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You are reading: 2015 Australian Rural Education Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Australian Rural Education Awards.

Since 1994, the annual Australian Rural Education Awards (AREA) has recognised people, institutions, organisations and industries demonstrating excellence and innovation in rural education in Australia.

Awarded at its annual national conference, AREA is an initiative of the Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA). SPERA is dedicated to connecting people and organisations with an interest in education and training to advance the development of rural Australia.

AREA nominations are sought in three categories:

1. Existing projects that demonstrate a proven link between a school or learning context and the rural community, and that benefit a defined group

2. Future projects that support new and creative thinking in professional practice, aimed at improving student outcomes in rural and remote settings, and

3. Five pre-service citations will be awarded to pre-service teachers or institutions, recognising demonstrated excellence in professional learning practice in rural and remote settings.

Category 1 and 2 winners each receive a cash prize of $2,000 and are sponsored to attend the 31st National SPERA conference, being held this year at Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus in Geelong, Victoria, Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 November 2015.

Previous AREA winners include The University of Western Australia’s Aspire UWA program, Talbingo Public School’s Clean Green Energy Park project, Calen District State College’s Different Strokes, Different Spokes, Different Folk project, and Murdoch University’s Dr Susan Ledger.

SPERA President and former AREA recipient, Mr Brian O’Neill, said winning an AREA resulted in increased awareness of his school’s dedication to providing VET opportunities for Calen District State College’s students.

“Our AREA win in 2011 resulted in a lot of buzz for Calen, and I personally had an opportunity to meet a number of people whose articles I had read and admired – people like John Halsey, Elaine Sharplin and Jo-Anne Reid, just to name a few,” said Mr O’Neill.

“There many wonderful and innovative things relating to rural education that are taking place throughout our country. I encourage everyone working in regional, remote or rural education to consider nominating for an award. The nomination process is far from onerous and the prize money on offer can help fund the ongoing development of initiatives.”

More information, including how to nominate, is available on the SPERA website.

Nominations close Friday 4 September 2015.