The 2015 Bill Kennedy Medal is awarded to Christine Cawsey, AM, a person with an enduring commitment to Public Education, the NSWSPC and the development of quality leadership in secondary schools across NSW.
Christine demonstrates dynamic, inspirational, creative and influential leadership. Her capacity to inspire others has been evidenced at school, community, regional and state levels, as well as in relation to a wide range of professional associations. As a former President of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council and as a highly credentialed and credible Principal, she has been an outstanding advocate for public education, its students and teachers.
She has superior skills as a school Principal, as a result of which she has transformed her school from a struggling, low performing organisation to a “school of choice” for both students and staff in that community, delivering outstanding academic and social outcomes. Through her professional achievements, this person has undoubtedly lifted and promoted the standing of not only education in the community but also of the role of dedicated educators at every level. She has all the elements of vision, intellect, ability, motivation, passion and critical reflection to make a difference.
Christine has contributed enormously to the professional learning of other educators as a prominent presenter of workshops and keynotes at National and International Conferences. She has led many projects for the NSW SPC particularly in relation to the role of the Principal and the future of Secondary education in NSW.
She has contributed significantly to educational writing with the release of a book in partnership with Michelle Anderson entitled “Leadership for Learning”. She was responsible for authoring the vast majority of sections in relation to school leadership and based the book upon the structures and processes she has initiated in developing young leaders at her school. Beyond this she has published many articles in professional journals across the country.
Most recently Christine played a leading role in assisting the NSW DEC to coordinate its National Partnership for Principal Professional Development Program. This resulted in a vast number of schools across the state accessing funding for the professional development of current and aspiring school leaders.
In conclusion, the recipient, Christine Cawsey, is an outstanding talent and an outstanding asset to education. She has demonstrated excellent leadership at a whole range of levels but in particular, as a principal in the NSW Public Education System and as a champion of the NSW SPC. She has great determination and tenacity to ensure that a job is done well. She is a great thinker and demonstrates great creativity and a flair for innovation and cutting edge initiatives.