It with great pleasure that I share with our community that Mrs Juliana Dignam, College Leader of Careers and Vocational Education and Training, was awarded the Careers Advisers Association of NSW and ACT, Careers Adviser of the Year at a ceremony held in Sydney last Friday. This prestigious award honours a Careers Adviser who is making significant contributions to Career Education and development in and beyond their school. It highlights the quality of Career Education in the school, the skills and achievements of the Careers Adviser and their dedication to achieving quality outcomes for students.
Juliana is an invaluable resource for students and parents, possessing a unique set of personal qualities that make her effective. An organiser, coordinating various career-related events, workshops, and resources, ensuring students have access to the information they need. A natural networker, establishing connections with professionals, industry experts, and educational institutions, broadening parent, and students’ horizons by opening doors to diverse opportunities. Her positive and passionate mindset enables her to stay abreast of evolving career trends, offering students relevant and forward-thinking guidance. Juliana is very approachable and creates a safe and welcoming space for students to share their concerns, providing tailored solutions and support.
Juliana is an innovator, creating opportunities that she believes will benefit all involved. Her initiatives align with the National Career Education Standards (NCES) and Australian Blueprint for Career Development (ABCD), emphasizing collaboration, exploration, and readiness for an ever-changing future.
In 2022, she organised a remarkable National Careers Week event with 34 presenters and 73 classes, engaging students across Years 7 to 12. The theme focused on embracing squiggly careers and appreciating different pathways. Collaborating with teachers, students, administrative staff, employers, and IT professionals, Juliana witnessed remarkable student engagement.
Juliana also organised in 2022, an alumni event for Year 12 students, highlighting diverse pathways to success. To keep Year 10 students engaged, she designed a comprehensive 4-week program in Term 4, including work experience, guest speakers, virtual work experiences, and skill development activities.
In 2023, she orchestrated a highly successful Careers Pathways Expo, providing parents with access to employers and tertiary providers. Over 453 parents registered for the event, facilitating meaningful conversations with their children. Juliana’s innovative approach and unwavering dedication continue to shape students’ career journeys, inspiring them to embrace diverse possibilities and think critically about their futures.
We congratulate Juliana on this award and are very grateful to have her as a member of our St Edward’s community.
Congratulations also to Mrs Michelle McDonald for being recognised for her attainment of the the accreditation status of Highly Accomplished Teacher (HAT). Michelle is the St Edward’s College English Leader of Learning, and this award recognises her commitment, professionalism and expertise as a highly accomplished teacher. Michelle attended an award ceremony at Parliament House on Friday evening to be presented with her award by the Honourable Prue Car Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning.
Michelle has continued throughout her career to ensure that she stays abreast of the latest research, curriculum developments and approaches to teaching English and demonstrates a great capacity to share her expertise with her colleagues in a collaborative and inspiring way. Michelle is a member of the English Teachers Association and has regularly convened collaborative professional learning sessions with teachers from St Edward’s and other schools to ensure that the young people in our care are provided with the best possible learning experiences to achieve positive outcomes.
I congratulate Michelle on achieving this level of accreditation and look forward to her ongoing contribution to teaching excellence at St Edward’s.