Study Awards

The VPA has a long standing tradition of supporting members in practical ways and facilitating their continuing development. The provision of high-quality Professional Learning continues to be an important priority for the VPA and the VPA Study Awards Program is a significant means by which the Association delivers development opportunities for members. The VPA receives very positive feedback from members who have availed themselves of this program. 

2019 Study Awards

Our 2019 Study Awards were presented at our 2019 Conference dinner on the 15 of August. 

Developing Others – Building Capacity, Sponsored by Woods Furniture



The 2019 Study Award for Developing Others – Building Capacity was awarded to Michelle Wilson, Principal of Sebastopol Primary School. Michelle's project is called Walk Together with Courage; Indigenous Australia Study Tour.

Michelle will create an Australian Study Tour with a focus on Indigenous Australia. The tour will centre on Indigenous Learning, Voice and Language, to encourage educational leaders to develop positive practices that foster genuine connection between Koorie and non-Koorie Victorians.

The first stage of this journey will take place at the newly declared World Heritage Site of Budj Bim, in Western Australia where the Gunditjmarra people created a significant aquaculture system over 6600 years ago.

Michelle intends to use the learning from this study tour in addition to the insights of the Marrung Document to build capacity of schools in the Central Highlands to explicitly teach Indigenous culture and language.


Ross Scannell, Client Manager at Woods Furniture; Michelle Wilson, 2019 Study Award Winner; Katy Haire, Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood and School Education, DET; and Anne-Maree Kliman, VPA President.

Promoting School and Community Links, Sponsored by Bank First



The 2019 Study Award for Promoting School and Community Links was awarded to Donna Wright, Principal of Bandiana Primary School. Donna's project is called Aspirational Learning in Rural Victoria – Grades 5&6.

Donna’s project looks at developing community and career pathways through the Primary School lens. The project looks to broaden children’s ‘imagined future’, by removing the restrictions of environment and experience that limit what a child dreams they can become. She poses the question: ‘how do I know I can become a neuroscientist if I have never met one?’

She intends to establish links with work educators, local universities, and local aspirational leaders within multiple industries to open a discussion with year 5&6 students about vocations and the multitude of pathways available to them.

With the support of this award, Donna wants to implement activities that will improve access to further study and new pathways for rural students - and ultimately help develop more aspirational children.


Adrian Wilson, Business Development Manager at Bank First; Katy Haire, Deputy Secretary, Early Childhood and School Education, DET; a conference attendee accepting the award on behalf of Study Award winner Donna Wright; Anne-Maree Kliman, VPA President; and Deborah Grossek, VPA Board Member.

Principal Health and Wellbeing, Sponsored by Teachers Health



This award will be presented at the VPA's AGM in November. 

2018 Study Award Winners

In 2018, the Study Award Program topics (as detailed below) were consistent with the VPA's priority areas of action for that year: 

Promoting School and Community Links

VPA President Anne-Maree Kliman, Study Award Winners Dale Power and Kylie Nissen, Adrian Wilson from Bank First, and Secretary of DET Gill Gallister.
VPA President Anne-Maree Kliman, Study Award Winners Dale Power and Kylie Nissen, Adrian Wilson from Bank First, and Secretary of DET Gill Gallister.

Dale Power and Kylie Nissen, Principal and Assistant Principal respectively at Miners Rest Primary School, co-won the 2018 VPA and Bank First Study Award Promoting School and Community Links. Dale and Kylie's project will look at targeted inclusiveness in early learning by reviewing and delivering a refined version of the Connect-Ed program, which will strengthen parent engagement and learning through interactive on-site sessions. 

Special thanks to Bank First for sponsoring the Promoting School and Community Links Study Award

Principal Health and Wellbeing


Secretary of DET Gill Callister, Sarah Kupsch from Teacher's Health, Study Award Winner Mark McLay and VPA President Anne-Maree Kliman.

Mark McLay, Principal of Pleasant Street Primary School, won the 2018 VPA and Teachers Health Study Award for Principal Health and Wellbeing. Mark will produce a booklet that combines knowledge from wellness and happiness experts with effective case studies, to create a key resource that will empower Victorian principals to rebalance their lives. 

Special thanks to Teachers Health for sponsoring the Principal Health and Wellbeing Study Award.



To learn more about previous Study Award winners and their projects, please click here.