Koori Curriculum Educator of The Year Award 2023

Lori-Ann McKinnon - Port Macquarie Community Preschool we

Wiyabu (hello), on behalf of Port Macquarie Community Preschool we would like to nominate Lori-Ann McKinnon, our Aboriginal Engagement Educator, for the 2023 Educator of the Year award. Lori-Ann is a proud Birpai woman, who has brought her wealth of cultural knowledge to our preschool curriculum and community.

Lori-Ann is an active driver of our Reconciliation Action Plan and is responsible for the organisation of educational resources and learning materials, most she makes herself, that support the inclusion of an Aboriginal perspective to the program. As part of the Ninganah No More program, she facilitates the education in Aboriginal cultural practices and language revitalisation.

Lori-Ann has been mentoring our preschool community to incorporate Gathang, the language of the Birpai community, into the learning program. She uses play based activities and experiences such as songs, games, stories and a word of the week program, to extend learning. Lori-Ann also leads the Beach / Bush kinder program, taking groups of children on country learning language and developing connections with the land of her ancestors.

An active member of the wider local Aboriginal community, through her membership of the Djiyagan Dhanbaan (Strong Sister) initiative, Lori-Ann has facilitated a partnership between the Strong Sisters and the preschool, to develop Gathang Language resources for all local Early Childhood Education Services. Lori-Ann has facilitated the strong relationships the preschool has built with Aboriginal families and business’ in the community and the establishment of our Elder in Residence at the preschool. She has led our stall holding at the annual NAIDOC celebrations and the Nyiirun Djiyagan Wakulda Women's Festival.

We would like to say marrungbu (thank you) to Lori-Ann for how she has been largely responsible for a dramatic increase of Aboriginal children enrolled in our preschool and how she is authentically guiding our journey of reconciliation.

Koori Curriculum Educator of The Year Award 2023


In honour of Early Childhood Educators Day we want to acknowledge educators in our community who are creating innovative Aboriginal programs in their service.


Nominations must include a picture of the Early Childhood Educator and a blurb as to why they are being nominated. Nominations are open to Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Early Childhood Educators.


Entries will open on the 6th of September and you will have to submit your entry by no later than the 24th of September 2023. This must include a photograph of their nominated Early Childhood Educator along with a 300 word blurb describing why they are nominating that Early Childhood Educator.


Voting will close on the 1st of October 2023.


The top 10 submissions to receive the highest number of votes will be shortlisted and reviewed by the Director of Koori Curriculum Jessica Staines who will select one winner.


The chosen winner will be announced on the 2nd of October 2023.


All submissions will be displayed in a virtual gallery.


The winner will receive a hamper valued at $200.


Please note that submissions must be on behalf of an Early Childhood Educator, self submissions will not be accepted.


Submission Format: We can only accept image submissions as either JPEG or PNG. Any alternative file format/s will not be accepted and therefore considered ineligible for the competition.

Voting: to vote enter your name and email address, you will be able to vote for one entry once per day and will be added to our weekly newsletter.


Any issues with submission or votes please contact us at info@kooricurriculum.com


How to vote in the competition:

  1. Click on “open gallery” below
  2. Click on the picture of the Educator you wish to vote for
  3. Scroll down to the “Vote Now” button
  4. Enter your name and email address and click the “I am not a robot” button
  5. Click on the “Vote Now” button

Koori Curriculum Educator of The Year Award 2023 FAQ's

Q: How long until my entry is in the gallery?


A: We review each entry before approving them to be submitted into the competition, which can take up to 24 business hours before your entry is visible.

Please note: entries are not approved over the weekend and will be reviewed and approved during business hours.


Q: Can I submit a video entry?


A: No. Our competition system only accepts image files. If you have a video we suggest taking screen shots and creating a single collage image for your entry and sharing a link of your video in the description of your entry.


Q: Do I need to get votes for my entry?


A: Yes. In order to keep the competition as fair as possible we ask that you engage with your community to vote for your entry. The top 10 submissions that receive the highest amount of votes are included in the prize selection which is then chosen randomly by the Director of the Koori Curriculum Jessica Staines.


Q: Do I need permission from the Educator I am nominating?


A: We prefer that all nominated Educators are entered into the competition with their knowledge


Q: If I vote will I be added to your email list?


A: Yes. You can unsubscribe at any time.