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Award goes to “dedicated” principal

Tom Fitzsimons Award winner John Parkinson (left) and Andrew Oberthur (right)
with Margaret Fitzsimons at the annual BACPPA gathering

JOHN Parkinson is the winner of this year’s annual Tom Fitzsimons award.
The St Flannan’s School, Zillmere, principal received his award from Tom’s widow Margaret at a gathering of the Brisbane Archdiocese Catholic Primary Principals’ Association (BACPPA).

The peer-nominated, professional learning award was named in honour of Tom Fitzsimons, a former Assistant Director of Brisbane Catholic Education Office.

The award recognises a strong commitment to professional learning in the fields of leadership and education.

Nominees must demonstrate their commitment to their own professional learning during the previous 12 months, have shared their professional learning with their colleagues and transferred their professional learning into practice.

John, who was nominated by last year’s winner Anne McKenny, pipped Our Lady of the Rosary School, Kenmore, Principal Andrew Oberthur to the winning post.

In her submission Anne described John as a principal who was dedicated and committed to being a reflective and practical learner, effective teacher and inspirational leader of learning.

She said John had an impressive record of proactively making a difference to the well being and education of all members of the school community, first and foremost students, all staff members, parents and carers. 

“For many years John has shared his professional learning with colleagues – he has developed and presented professional learning workshops at a school and system level – integrating Religious Education and The Arts, Approaches to Literacy, and Behaviour Learning,” she said.

“In the last 12 months John had developed a School Behaviour Support Plan for St Flannan’s that had been adopted as an exemplary model within Brisbane Catholic Education.”

She said John had travelled interstate to further develop his knowledge of the successful application of The Games Factory philosophy and practices at St Flannan’s and has invited other school community members to visit, discuss and learn from their successes.

As part of the award John received a professional reading grant. 


Brisbane Catholic Education Office

243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102

GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia

Phone: (07) 3033 7000

Fax: (07) 3844 5101