English Australia IELTS Award for Academic Leadership

The IELTS Partners and English Australia recognize and celebrate those who make an outstanding contribution to quality in ELICOS in Australia through their work as academic managers with the English Australia IELTS Award for Academic Leadership.

An outstanding academic leader is someone who goes beyond their job description to inspire and support their staff and students to achieve their goals within the ‘system’ of their college and the local and/or Australia-wide context of ELICOS.


The award is open to those working in the following roles at any Australian-based organization registered on CRICOS to deliver ELICOS: 

  • academic managers
  • directors of studies
  • assistant directors of studies
  • head teachers
  • senior teachers
  • program managers.

The nominee must have been working at the nominating center for at least one year prior to the time of nomination.

The winner will show outstanding academic leadership through:

  • demonstrating the skills, knowledge and qualities that underpin academic leadership
  • leading and inspiring others within their college as well as in the broad context of ELICOS
  • contributing to the enhancement of ELICOS student outcomes.

Past winners

Year Winner
2022 Lara Heenan, NSW ELICOS Academic Manager, Greenwich English College
2021 Maria Naidoo, Education Manager, University Academic English, UNSW Global, and Sandra Pitronaci, Director of Studies & University Pathways, ILSC Sydney
2020 Jennifer Williamson, Global Curriculum Director
2019 Carolyn Matthews, Centre for English Teaching at the University of Sydney
2018 Anne-marie Wright, UWA CELT
2017 Barbara Craig, Macquarie University English Language Centre, and Jennifer Coster, Monash College
2016 Lynda Beagle, Director, RMIT English Worldwide
2015 Sheree Millen, Director of Studies, Curtin English, Curtin University
2014 Stephen Heap, TESOL Director of Studies; ICTE-UQ
2013 Karen Benson, Director of Studies, Strathfield College
2012 Ruby Biscuit, National Manager, Ability English
2011 (no award conferred)
2010 Paulo Vieira, Director of Studies, Bond University English Language Institute


All nominees receive a Certificate of Nomination from English Australia. 

The winner will receive:

  • A check for $1,500
  • An engraved trophy 
  • A certificate
  • Up to $1,500 to cover return economy flights, accommodation and expenses to attend the English Australia Conference and accept their award at the English Australia Conference gala awards dinner.

The winner will also be profiled on the English Australia and IELTS websites and will be eligible to use the award logo on their email signature.

The person nominating the award winner will also receive a complimentary registration to the Australian International Education Conference co-hosted by IDP Education and the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA).