October 28 – Celebrating BCE employees this World Teachers Day!


​​Foundation Principal Deirdre Young – McAuley College Beaudesert.

​This World Teachers’ Day, Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) would like to shine a light on and thank some of our teachers and BCE employees who help make the magic happen across our 146 schools every school year! 

World Teachers’ Day is held annually on 28 October to celebrate all teachers around the globe. It is a day to celebrate how teachers are transforming education but also to reflect on the support they need to fully deploy their talent and vocation, and to rethink the way ahead for the profession globally.  

Foundation Principal Deirdre Young – McAuley College Beaudesert 

Deirdre Young is the Foundation Principal at McAuley College Beaudesert and recently won The Archbishop’s Award for Leadership at the BCE Excellence Awards 2022.
The College Leadership Team, led by Deputy Principal Michael Darcy, and including Assistant Principal Religious Education David Harris, and Acting Assistant Principal Administration James Dolan, were those who nominated Deidre. 

“Deirdre is known within her school community as a leader who consistently and continuously models lifelong learning and is a shining beacon of hope and inspiration for the staff at the College,” the College Leadership Team said. 

“Her leadership has a strong Catholic ethos and high expectations that empower staff and students to reach their full potential.
“Deidre has been at the forefront of purposely developing a Christian culture of care, which is exemplified in Deidre’s relationships with her staff and students.” 

The Mercy charism is also a priority for Deidre, who developed the Mercy Cares initiative, a program that responds to the needs of her students’ families who may be facing difficult times. Deidre personally runs the program, inviting members of the community to support one another with meals. 

In her work, Deidre exemplifies the values of excellence, integrity, justice, and hope and strives for excellence in all she does. 

Primary Teacher Shannon Smith – Southern Cross Catholic College Woody Point 


Prep Teacher at Southern Cross Catholic College Woody Point Campus, Shannon Smith, is known in the school community as a student-focused teacher.  

Shannon is recognised for her innovative and high-quality practices when welcoming, inducting and engaging the Prep students.  

Only three years into her career, Shannon has won The ACU Award for Excellence as an Early Career Teacher at the recent BCE Excellence Awards 2022.  

As a primary teacher, Shannon has a point of difference, also holding a degree in Creative Industries: Music.  

Head of Campus Aynslee Bale said, “Shannon is known for engaging her students with music as part of their learning, including using singing for transitions, brain breaks, and writing lyrics to showcase student learning.”  

“During the 2021 Advent season, Shannon asked her students what Christmas meant to them, and based on their responses, wrote a class song performed by the students at the Christmas concert,” she added.   

“Shannon will go to extreme lengths with parents and students to ensure they all feel they belong and are valued.  

“The teaching profession is incredibly lucky that Shannon chose to be an educator!” 

Groundsman Steven Harrison – Our Lady’s College Annerley  


Steven is the Groundsman for Our Lady’s College Annerley and is known among his school community as someone who looks ahead and shows genuine care for all staff and students. 

The role of a school groundsman is a busy one, and at every start of the school year, Steven is praised for his work preparing classrooms, allowing students and teachers to return and seamlessly re-engage in learning and teaching.  

Steven has recently been awarded the BCE Award for Excellence in a School-Based Non-Teaching role at the BCE Excellence Awards 2022, acknowledging the efficiency of his daily work practices.  

Having worked at Our Lady’s College for four years, Steven won the award for his performance in his role and his ability to foster positive relationships within his school community.    

Assistant Principal Karen Chandler said of his nomination; Steven goes above and beyond in his role by also supporting the faith life of the College, by preparing ahead of time for mass and liturgical celebration, ensuring these spaces are ones of reverence in both look and feel. 

“Without a request from the College, Steve embarked on a project in his own time to build a bespoke altar for College Masses to enhance the prayer space with a suitable and beautiful furniture piece,” she added.  

“He made it out of recycled timber in line with College values, promoting recycling and modelling the importance of sustainability to students. 

“Steven is also receptive to student voice from the Student Representative Council, incorporating student ideas and feedback to help improve the aesthetic of the College grounds. 

“With a Pastoral approach in his interactions with families and visitors, Our Lady’s College is very lucky to have Steven as their groundsman.” 

Workplace Health and Safety Officer Nick Byway – Mt Maria College Petrie 


Nick is a Workplace Health and Safety Officer at Mt Maria College Petrie, who uses his expertise in Industrial Design and Technology to ensure all students are well versed in safety requirements within the classroom. 

Mt Maria College Business Manager Donna Appelman said, “the students know that Nick ‘means business’ when it comes to their safety and wellbeing.” 

For his hands on approach to safety, Nick was recently awarded The TUH Award for Excellence in Safety and Wellbeing at the BCE Excellence Awards 2022. 

Donna added, “Over the years, Nick has worked tirelessly in the College areas of Industrial Design and Technology and Food and Technology, making significant contributions towards a stronger culture of safety in the learning environments at Mt Maria College.” 

“Nick is a visual presence within classrooms and the general College areas, which helps to give his school community a better understanding of workplace health and safety,” she said. 

“Every day, Nick encourages and supports other staff within the College to become advocates for the safer life of Mt Maria College, and he is extremely valued by the College community for his knowledge and influence within the areas of work health and safety.” 

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