Kate Mullin Teacher Award 2019
Winner – Denise Shillinglaw, Broome SHS
Denise Shillinglaw has a passion for improving language and literacy education for Aboriginal students, and the students at Broome SHS and its cluster schools have been the beneficiaries of this over the past ten years.
From her first year at Broome SHS as Head of the Learning Area of English, Denise implemented a strategic, whole-school approach to change attitudes in the school staff, provide knowledge to staff to adopt Two Way pedagogy and at the same time, support Aboriginal staff in the school to foster self-belief and confidence for success in the students.
In 2007, there were no Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander graduates from the school, but following Denise’s intense work with teachers in the English department to develop programs designed to meet the literacy needs of Aboriginal students, the first Aboriginal ATAR students graduated at the end of 2011. By 2017, with strategic literacy development in explicit literacy instruction in Reading and Writing embedded across the whole school while still nurturing and developing Aboriginal English, Kriol and traditional Aboriginal languages, Denise had overseen Aboriginal graduation statistics increasing every year. In 2018 there were 24 Aboriginal students who graduated with a WACE Certificate. This was the highest number of any school in the state, and Broome SHS’s graduation rate is predicted to continue increasing over the coming years.
Denise is truly a most worthy winner of the Kate Mullin Teacher Award.
Denise is pictured right with her plaque, alongside Bev Burnside, convenor of the selection panel, and Ken Mullin Chair of the Kate Mullin Association.
A full transcript of Denise’s citation, along with honourable mentions for three of the other nominees are available here: Teacher Award 2019 Final Winners and Hon Mentions