Professor Dame Marie Bashir Medal
This prestigious award, in honour of the Professional Teachers’ Council NSW patron Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, was presented for the first time in 2016.
The medal is awarded to a member of the teaching profession who has shown outstanding leadership in the field of education.
Susan Gazis AM, 2019
Sue’s passion for education has driven her professional career and has extended far beyond the classroom where she started as an English teacher in 1983. She was drawn to the world of professional learning and this has led to a journey that has encompassed the personal, state, national and international levels.
Initially, Sue became an active member of the NSW English Teachers Association and went on to hold the roles of President and Treasurer. She represented ETA on the Joint Council of Professional Teaching Associations NSW as a Director in 1995. The JCPTA later became the Professional Teachers Council NSW, and this commenced her untold hours of voluntary work which has also included the leadership of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English, of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English and the Australian Professional Teachers Association. She has also held advisory memberships of various boards.
Under her leadership of both PTC NSW and APTA, both organisations were rebranded and strengthened to elevate the importance of teacher professional learning at state and federal levels. During her presidencies, both organisations had seats at the forefront of educational change including on the AITSL Board and the NSW Quality Teaching Council. She raised the teaching associations sphere of influence to give voice to educational policy development, to be active participants in change and be quality providers of high quality, targeted and contemporary professional learning. Services to member associations including secretariat, funding, publishing, office and conference space grew. Importantly, Sue instigated workshops in governance at both state and federal level for associations to ensure compliance and informed boards.
In her leadership role of APTA, she instigated the AITSL and APTA travelling scholarships, which provided successful candidates with extraordinary international study tours to investigate professional learning practice across the world. Awardees attended international conferences, met with educational leaders, public policy institutes such as Brookings in Washington and observed classroom practice. This raised the international awareness of the Australian contemporary practice in professional learning and, in particular, the outstanding work of associations in supporting the ongoing development of teachers and their impact in the classroom. Relationships were established with the Learning Forward Organisation and saw the facilitation of a national conference with USA educationalist Dennis Sparks delivering both keynote and workshops.
Sue has been instrumental in elevating the recognition of the voluntary nature of the work of teaching associations in instigating national awards through APTA and strengthening the PTC NSW awards. She has been a mentor for early career and aspirational teachers. Her own work and considerable contribution was recognised with the award of a Member of Australia in 2004 as well as a Life Membership of AATE and both PTC NSW Exceptional Service Award and the Outstanding Professional Service Award.
This passion for the development of teacher practice has been evident in her professional career where she has been at the forefront of educational change including the development of the NSW Teaching Standards which described best practice and were taken on as a model for the development of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. She has brought this extensive experience and passion to her recent appointment as Manager for Teacher Quality and Integrity at NESA.
Dr. Denis Mootz, 2018
Denis has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the field of education. He is courageous, trustworthy and entrepreneurial and has led the Professional Teachers Council NSW (PTCNSW) with integrity. Denis focuses the PTCNSW on the big picture and encourages and enables PTCNSW committees, teaching associations to thrive and try new approaches.
Denis has been a director of the Professional Teachers Council NSW from 1998-2002 and 2004 to the present. During this time, he has undertaken various roles including Vice-President and President. While a director of the Board, Denis has led and engaged in all levels of professional teaching association activities involving governance, advocacy, policy development, research, professional learning, events and communications.
Denis commenced as President of PTCNSW in 2015 and continues in this role at present. He has influenced and contributed to the professional standing of teachers through his leadership of the development of partnerships with Dr Joan-Mary Hinds which led to the Teacher Motivation Survey used by schools to provide data for their annual school plan.
Denis has worked tirelessly to develop strong governance and management processes for the PTCNSW under the requirements of the Corporations Act. He has developed a collaborative decision-making structure based on standing committees for all major areas of PTCNSW’s operation. In doing this, he always acknowledges the support of all PTCNSW Directors and teaching association representatives.
Denis has developed strong strategic relationships with a range of agencies and organisations such as NESA, the NSW Department of Education, Catholic Schools NSW, the Association of Independent Schools, Macquarie University, the Australian Catholic University, the Independent Education Union and the NSW Teachers Federation. He has developed a number of partnerships that have led to research projects, professional learning and infrastructure support for associations and teachers.
Through these partnerships he has led the development of PTCplus, a whole-school non-curriculum based professional learning initiative. With the co-operation of the PTCNSW’s member teaching associations, faculty or curriculum based high quality professional learning can also be delivered. He has also led the development of PTConnect, PTCNSW’s bespoke phone .app used for major conferences and numerous professional learning events.
In addition to his relationship with PTCNSW, Denis has also been a highly active supporter of the History Teachers Association of Australia since 1998 as a Director, Vice President and Secretary.
Denis has provided insight to many curriculum committees including the HSC Exam Committees, as member and Chair. Denis has further applied his passion for History by becoming the History Channel’s Education Consultant from 1998 to 2016.
Denis’ contribution to the teaching profession makes him a worthy recipient of the Professor Dame Marie Bashir Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Education.
Nerina Pretlove, 2016
Nerina Pretlove has demonstrated a substantial commitment to PTC NSW. She has been a Director of PTC NSW since its early inception as the Joint Council of Professional Teaching Associations (JCPTA) NSW. During this time, she has had various roles including Vice-President and President. While a director of the Board, Nerina has led and engaged in all levels of professional teaching association activities involving governance, advocacy, policy development, research, professional learning, publications and communications.
She has also represented PTC NSW for a number of years at the national level as a member of the board of APTA, the Australian Professional Teachers’ Association where she has represented the interests of Australian teachers and Teacher Associations at overseas meetings relating to teaching associations and professional learning.
Nerina has represented NSW teachers in numerous forums and committees and is also a Ministerial appointment to the Professional Learning Evaluation and Assessment Committee, PLEAC, and the Quality Teaching Council.
Nerina has contributed to the professional standing of teachers through her development of new associations when she believed there was a need. Most recently she has had a hand in developing the Professional Casual Teachers’ Association in NSW, an association created to support casual relief teachers in their professional learning so that they can draw on a body of knowledge when responding to the learning needs of students within varying classroom contexts.
Nerina has acted as a mentor for many new directors who promote and lead professional teaching associations. She initiated development of the Professional Teachers’ Council NSW Director’s Induction Booklet and program. This work could be used as a best practice model by other professional teaching associations.
PTC NSW is not losing Nerina’s corporate knowledge as she will be the first member called to our 2017 Presidents’ Advisory Committee. Nerina has been a vocal and tireless advocate for the students and teachers of NSW and her passion, dedication and enormous contribution to the teaching profession makes her a worthy recipient of the inaugural Professor Dame Marie Bashir Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Education.