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Principal of the Year

Wenona educators shine at the 2022 Australian Education Awards


The Wenona community was filled with pride last Friday 12 August, to learn our Principal Dr Briony Scott had been named national School Principal of the Year (non-government), at a glittering night of awards recognising the best educators in the country.

Dr Scott’s award follows four nominations for Wenona at the Australian Education Awards, including Best STEM Program (non-government), Boarding School of the Year (non-government), and Secondary School Teacher of the Year (non-government).

Dr Scott has served as Wenona’s Principal for the last 11 years. She was nominated for the award by Wenona staff, in a reflection of her transformational impact on the School, and careful stewardship during the pandemic. Some highlights from her nomination citation are summarised below:

"Dr Scott’s leadership is characterised by exceptional guidance and care, particularly towards those experiencing hardship and challenge. She is unapologetic in creating a School environment that empowers girls and young women, engendering the strength of character, agency and leadership skills required to serve and shape their world. Her leadership approach is driven by a belief in the power of kindness and compassionate action, and built on a practice of deep listening to the narratives of others.

Dr Scott is a firm believer in identifying and developing leadership talent. She contributes not only to the growth and advancement of her own staff, but those in leadership roles beyond Wenona. Testament to this is her establishment of the Renaissance Women’s Leadership Network (RWLN), which provides women in all educational sectors, the opportunity to connect, network, and support each other as they navigate their careers.

Dr Scott also maintains an active and widely respected online presence, advocating for the educational community and contributing to educational debate in ways that inject a sense of hope and optimism. She provides an important and welcome perspective on a broad range of issues such as consent education, youth wellbeing, leadership during COVID, and the status of the teaching profession".

Wenona’s Australian Education Awardees

STEM Linkedin ADs _AEA Badges_2022

Best STEM Program (non-government)
Quality STEM programming is a core Wenona focus and the number of our students choosing STEM-related electives has increased four-fold over the last five years. Initiatives include our Stage 6 Engineering class, Biotechnology Unit, integrated Year 12 Biology ‘skills lab’ and partnership with the University of Sydney and Amgen. The School has also introduced staff mentoring and coaching opportunities and grants and fellowships, further lifting the profile and delivery of STEM learning.

Boarding Linkedin ADs _AEA Badges_2022

Boarding School of the Year
Wenona Boarding was named an Awardee not only for its delivery of outstanding residential care for students and their families over many years, but for its exceptional stewardship during the pandemic. Wenona boarding staff are renowned for creating a loving, caring culture where every student feels known and valued. This focus was redoubled during the stressful conditions wrought by COVID-19, with online meetings, personal phone calls from the Head of Boarding, and wonderfully engaging student projects to remind boarders of their valued place in a family beyond their own home.

Teaching Linkedin ADs _AEA Badges_2022

Secondary School Teacher of the Year (non-government) Natasha Isbel:
Wenona’s Middle School Head of Teaching and Learning Ms Natasha Isbel, is a former practising lawyer. She was recognised for her high-quality teaching practice, her students' impressive results, and her exceptional ability to provide targeted feedback. Ms Isbel's work to boost literacy in the Middle School through the development and implementation of a Foundation Skills class, was also noted.

Wenona staff recognised at the Board of Governors' Dinner

The nurturing of educational talent and acknowledgement of employee service is a hallmark of the School. The annual Board of Governor’s Dinner on Friday 12 August was an opportunity to celebrate numerous staff for their contribution.


They included Head of Visual Arts Ms Michele Brennan, who was awarded a Wenona Teaching Fellowship to progress Visual Arts instruction through a journey to Florence, Italy. She will attend a four-week intensive course in oil portraiture and lead targeted professional learning with her team on her return.


Kindergarten to Year 2 Coordinator and Year 2 Teacher Ms Kimberley Peck, received a Wenona Teaching Fellowship to experience the celebrated education system of Finland. She will participate in a guided study tour of Helsinki and undertake a teacher shadowing experience, before heading to Vienna for an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) course in Mathematics teaching, and visits to several other PYP schools.


A Study Grant was awarded to Food Technology Assistant Ms Karly Camilleri, a trained chef with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. It will enable her to complete a Bachelor of Education at Charles Sturt University and gain the credentials to teach Food Technology and Mandatory Technology at Wenona.


Junior School Teacher Librarian Ms Tracey Porter, received a Seeding Grant to examine the librarian’s role within the context of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Program curriculum framework. She will connect with diverse contemporary libraries in Melbourne, attend a conference hosted by the School Library Association of Victoria, and visit a range of PYP schools.

In addition to the awarding of fellowships and grants, twenty-three further staff including school leaders, teachers, receptionists, and print room employees, were recognised for going above and beyond in their roles.