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Debbie Balen Lisa NicholsDeborah Balen and Lisa Nichols - Winner

Faculty of Health Services, Youth and Community Studies

Working as inclusive education teachers with young people with intellectual disability, Deb and Lisa are champions for their learners. They drive an atmosphere of inclusion and excellence, expecting great things from their drama class learners.

Deb and Lisa’s unshakeable confidence in their learners ensures they rise to meet their high standards. In 2022, Deb and Lisa collaborated to stage a production titled ‘Box’ with their learner cohorts. Performed for the Holmesglen community, the play reflected on breaking down barriers, disrupting labels and challenged the audience to think more inclusively.


Teacher/Trainer of the Year

Watch the video and hear from our finalists.


Allison KenneallyAllison Kenneally - Finalist

Faculty of Health Sciences, Youth and Community Studies

Allison appears to be able to do it all. She teaches aged care full-time at Holmesglen but not wanting to lose her edge in the industry she still works several shifts in residential homes.

As an exceptional educator, she has created simulations that capture some of the complexities of the aged care sector and provided learners with hands-on learning opportunities. As the leader of course content in individual support, Allison has been tasked with writing the entire new Certificate III in Individual Support.

Allison champions the importance of the aged care sector, promoting career progression opportunities and showcases the benefits of working in the care economy. Her colleagues appreciate her willingness to always go above and beyond to support learners and her peers.


Andrew ReadmanAndrew Readman - Finalist

Faculty of Building Construction Trades

With over 30 years of experience in teaching, Andrew has been on the frontlines of teaching printing skills as this important sector changes and evolves, equipping his learners with state-of-the-art skills.

Andrew was an early adopter of Competency-Based Training and played a key role in developing the Printing and Graphic Arts Training Package.

He also recognised the need to engage with industry and developed short courses and programs that created important partnerships. Andrew's expertise and dedication were recognised with a Collie Print Trust Scholarship Award, allowing him to attend the largest exhibition of Print and Graphic Arts Technologies in the world, Drupa 2004. Andrew is a true asset to the teaching and printing communities, and we are grateful he is a member of the Holmesglen Community.


Akhtar JalbaniDr Akhtar Jalbani  - Finalist

Faculty of Business, Design and Information Technology
Meet Akhtar, a brilliant Lecturer in our Computing and IT Department, with over two decades of experience in his field. As a recognised Cybersecurity expert, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, and Architect, he adds immense value to the courses he teaches. Akhtar’s dedication to education is displayed through his innovative teaching methods and his commitment to the latest technical requirements. 

With a PhD in Computer Science and having supervised over 10 Masters theses, he leads the way in research, with publications in highly regarded international journals and conferences. Akhtar is a valued member of the Holmesglen community, inspiring the next generation of IT professionals through his deep expertise and vast experience.


All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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