Peter Botsman Award 2017






Kathleen Macdonald

has committed to more than 30 years in state schools in north Queensland and has played a significant role in supporting curriculum and pedagogy in her region, having been HOD English at Tully State High School for the past 21 years.

Kathleen has played a leading role in her region, beginning with her Master of Education on rural education. She overcomes the tyranny of distance by regularly contributing to English in Australia, involving her own school in trials and pilots for new curricula, working as district panel chair, contributing to rewrites of syllabus and unit material as well as being a lead marker for external exam trials. Her sharing nature and generous spirit are evident in the way she thinks nothing of spending a day, or driving a four-hour round trip, to guide new HODs through the Queensland system as well as generously sharing her resources around the state.

Kathleen's curriculum leadership skills are impressive. She clearly demonstrates the belief that the weakest students need the strongest teachers by regularly taking the most challenging classes in her own school. She shares her infectious passion for classic literature, inspiring her teachers and students to 'catch' the love of English. Her achievements, as HOD, include the championing of innovative pedagogical approaches such as LTLTR, Anita Archer's explicit teaching and a wide range of structured approaches to spelling and reading. Under her direction, Tully High hits well above its weight in terms of English, NAPLAN results and reading improvement.

Kathleen's influence is wide. Her regional organisation and leadership of professional development of English teachers is highly regarded. Kathleen has organised an extensive range of PD in Cairns for English teachers at Student Free Days and ETAQ events. She also takes opportunities to connect with researchers. Kathleen literally goes the extra 300 km or more to absorb, and later apply, a wide range of research in person. A pedagogical coach, she leads staff capacity building sessions in literacy to upskill teachers from all subject areas. In her district cluster, Kathleen has also built strong networks of support for primary teachers, as well as mentoring countless teachers who have gone on to take up leadership roles.

Kathleen has also developed strong relationships with local Jirrbal elders by, in the 1990s, enabling the teaching of local language in Year 8 English units, engendering a deep understanding of and empathy with the local indigenous community.

With an incisive, analytical mind, balanced by compassion, humour and humility, Kathleen is a talented educator who is a most worthy recipient of the Peter Botsman Award.

Upcoming Events

Townsville Breakfast Book Club

Grace Loyden is organising a series of Breakfast Book Clubs starting at 9:00 am on: Sunday 11 February - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Sunday 21 April - The White Earth by Andrew McGahan Sunday 5 August - Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood Sunday 28 October - We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 21st April 2018
  Repeating On specific dates
Venue:   Jam Corner Restaurant

Quality Assessment Intensive

A full day program exploring Quality Assessment in the context of the new English syllabuses. The first session will consist of keynotes presented by Dr Jill Willis,and Dr Kelli McGraw, In the second session, Claire Stevens and Adam Da vey will present an interactive session while in session three, participants will and break out into a numbe...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 28th April 2018
Venue:   The Ship Inn, Southbank
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:

The Shakespeare Sessions

The Shakespeare Sessions presented by Charlie Thomson (All Souls and St Gabriels), Dr Claire Hansen and Dr Victoria Kuttainen (both from JCU) on Saturday 28 April from 9am to 12 noon. This will be a fabulous session. Download the flyer here. And it's FREE. Required pre-reading: Place-based education and the Australian Curricul...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 28th April 2018
Venue:   The Cathedral School, Townsville
Email Enquiries:

Masterclass - Unit 3

This event will allow participants to explore the syllabus and teaching strategies in detail for semester 3. Day one will deal with English and Literature, while day two will repeat the English sessions and also offer EALD and English Essentials. The Date Claimer gives further details of the program. Program will be available on 11 Ap...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 19th May 2018
Venue:   University of Queensland
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:


THE ART OF ENGLISH language  -  literature  -  literacy The AATE/ALEA English Literacy National Conference 2018 will be held in Perth from 8 July - 11 July 2018. Download the flyer here, or go to the website for all the latest information.   ...

Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Sunday 8th July 2018
Venue:   Perth

< Previous | 1 | 2 | Next >
View all

English Educator of the week

Rachael Christopherson
Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Number of years teaching:
25.  12 years at BGGS

Where else have you taught?
St Edmund's College, Ipswich (all boys)
Mt Alvernia College, Kedron (all girls)
Downlands College, Toowoomba (co-ed boarding with Ag Studies programme)


Read more

View all

Blog Feed

Editor of Words'Worth - Expression of interest

Oct 04 2017
Words'Worth is the journal of The Englis...

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...
Read all

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected