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Women of Achievement Award 2018

The Women of Achievement Award recognises a woman who demonstrates outstanding leadership and contributes to education throughout their career with the Department of Education. 

An initiative under the Department of Education’s Equity and Diversity Management Plan 2015–2019, the award is sponsored by the Director General and provides schools and Department workplaces with the opportunity to recognise the achievements of outstanding female employees. 


Finalists for the Department’s Women of Achievement Award were recognised and the winner announced at the Department’s International Women’s Day Breakfast, at Crown Towers, on Friday, 8 March 2019.


Mary-Anne Goyder, Music Specialist, Wembley Primary School

Mary-Anne was nominated by Christine Power, Level 3 Classroom Teacher, Wembley Primary School, for being the driving force behind key music initiatives that achieve outstanding ‘High Performance-High Care’ objectives.

Her inspirational and motivating leadership has resulted in a positive impact on students extending well beyond those in her classroom. Mary-Anne has been acknowledged for her role in demonstrating outstanding practice, ensuring high standards of inclusive student achievement as well as providing extensive professional learning and mentoring of a wide base of teachers.

As Festival Director and Conductor of the Western Australian Massed Choir, she has provided the opportunity for students across the state to showcase excellence in public primary school choirs. Mary-Anne's direction has resulted in the formation of partnerships across the education sector, particularly with secondary schools, helping to ensure gifted music students can continue their love of music beyond the primary school years. 


Keryl Caird, Principal, Willandra Primary School

Keryl was nominated by Jacqui O’Donnell, Principal, Rockingham Beach Primary School, for being a visionary leader who has made significant contributions to public education.

As both an exemplary educator and leader Keryl has led from the front, and with heart, in putting policies and innovative practices in place to remove barriers to learning for students in her care. Keryl's proactive approach in engaging and partnering with the wider community has enabled inclusive and enriched learning for all students. She has been a strong advocate for public education and spoken on issues faced across educational sectors at both state, national and international levels. Keryl's influential and valued contributions have extended beyond her school contexts to many educational networks, advisory groups and associations.


Merrilee Wright, Director, Public School Accountability

Merrilee was nominated by Linda Lane, Principal, Durham Road School, for being an outstanding leader who has significantly contributed to providing quality education of children with special education needs.

As both a strong advocate and effective leader of change, Merrilee has simultaneously led many system initiatives and consequently raised the standard of education for all students with special education needs. Her initiatives have promoted collaborative leadership and learning opportunities for colleagues at all career stages. Merrilee has supported schools to develop inclusive practices and self-assessment measures to determine the efficacy of development within their own school context. In her current roles as Director and President of WAESPAA Merrilee has actively lead the comprehensive review of policy, practice and advocacy for special education needs across the state resulting in improved student opportunities and outcomes.

Pauline White, Principal, Wanneroo Senior College

Pauline was nominated by James Webb, Regional Executive Director, North Metropolitan Education Regional Office, for being an adaptive and outstanding leader in meeting the educational and social-emotional needs of the Wanneroo school community. 

Throughout her 13 years at the helm of Wanneroo Secondary College, Pauline has led systemic change to promote a culture of connection, wellbeing and school pride. Her leadership is highlighted in the positive rebranding of the school as well as the successful implementation of structures to increase social cohesion and staff collegiality. Pauline's introduction of an innovative curriculum, through specialist and high performance programs, has created opportunities for the full range of students’ talents and ambitions. Her influence and impact extends beyond her school with innovations such as the flagship Joondalup TAFE Link Program. The success of the strategies and programs Pauline has implemented at the college has allowed all students the best opportunity to succeed.    

Karen Webster, A/Assistant Executive Director, Teaching and Support Services

Karen was nominated by Dene Cranwell, Assistant Director, Teaching and Learning Services, for her exemplary leadership of teaching and learning and her commitment to excellence in public education.

Throughout a distinguished career Karen has led the development of teaching and learning support and programs responsive to the unique needs of schools and strategic directions of public education. She has built the capacity of multi-disciplinary teams to deliver integrated services, providing high level support to team members. Her leadership in establishing the Teacher Development School initiative is just one of many projects resulting in improved achievement for all students. Karen has ensured high quality, evidence driven programs and established highly productive partnerships with internal and external stakeholders across sectors, resulting in the provision of comprehensive and cohesive support to Western Australian public schools.

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Further information

For more information contact Alison Cole, Education Officer, Leadership Institute, on 1300 610 801.



Women of Achievement Award 2018

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