Teaching Australia

The Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of the teaching profession from early childhood through to senior secondary schooling.

The five categories for the awards are:

  • Australian Primary Teacher of the Year (including early childhood and special education)
  • Australian Secondary Teacher of the Year (including special education)
  • Australian Primary Principal of the Year (including early childhood and special education)
  • Australian Secondary Principal of the Year (including special education)
  • Excellence in Teaching or Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education (Australian Government Minister’s Award)

In 2011 the Australian Government Minister’s category recognises excellence in teaching or school leadership within Indigenous education contexts and reflects the national commitment to ongoing innovation and improvement in this area of high priority.

Nomination and judging process

Peak school education bodies in each state and territory are invited to submit nominations for the five award categories. There is no self-nomination for the awards. Further details are available on the nomination form and award guidelines.

Peak school education bodies are encouraged to use the outcomes of existing awards processes when identifying their nominees, helping The Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership to recognise the ‘best of the best’ in the profession.

Nominations close on 30 June each year. Judging will take place between July and September, with national winners announced at a recognition ceremony in October.

Please note: Nominations can only be submitted by a  Peak School Education Body. These are the government, Catholic and independent school authorities in each state and territory.

To find out more go to:


Australian school communities are full of committed people using their knowledge and skills, and large measures of imagination, ingenuity and resourcefulness to make schools better places in which to learn and develop. The national awards are a great way of celebrating the achievements of Australian schools, teachers, principals and school support staff.

Each year, JCQTA supports a number of professional association members to develop their awards submissions. In the past this has proven highly successful with three of our members receiving awards in 2008 and JCQTA nominated teachers receiving awards in 2009 and 2010.