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WA Education Department awards: Ashdale Secondary College and Joondalup Education Support Centre win top gongs

Two northern suburbs public schools — Ashdale Secondary College and Joondalup Education Support Centre — have been recognised as WA’s schools of the year in the annual Education Department awards.

Ashdale SC, which has a strong focus on science and technology, was awarded for a consistent track record of excellence and its emphasis on maximising the potential of each of its 1700 students.

“We encourage students to make the most of all opportunities, find a passion, care for others and apply themselves in everything they do,” former principal Kylie Bottcher said.

Camera IconSecondary principal of the year, Mitch McKay from John Curtin College of the Arts. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Joondalup ESC, a primary school specialising in education for children with special needs, was named primary school of the year for its success in providing meaningful pathways for every student.


Long-serving John Curtin College of the Arts head Mitch McKay was named secondary principal of the year for helping lead system-wide initiatives and mentoring other principals and schools.

Beeliar Primary School head Louise O’Donovan took the top prize for primary school leaders.

Primary principal of the year, Louse Donovan from Beeliar Primary School.
Camera IconPrimary principal of the year, Louse Donovan from Beeliar Primary School. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Former social worker Kristyn Oldfield, from Aspiri Primary School in Perth’s south, was named Premier’s Primary teacher of the year for her ability to create an inclusive classroom with high expectations.

“I explain to my students that learning can be uncomfortable, and it is OK to feel a bit uncomfortable when we’re learning something new,” she said.


“Everything is hard before it gets easy.”

Girrawheen Senior High School maths and science teacher Charan Pabla was recognised as the State’s top secondary teacher for encouraging her students to work hard and “dream big”.

Anika Brown, from Halls Creek District High School, was named beginning teacher of the year and Byford Secondary College’s Michelle Barrett was recognised as WA’s education assistant of the year.


  • Rob Nail, Cape Naturaliste College — secondary deputy principal of the year
  • Niquolei Lyons, Harrisdale Primary School — deputy primary principal of the year
  • Madison Corsini, WA College of Agriculture, Cunderdin — school services staff member of the year
  • Basil Kickett, Narrogin Primary School — WA Aboriginal and Islander education officer of the year
  • Mt Lawley Senior High School — Premier’s excellence in Aboriginal Education award

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