Inspiring teachers


​​​​​World Teachers' Day 2023​


Paul Neilsen

Paul Neilsen is a maths and science teacher at Sophia College in Plainland. He is a firm believer that the Dalai Lama was right when he said teaching is the most noble path. He was drawn to the profession after studying marine biology. After a short stint as a labourer, 16 years ago, Paul decided to follow his calling and become a teacher.

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Erin Dunn

Erin Dunn has wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. Erin teaches at the Australian International Islamic College – an independent school based around the Islamic faith. She welcomes new teaching experiences and enjoys learning from her students.

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Amanda Budby

If someone had told Amanda Budby 20 years ago that she would be a deputy principal, she wouldn’t have believed them. Amanda began her career as a teacher aide and is now deputy principal at North Shore State School. After 2 decades in state schooling, Amanda is still passionate about helping Queensland students.

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Anzac Premier’s Prize – a teacher chaperone’s story


Alex Cashin Premier’s Anzac Prize – teacher chaperone 2023

Premier’s Anzac Prize recipient Alex Cashin discusses her experiences as a teacher chaperone for the 2023 Anzac Prize. The Premier’s Anzac Prize is an annual program that provides a life-changing opportunity for Queensland high school students to engage with the Anzac tradition first-hand and explore how the Anzac legacy relates to modern Australian life. Teacher chaperones support the students throughout the program and on tour.

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​​​​​World Teachers' Day 2022​


Trish Taylor

Trish Taylor is a teacher of the deaf and advisory teacher for the ​metropolitan region. She is a former music teacher who undertook a Graduate Diploma in Special Education majoring in hearing impairment when her hearing began to deteriorate.

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Barbara Dewis

Originally a teacher aide, Barbara Dewis became a teacher to ‘give back’. She has been working in schools for more than 33 years. As a Torres Strait Islander,​ she enjoys learning from her students and sharing her rich culture with them.

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Ben Princehorn

Ben Princehorn is a legal studies teacher and Co-ordinator of Community Services at Sunshine Coast Grammar School. He began his teaching career 25 years ago in regional schools in New South Wales. As community services co-ordinator,​ he oversees charitable and outreach programs and the delivery of service learning.

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​​​​​World Teachers' Day 2021

Corey Gieskens and Kienan Wagner​

Corey Gieskens is Head of STEM and Head of Industrial, Agriculture and Design Technology at Ferny Grove State High School. He is a qualified cabinet maker who became a teacher at 32.

Corey has been a teacher for more than 19 years and is passionate about inspiring students to be 21st century thinkers and lifelong learners. He hopes to one day teach alongside a student he has taught.

Kienan Wagner is a former student who credits Corey with igniting his passion for industrial design.

Kienan is a qualified drafter working in a career he loves.​

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Sara Condon and Patrick Robinson

Sara Condon is a Senior Religion teacher at Ambrose Tracey College. She has a Bachelor degree in Creative Writing and a post graduate degree in Education.

Sara has been teaching for 10 years and believes she has found her calling.

Patrick Robinson is a former student at Ambrose Tracey College. He graduated in 2019 and is currently studying Engineering at the University of Queensland.

Patrick believes the life lessons Sara modelled have helped shape him.

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Maree Wimhurst and Scott Millar

Maree Wimhurst is a Year 6 English and Humanities teacher at Sheldon College who has been teaching for 18 years.

Maree encourages her students to believe in themselves, to challenge themselves and to develop a love of learning.

Scott Millar graduated in 2017. He is the CEO of BOP Industries – an education company that teaches primary and high school students about entrepreneurship, innovation and STEM.

Maree was Scott’s Year 3 teacher who recognised his entrepreneurial spark.​

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Where teaching can take you

Listen to Queensland teachers talk about where teaching has taken them.


Serena Burnett

A science specialist, Serena’s love of teaching has taken her to one of Queensland’s most remote Indigenous community schools. As a teacher at Mornington Island State School in the Gulf of Carpentaria, she has been able to live her passions for adventure, travel and conversation.

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Pree Jeewandara

Pree is a Science and Digital Technology teacher at Doomadgee State School. He has been teaching for a number of years across various sectors and settings. He is enjoying the lifestyle of working and living in a remote community.

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Katrina Peall

Katrina is a primary school teacher at Ferny Grove State School and a graduate of Central Queensland University. A teacher for more than 22 years, Katrina has worked in several regions across the state, taught overseas, trained teachers in curriculum and been a small school principal.

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​World Teachers’ Day Queensland 2020

This podcast series celebrates Queensland’s extraordinary teachers. We talk to three diverse teachers from across the state about their love of teaching and the many different opportunities that teaching provides them.


Vanessa Stevens

Vanessa Stevens is a proud Mbabaram and Yidinji woman with 35 years experience in the education sector. Vanessa is currently lead principal (locally known as Lead Head of Campus) at Tagai State College in the Torres Strait. She supervises 5 remote island campuses and coaches and mentors teaching principals. Her experience includes time as a kindergarten supervisor, P–10 classroom teacher, coordinator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education program at James Cook University, a lecturer in education, principal, curriculum developer, a reading recovery tutor and literacy and numeracy coach. She has worked in the state, Catholic and Independent education sectors. She is passionate about ensuring Indigenous perspectives are embedded in all tiers of education.

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Dionne Juillard

Dionne Juillard is head of curriculum (teaching and learning) and a teacher at Queensland independent school Brisbane Christian College. She is the school’s first accredited Lead Teacher. She has more than 10 years' teaching experience. Her previous roles include art teacher, literacy support teacher, year level coordinator and head of lower primary. Dionne believes it is important for a teacher to remember the Zulu saying 'Ubuntu', I am because we are. Dionne is passionate about giving back to the profession and coaching and mentoring other teachers to reach their full potential as an educator.

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Daniel Allen

Daniel Allen is an early career music teacher at Padua College. He holds a Bachelor of Music (Jazz Voice Performance) from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University and a Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (Secondary) from the University of Southern Queensland. He is also completing specialist music pedagogy Australia Kodaly Certificate (Secondary Classroom Music Specialist). Daniel is passionate about music—creating good music and creating better musicians.

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Rural and remote teaching


Brittany Nolan – Weipa

Britany Nolan is a secondary Health and Physical Education teacher at Queensland’s remote Western Cape College. She is College Sports Coordinator and is based at the Weipa Campus. She also works in the Intensive Literacy and Numeracy program and was shortlisted for a TeachX—Excellence in Beginning to Teach award. Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Brittany has been teaching in Weipa for four years.

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Ellie Clark

Ellie Clark is a year 6 teacher at Aurukun State School. Originally from Brisbane, Ellie loves the close connections with community that teaching in one of Queensland’s most isolated towns brings with it. Ellie has worked in Aurukun for the past two years and has fallen in love with it.

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David Lassig

David Lassig is a change of career teacher who started his working life as a fitter and turner. Today, he is Head of Department for Technology and Vocational Education and Training at Dysart State High School. Fifteen years after becoming a teacher, David remains committed to the profession and excited about the opportunities it offers.

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Catherine Cargnoni

Catherine Cargnoni is a change of career teacher who is currently the teaching principal at Hebel State School. After leaving school, Catherine worked in various hospitality jobs, including training and working as a chef, before deciding to become a teacher. Catherine has been a teacher for 13 years and is a passionate advocate for the profession and teaching in the bush.

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Last updated 09 October 2023