Teacher Scholarship Award

To additionally promote and support parent engagement for several years CCSP has provided a scholarship to a preservice teacher at Australian Catholic University (ACU).  The scholarship acts as an incentive to further their understanding and subsequent application of parent engagement in their teaching role.

Following the success of the program in 2019 CCSP established a scholarship for a pre-service teacher studying at the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA)

Congratulations to Emily Swinburn recipient of 2020 Council of Catholic School Parents Pre-service Teacher Scholarship.

2020 Winner UNDA Emily Swinburn

Emily Swinburn is a Bachelor of Primary Education student at UNDA.

“I was thrilled to receive the scholarship and very honoured and humbled to be chosen out of all the other applicants,” says Emily Swinburn. “I plan to put it towards supporting my students when I begin teaching full-time.”

Emily said it was her interest in parent/teacher engagement that prompted her to apply for this scholarship. “I was pleased to find a scholarship that supports the vital relationship between parents and teachers in creating an encouraging community learning environment,” she says.

"I have been fortunate enough to observe how the relationship between the parent and teacher affects a child's learning during my previous practical experiences,” says Emily. “Last term I noticed the correlation between the success of the students learning in the class and the relationship my supervising teacher had with their parents.”



Congratulations to Veronica Ishak, recipient of the 2020 Council of Catholic School Parents Pre-service Teacher Scholarship at Australian Catholic University (ACU)

On 4 December 2020, Peter Grace and Dinidu Illangakoon, Donor Relationship Manager, Advancement & Alumni, Australian Catholic University, met with Veronica Ishak and Liz Devlin, Principal, at Mother Teresa Primary Westmead.

Veronica is one of two kindergarten teachers teaching the 60 students. Veronica is delighted she is able to continue as their teacher in 2021 when the students progress to Year One. “They are such a great bunch,” she said.  “So good, I love them.”

Veronica understands the vital link between parents and teachers and students. She explained to us how she interacted with and established relationships with parents when students were required to undertake schooling at home due to Covid-19. Mother Teresa Primary uses an interface called Sea-Saw to communicate with parents. Students' work can be uploaded to Sea-Saw to share with parents. Veronica telephoned the parent/carer of each child to introduce herself. Making the calls enabled her to better understand each child and adjust learning strategies accordingly.

We asked Veronica about some of the highlights and challenges of teaching Kindergarten at Mother Teresa Primary. She said that an early challenge was adapting to an enquiry led learning approach, rather than the teacher led learning approach of many of the existing teacher training programmes of study. Collaborating with experienced mentor teachers and the stage coordinator helped Veronica adapt to this form of teaching. Venonica was delighted to see how the students had developed during the year. “It was great to see them develop and gain independence during the year.” 


The 2019 recipient of the scholarship at ACU was Jessica Hook, a final year student hoping to teach in a Catholic primary school.


The inaugural recipient of the UNDA scholarship was Joseph Woolnough, a Bachelor of Primary Education student at UNDA’s Broadway Campus. Joseph wrote about how critical engagement and co-operation between parents and teachers is achieving positive outcomes in children’s learning, while also providing additional benefits for both parents and teachers alike.