News & Events


Catholic Education Awards 2024 - recipients announced


Twelve outstanding South Australian educators, including two educators from the Diocese of Port Pirie, were recognised at the annual Catholic Education Awards ceremony in Adelaide on Thursday May 16. In addition, the teams of two innovative school programs and a dedicated school volunteer were presented with awards for their contributions to Catholic education.

The recipients of the awards share many of the same traits – going above and beyond in their roles, showing commitment to Catholic identity and the teachings of the Catholic Church and being beacons for equity and equality.  

Now in its third year the Awards – which are celebrated as part of Catholic Education Week (May 13 – 19 2024) - recognise outstanding achievements and contributions by staff and volunteers across South Australia’s 101 Catholic schools.

Some of those honoured in the awards include:

  • Louise Stavrou, an Education Support Officer, from St Joseph’s School, Barmera who has served the community in her role as School Chaplain and has initiated the school Breakfast Club and many charitable fundraisers.           
  • Winnie Fitzgerald, a primary school teacher from Samaritan College, Whyalla who has, for 43 years, passionately promoted the Arts in her region to wide recognition.                                                                                                            
  • Paul Belton, St Paul’s College, Gilles Plains recognised for his Leadership Excellence through a career spanning 43 years.
  • Paul Beltrame, from Kildare College, Holden Hill recipient of the Laudato Si’ Award who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to environmental conservation and has created an Orchid house within the school grounds.  
  • Chloe Jones, an Early Years Educator at Nazareth Catholic College, Findon who has worked with young children to petition Parliament on recycling.
  • Alexandra Gavrilidis, Humanities and Social Sciences Leader at St Mary’s College, Adelaide, who has engaged students with the Headstone Project which locates World War 1 veterans buried in unmarked graves and prescribes military headstones on their graves.
  • Kayla Holding, a dedicated volunteer at St Joseph’s School, Payneham who has been instrumental in creating an extracurricular program to educate and entertain students after school.
  • Joseph Burford, Head of Mathematics at Blackfriars Priory School, Prospect who began his career in 2022 and has already made significant changes to the way students interact with mathematics.

A new category was introduced in 2024 to recognise the outstanding work of the Religious Educators within Catholic schools.

Two recipients received this inaugural award: Mirella Romeo, from Nazareth Catholic College and Lucina Loro Parham from St Mary’s College.

Two innovative school programs were also recognised:

  • The ‘Limitless Possibilities’ Program developed by a team within Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) to inspire students to become social entrepreneurs.
  • The ‘Being Church Together’ Program from St John the Baptist School and Parish in Plympton created to strengthen the bond between the school and parish.  

The nominees were across eleven award categories including:

  • Religious Education Teacher
  • Early Career Teacher (less than five years)             
  • Experienced Teacher (more than six years)
  • Education Support                 
  • Volunteer Supporter
  • Innovative Program
  • Leadership Excellence
  • Laudato Si

The award ceremony was held at Hilton Adelaide on May 16, 2024, attended by The Honourable Blair Boyer MP, Minister for Education, Training and Skills; Dr Neil McGoran, Executive Director for Catholic Education SA; and John Neate, Chair of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS), following a Mass at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Wakefield Street led by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan.

Jess Adamson, a well-known face on South Australian television screens, was Host for the evening and the event was proudly sponsored by NGS Super, Switch Education, The Southern Cross, Secondary Schools Deputy Principals & Senior Leaders Association (DEPSLA), SA Catholic Primary Principals Association (SACPPA) and Association of Principals of Catholic Secondary Schools (APCSS).

Commenting on the Awards, Dr Neil McGoran, Executive Director, CESA said:

“Across eleven categories the standard of entries this year was exceedingly high; a testament to the outstanding educators we are privileged to have in South Australia. The impact that these educators and volunteers have on their school communities is huge. They are going above and beyond in the work that they do, and it is important that we recognise and celebrate their achievements. They are instilling so many important values in our students.

“Knowing that these students will graduate, as the best versions of themselves, thanks to the support of these dedicated educators, gives up hope for a bright future. Catholic Education South Australia prides itself in Raising Hearts and Minds and these educators and volunteers embody this in the work that they do.”  

15 Award Recipients:

For the complete list with photos and individual citations, visit the Catholic Education Awards Website

Religious Education Teacher

Nazareth Catholic College, Flinders Park / Kidman Park

St Mary’s College, Adelaide CBD

Early Career Teacher (Primary)

Nazareth Early Childhood Centre (Nazareth Catholic College), Findon

Early Career Teacher (Secondary)

Blackfriars Priory School, Prospect

St Mary’s College, Adelaide CBD

Experienced Teacher (Primary)

St Thomas School and Preschool, Goodwood

Samaritan College, Whyalla

Experienced Teacher (Secondary) 

St Francis de Sales College, Mount Barker


Parent Volunteer
(P&F Committee member and second-hand uniform shop coordinator)
St Joseph’s School, Payneham

Education Support

Xavier College, Two Wells / Evanston / Gawler Belt

Education Support

St Joseph’s School, Barmera

Innovative Program

Catholic Education Office, Adelaide

St John the Baptist Catholic School, Plympton

Laudato Si 

Kildare College, Holden Hill

Leadership Excellence

St Paul’s College, Gilles Plain