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Education Training, Government NSW


NSW Department of Education 2 mins read

Media Release

Thursday 7 September, 2023 





Northern Rivers students, teachers and parents have been acknowledged for their outstanding achievements, resilience and contribution to public education at the 2023 NSW Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence.   
Tuesday night’s awards at Sydney Town Hall celebrated the best of public schooling, outstanding achievement of individuals and breakthrough school initiatives centred around literacy, numeracy, science, student well-being and community partnerships. 


Of particular note, 12 public schools across the Northern Rivers and North Coast received a shared Secretary’s Award for Outstanding School Initiative for Wellbeing Support during the ongoing Flood Recovery.


Meanwhile Murwillumbah Public School received a Secretary’s Award for Outstanding School Initiative for its Comprehension Initiative, and Zoe Tiernan from The Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus received a Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said she was delighted to highlight the incredible achievements of the public system’s outstanding students and teachers. 

“These awards are a great opportunity to call out the fabulous educators, who every day are making a difference in the lives of children, and the inspiring students demonstrating academic, cultural, sporting and leadership excellence.”  


The winners were selected in the following categories:   

  • Minister’s Award for Excellence in Student Achievement  
  • Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching  
  • Secretary’s Award for Excellent Service  
  • Secretary’s Award for an Outstanding School Initiative  
  • Secretary’s School Achievement Award  
  • Public School Parent of the Year.  

Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said the awards were a great opportunity to recognise outstanding initiatives and staff that were driving improvements across public schools.  

He said the number of regional schools showcased in the awards highlighted the Education Department’s commitment to equity of opportunity no matter where students lived. 


The Northern Rivers award winners are:

Secretary’s Award for an Outstanding School Initiative 


  • Wellbeing Support Flood Recovery (shared award) – Blakebrook Public School, Broadwater Public School, Cabbage Tree Island Public School, Condong Public School, Crabbes Creek Public School, Empire Vale Public School, Lismore South Public School, Mullumbimby High School, Mullumbimby Public School, The Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus, Tumbulgum Public School and Wardell Public School


  • Comprehension initiative – Murwillumbah Public School


Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching


  • Zoe Tiernan – The Rivers Secondary College Kadina High Campus 


Mr Dizdar also acknowledged the role parents played in supporting public schools and public school students. 


“The awards also recognise 12 parents, guardians and caregivers who perform invaluable support roles and who contribute significantly to their local NSW public school community; contributions that are deeply appreciated.” 


Public Education Foundation chief executive officer David Riordan said public education was the cornerstone of the future of NSW. 


“I am so proud to be recognising excellence, not just in the performances and the personal stories but also in the achievements of students, teachers, and school staff from across NSW.” 


Read the award citations on the Public Education Foundation website 


Photographs of award recipients are available on request.  


MEDIA: Kristi Pritchard-Owens | 0474 921 202 | 

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