Congratulations - 2019 Annual PASS Awards

The PASS Awards were held at Marvel Stadium where in excess of 200 colleagues celebrated all that is great in Victorian Specialist Schools in 2019!  Winners from each category were selected from a very tight list of shortlisted nominees.

Congratulations to all our deserving winners from the 2019 Annual PASS Awards


The PASS Awards were held at Marvel Stadium where in excess of 200 colleagues celebrated all that is great in Victorian Specialist Schools in 2019!  Winners from each category were selected from a very tight list of shortlisted nominees.  We must remember that each of our nominees have been nominated by their peers as “Outstanding” in their field and, in a truly remarkable industry, where colleagues outperform in their field every single day, we celebrate our shortlisted nominees along with the winners.  Each winner receives a $500 PD Voucher as well as a momento plaque and a perpetual plaque which is displayed at their school for 12 months.


Guests and invited VIPs celebrated, dancing the night away to The Headmaster’s Apprentices who once again, provided excellent entertainment


Sponsored by Department of Education & Training

Congratulations Margaret Rogers, Kalianna School.   Marg Rogers is the epitome of what makes a school community. Marg’s grandson enrolled at the Kalianna School 5 years ago and Marg has made an incredible commitment in that time. Marg is at the school from 7.30-9.30 every day to run the breakfast program and welcome students, parents and staff to the cafeteria space. Throughout the year Marg collects gifts for the Fathers and Mothers Day stalls and organises hampers to support struggling families.  Marg was a major contributor to the successful petition that led to funds being granted to rebuild the school. She is an active member of the school’s parent group, and, importantly, provided food for the meetings.  Marg always promotes the great work done in specialist education at Kalianna School


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Congratulations Angela Purdy – Bendigo SDS.  Keeping students safe at all times is no mean feat and requires the efforts of a whole team to get it right. However, sometimes it’s the efforts of the individual that goes above and beyond that deserves just that little bit extra recognition. This is certainly true in the case of Angela Purdy and the way that she coordinates the efficient and effective running of the school bus program at Bendigo SDS. Angela does amazing work in not only fulfilling her classroom duties, but in ensuring that all students traveling to and from school do so safely. Angela has spent in excess of 10 years making sure that the travel needs of each individual child of the school are met with greatest of attention and well above the expected standards of safety. She ensures that all things bus-related are maintained in perfect working order and are presented in a way that shows pride in the school and the outstanding programs. It’s also the little things in making sure that everything is good to go prior to a school excursion or camp that makes everyone’s jobs just that little bit easier. What makes Angela truly outstanding is that she goes beyond the machines and devices, but also dedicates her time to safety knowledge, travel training, and the teaching of positive travel behaviours that are truly admirable. Angela makes school transport more than just a means to get from A to B, but also uses it as an opportunity for students to learn and grow and take ownership of their own safety and the safety of others. Well done, Angela, on your tireless enthusiasm in ensuring the greatest safety to those under your charge. Congratulations!



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Congratulations to Teaghan McKenzie, Bendigo SDS  Teaghan has a commitment to personal reflection and she seeks feedback from her team and instructional leaders. She has made a significant impact in her early years of teaching  - not just to the students in her classroom but to her colleagues across the whole school and allied support sectors.




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Congratulations to Lucinda Perri, Barwon Valley School. Lucinda has strived to get all students at Barwon Valley school actively engaged and participating in physical activity, not just at school but outside it as well. She works tirelessly to create and foster links to the local and wider community to ensure students have access to an ever increasing variety of clinics, skills sessions and sporting competitions.




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Congratulations to Stephanie Campbell, Southern Autistic School.  After careful consideration the panel selected Stephanie Campbell of Southern Autistic School as the eventual winner.   Stephanie instigated the “I CAN” program after identifying a number of students who were uncomfortable and struggling with their Autism diagnosis. Through careful consultation with the school leadership and wider school community, she developed and implemented the program with a goal to enable students to understand and be proud of the Autism diagnosis.  Soliciting widespread school community support Stephanie facilitated the “I CAN” program targeting selected students over a period of two terms.  As a result of her intervention, the school saw the participating students embrace their Autism diagnosis developing a belief in their own abilities, improving self-esteem and developing a pride in who they are. Five of these students have since taken this newly developed sense of pride and will present at the forthcoming AWETISM expo where Autistic students showcase and share their talents.


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Congratulations Matt Copping & Bec Talbot, Horsham Special School.  The Horsham Special School team has demonstrated significant commitment to enhancing the skills of teachers and education support staff in Understanding Diversity and delivering Inclusive Practice in schools.   The team has delivered more than 60 professional development workshops to their own staff and over 1400 participants from schools across their region.   In addition the team has provided whole school professional learning sessions and on-demand coaching to up-skill teachers and education support staff in creating inclusive curriculum programs for all students.   The team also provides on-site advice in specific strategies and programming to support greater engagement, inclusion and participation for students with diverse needs and they are currently co-leading an area-wide project on trauma aware inclusive practice.  Congratulations to the Horsham Special School team on their outstanding commitment to developing the capacity of educators across the system to identify and cater for the diverse needs of all students.




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Congratulations Warren Dawson, Hamlyn Views School.  Warren demonstrates exceptional skills in his teaching, through initiating, modelling and promoting authentic and evidence based learning interventions, which support the school’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support - Tier One. He is a highly motivated special educator who is regularly sought to model and advise teachers in his own and other specialist and mainstream schools.  Warren has engaged the whole school community through the introduction of HV-TV on the school’s Facebook Page, which provides an avenue for student voice and participation.  Congratulations Warren on your outstanding contribution to special education and the support of higher learning for all.


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Congratulations Elise Mascarin, Hamlyn Views School.  The Panel acknowledges Elise’s contribution to Hamlyn Heights in the development and embedding of the Respectful Relationships program at the school. The Panel also recognises Elise’s contribution to Special Education in Victoria in her ability to support and share the Hamlyn Views Respectful Relationships curriculum development with other Specialist schools and the creation of a model that highlights how best to cater for the wide variety of learners in any classroom.  Congratulations on your outstanding work Elise.



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Congratulations Tania Franks, Bendigo SDS.  Since being appointed as Leading Teacher of Curriculum , Tania has facilitated an extensive change in teacher practice through her drive to ensure that every child has access to the full depth and breadth of a guaranteed and viable curriculum across every learning space at Bendigo SDS. Tania designed and implemented a whole school initiative which comprised extensive Professional Learning for teachers, education support staff and parents and saw the introduction of a consistent English block across the school.  Bendigo SDS now has  a consistent approach to teaching all aspects of the English Curriculum and has established a common language amongst students, staff and families,  This allows them to ensure that student learning is continuous across transitions and there is a clear scope and sequence for their learning that is documented, moderated and taught with collective efficacy. Tania started her work through the BASTOW Literacy Leaders course and was able to challenge facilitators to include content that was inclusive of teachers teaching literacy to students working within levels A-D. BASTOW have now asked if her work can be used as a resource and case study to support other schools.


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Congratulations Bruce McPhate, Southern Autistic School. Bruce has received the outstanding principal award for his contribution in establishing the Katandra Project whilst he was principal of the school. This entailed sharing knowledge, expertise and human resources across mainstream schools in his network. The program supported individual students, teachers and school communities.  Now, as principal of Southern Autistic school he has established a relationship with Westfield to support retail staff to better understand the needs of students with Autism and ways in which to make the shopping experience easier for students and their families.  Bruce is a strong ambassador for specialist education and a passionate advocate for children and young people with disabilities

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