.

Bronwyn Reguson

Bronwyn Reguson

President, Parents & Friends Association, St Joseph’s Catholic School, The Strand, Diocese of Townsville

Bronwyn Reguson, President of the Parents and Friends Association at St Joseph’s, The Strand, rallied the school community to provide an incredible level of support and care for those families in need as a result of the 2019 Townsville flood crisis.

Working with the school principal from day one, Bronwyn rallied the school community to assist affected families. With the assistance of volunteers, every family in flood-affected areas was called and once a clear picture was obtained of what was necessary, work began immediately.

Bronwyn oversaw all aspects of the P&F response, from coordinating donations to reaching out to contacts in the community to house displaced families.

Once the clean-up and rebuilding began the P&F and school coordinated a weekend of assistance.

Childminding was provided at the school to enable parents and carers the chance to clean and in many cases, dispose of the contents of their homes.

Crews of volunteers methodically worked their way to all the homes to help with this process.

For many weeks following the flood, the P&F continued to check in with every family to ensure they had what they needed.

Bronwyn displayed incredible leadership and selfless service to the community.  With the support of the P&F, she gave hope to those who were at their most vulnerable.

Kathleen Hore

Kathleen Hore

School Support Officer, Chanel College, Gladstone, Diocese of Rockhampton

Kath Hore has spent countless hours serving the students and staff of Chanel College in her role as School Support Officer for Religious Education and Mission assisting the Deputy Principal. Kath has held this position for the last 10 years but her connection to the College stretches back to 1996 when she first became a volunteer through the Parents & Friends Association and then took on a School Assistant role two years later.

Kath is the coordinator of the College Buddies Day Program. She attends every activity and encourages students to commit to this program and other Youth activities such as Ignite.

She is a valuable member of the Staff Spirituality Committee and contributes not only to the prayers and liturgies organised by this group but also organises various aspects of the Staff Spirituality Days, Prayer Breakfast and Easter Prayer Service. 

Every year during the Christmas holidays Kath produces a large hanging which illustrates the College’s theme for the year. It hangs in the Sacred Space in the main office and is used in Masses and Liturgies throughout the year.  
Kath goes about her work quietly, respectfully and humbly and is the embodiment of Christian service. She is a living example to all members of the Chanel College. 

Emily O’Sullivan

Emily O’Sullivan

Volunteer Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Highfields, Diocese of Toowoomba

Emily O’Sullivan has been instrumental in developing the Healing Hands program, designed to help members of the college community in times of need.

Emily had firsthand experience of the importance of such support after her son Patrick was involved in an accident in 2013 and spent months in hospital and convalescing.

Soon after this Emily decided she wanted to contribute by way of a College Pastoral Care program that would ensure families received consistent, reliable support when it was most needed, and the Healing Hands program began.

In the years that have followed, Emily and other parent volunteers have delivered countless care packages to families who have been challenged due to ill health or bereavement. Teachers returning from school camps also receive a care package as a special thank you for their time and commitment. The program is now assisted by the Year 9 Youth Ministry students.

Emily is passionate in her service to the College community, selfless with her time and skills, and has shown great strength in her leadership. The entire College community appreciates the service that Emily and Healing Hands contribute and the program’s success has seen the model adopted by other schools in the area.

Dr Shannon O’Gorman

Dr Shannon O’Gorman

College Counsellor, St James’ College, Spring Hill, Edmund Rice Education Australia

Dr Shannon O’Gorman is an exceptional counsellor who does outstanding work re-engaging students who have refused to go to school.

Shannon fits an extraordinary amount into her day. Her work re-engaging students can involve many hours of emails, phone calls, and personal visits with students and liaising with families as well as working closely with colleagues including the College pastoral team and the Leadership Team.

Shannon has developed a family therapy approach to re-engaging students which involves empowering students to make decisions but also ensuring parents and carers take a share of responsibility.

Shannon works with College staff to plan and monitor the progress of each student and she conducts workshops to boost their confidence and build resilience.

She has high expectations and a set of non-negotiables in her partnerships with students and families but she goes well beyond the call of duty – whether it is baking a cake, conducting a course for parents, leading a group of counsellors or sharing her experience with others through journals and conference presentations.

Shannon also assists asylum seeker students who have faced extremely challenging times to integrate into the College.

In all her work Shannon demonstrates the true ethos of Edmund Rice Education.

Robyn Bloomfield (Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award)

Robyn Bloomfield (Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award)

Senior Boarding Supervisor, Holy Spirit College, Cooktown, Diocese of Cairns

Robyn Bloomfield leads the boarding community at Holy Spirit College, Cooktown campus. Robyn is the matriarch of the Boarding School and she holds the boarding family together with love, care and strength for every young person in her care. She also ensures each of the day students is faring well and works with them when issues arise.
Robyn goes out of her way to ensure each young person is treated equitably and she gives of her time, resources and self to those who need it most. Giving can mean anything from being a shoulder to cry on to finding a young person a pair of shoes from her own resources.

The relationships Robyn develops have resulted in young people and the community engaging with the College to assist those who would otherwise be lost from education.
Robyn also works with the College staff to bring a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history, including briefing new staff on First Nations’ culture and local history.
Her caring for others comes naturally to her and the relationships Robyn builds and the work she does touch many people in the Holy Spirit College community and beyond.

Robyn truly represents the spirit of service to others.

Deadly Indigenous Education Workers (Team Award) (Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award)

Deadly Indigenous Education Workers (Team Award) (Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award)

Emma Shaxson, Melisia Ellis & Marita Murray - Good Shepherd Catholic School, Rasmussen, Diocese of Townsville

The Good Shepherd Catholic School Deadly Indigenous Education Workers Team of Emma ShaxsonMelisia Ellis and Marita Murray have been responsible for improving cultural awareness by developing an improved understanding of Indigenous cultural heritage among all in the school community.  
Each Friday the team runs an hour-long program for all Indigenous students in Years 4-6 called Deadly Learners which allows students to learn more about their culture. The program also involves outside agencies and elders. The team has established pen pals for the students with a Catholic school in Mt Isa.

Twice a year the team invites all families in for dinner and a yarn so the community can engage in the year ahead and reflect on the achievements. The Team has instilled a sense of pride among our students and have also introduced Indigenous Student of the Semester awards.
The Team has engaged local elders to run staff meetings to assist in improving cultural awareness among our staff. These elders have also been present at many significant school events.
Good Shepherd Catholic School values community and relationships. The Deadly Team is committed to these values and ensures that all Indigenous students and their families are engaged, welcomed and supported in the school community. 

Confirmation of receipt of the award nomination form will be provided to the person submitting the nomination.

All persons/teams nominated will be considered by the judging panels in accordance with the areas for nomination listed above.

All nominations from diocesan schools and authorities will be short-listed/selected by a diocesan judging panel, or in the case of nominees from Religious Institute/PJP schools by a panel convened by CRA.

Nominations for the Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award will judged by a state-wide panel, facilitated by the Queensland Catholic Education Committee (QCEC).

Recipients will be endorsed by diocesan Directors. Recipients will be contacted by a member of the judging panel to confirm that they are willing to accept the award.

In the weeks prior to the launch of Catholic Education Week, all persons nominated will receive a congratulatory letter from the Executive Director, QCEC. A certificate in recognition of their nomination will also be forwarded to their diocesan office for presentation during Catholic Education Week if possible.

Recipients of the awards will be publicly announced just prior to the official state launch of Catholic Education Week on Wednesday 31 July 2019.

Recipients (or one team representative) of the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards 2019 will be invited to attend the official state launch of Catholic Education Week in Rockhampton on Wednesday 31 July 2019. Travel and accommodation costs for the recipients to attend the launch will be met through the sponsorship arrangement with ACSRF and ACU.

Recipients of the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards 2019 will receive a memento and a grant of $500 to support and further the work in their community for which they are recognised.

Monday 11 March Online nominations open
Friday 10 May Online nominations close @ 5.00pm
Week commencing 20 May

All nominees receive a congratulatory letter from the Executive Director, QCEC

Judging panels convened and recipients endorsed

Week commencing 27 May Recipients contacted to confirm they accept the award
Week commencing 10 June

A list of all nominees published

Details of award ceremony sent to recipients

Week commencing 22 July Recipients announced and their profiles published on this website, social media and The Catholic Leader
Wednesday 31 July

All nominees receive a certificate of recognition presented in conjuction with local Catholic Education Week events

Recipients receive their award at the official launch of Catholic Education Week in the diocese of Rockhampton





Nominations must be submitted electronically using the Spirit of Catholic Education Awards 2019 nomination form located on the Catholic Education Week website.

All nominations must include the names of two (2) referees who are familiar with the person being nominated and with the details of the nomination. The judging panel may contact these referees.The nominations must also be endorsed by one of the following as appropriate:

  • if the person/team nominated is a member of a Catholic school/college community the nomination must be endorsed by the school/college principal;
  • if the person/team nominated is a principal of a Catholic school/college the nomination must be endorsed by a member of the school/college leadership team;
  • if the person/team nominated is a director/member of a Catholic school authority the nomination must be endorsed by a member of the Catholic school authority leadership team.

The closing date for nominations is 5.00 pm Friday 10 May 2019.

The Spirit of Catholic Education Awards, including the Aunty Joan Hendriks Spirit of Catholic Education Reconciliation Award are presented annually as part of Catholic Education Week (CEW) celebrations.

The awards aim to recognise those who are making an outstanding contribution within the Catholic education community.

The awards are supported by the Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund (ACSRF) and the Australian Catholic University (ACU), the sponsors of CEW.

Areas For Nomination

  • Catholic school communities and Catholic school authorities in Queensland are invited to nominate individuals or teams in the community (staff members, parents/carers or volunteers) who are making an outstanding contribution to the life of the community in at least one of the following areas:
  • Showing outstanding integrity in leading a school community or program
  • Implementing change that improves teaching and learning and supports greater equity in education
  • Building Catholic education identity and ethos in ways that support exceptionally life-giving relationships and build hope in school communities or Catholic education agencies
  • Demonstrating excellence in team work that supports and builds Catholic education
  • Demonstrating outstanding service to others in the school education community and beyond

Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award

  • Creating positive change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff and/or developing improved understanding of Indigenous cultural heritage in Catholic school communities.


Please note: nominations should address one or more of the above areas and recognise that the people being nominated go above and beyond their usual area of work.


If you have any questions about the awards or are experiencing difficulties with the online nomination form please email us at:



Jon Sorohan

St Paul’s Catholic Primary School, Woodridge

Ann Barr

Catholic Education Services, Cairns

Yvonne McDonald

St Joseph’s Catholic School, Mount Isa

Gail Jamieson

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Springsure

Cecily Fitzpatrick

Mater Dei Primary School, Toowoomba

Annette Campbell

St Patrick’s College, Shorncliffe

Rosemarie Dwyer

St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights

(Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award Recipient)

Dr Peter Webb
Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia

Ben Smith 
Mt St Bernard College, Herberton

Sr Lyn Freestone
St Joseph’s Cathoic School, Cloncurry

Sr Mary Stallard
Catholic Parish of Bundaberg

Fr Ray Crowley
St Saviour’s College, St Mary’s College,
St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba

Anthony Young
St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane

Coral Way
Catholic Education Diocese of Rockhampton
(Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award)

Kristy Cameron
St Joseph’s School, Millmerran

Anne-Marie Hammond
St Patrick’s College, Townsville

Fr Lewy Keelty OMI
Iona College, Lindum

Max Martin
St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, Emerald

Shaun Morris
Unity College, Caloundra West

Tom O’Donnell
Holy Spirit College, Manoora

Kathleen Tarttelin
St Clare’s Catholic School, Burdell

Dorothy Watson
St Michael’s School, Palm Island
(Aunty Joan Hendriks Reconciliation Award)

Richard Bassano
St Augustine’s College, Cairns

Dora Luxton
Assisi Catholic College, Upper Coomera

Sr Rita Carroll RSCJ
Stuartholme School, Toowong

Jim Midgley
St Eugene College, Burpengary

Stephen Parle
The Cathedral College, Allenstown

Suzy Sheriff
St Margaret Mary’s College, Aitkenvale

Judy Smith
St Saviour’s Primary School, Toowoomba

Tammi Webber
St Kieran’s Catholic Primary School, Mt Isa

Rebecca McGregor
St Peter’s Primary School, Caboolture

Elizabeth Poulton
Sacred Heart Primary School, Toowoomba

Gavin Rick
St Joseph’s School, Parramatta Park

Kim Bellert
Catholic Education Office, Townsville

Bernadette Mitchell
The Cathedral College, Rockhampton

Brian O’Reilly
St Joseph’s Nudgee College, Virginia

Pelly Morganson
St Teresa’s College, Ingham

St Saviour’s Primary School, Toowoomba

St Joseph’s School, Parramatta Park, Cairns

Sacred Heart Primary School, Yeppoon

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Maryborough

St Anthony’s College, Deeragun

Padua College, Kedron

St Joseph’s School, Murgon

St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch

Marist College, Emerald

St Catherine’s Catholic College, The Whitsundays

St Peter’s Catholic Primary School, Caboolture

St Mary’s College, Toowoomba

Catholic Education Office, Townsville

Mt Alvernia College, Kedron

Lourdes Hill College, Hawthorne

St Augustine’s College, Augustine Heights

St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba

St Joseph’s School, Park Avenue

St Therese’s Catholic School, Monto & St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Biloela

St Mary’s School, Bowen

St Mary’s Catholic College,Woree

St James College, Brisbane

St Francis Xavier’s School, Manunda

Holy Spirit School, Cranbrook

Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Rockhampton

St Anthony’s School, Toowoomba

Marymount Primary School, Burleigh Waters

San Sisto College, Carina

Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Toowoomba

Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Rockhampton

Shalom College, Bundaberg

Good Shepherd Parish, Mt Isa

St Andrew’s Catholic College, Redlynch

Sacred Heart Primary School, Toowoomba

St Elizabeth’s Primary School, Tarragindi

St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie

St Monica’s College, Cairns

Sacred Heart School, Yeppoon

Sacred Heart School, Yeppoon

Good Counsel College, Innisfail

Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Brisbane

St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba

Holy Spirit School, Townsville

Chanel College, Gladstone

Ryan Catholic College, Townsville

Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Cairns