Making direct impact in South West

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06 March 2024

Reward and recognition

Throughout her career in education, Sue Cuneo has been a strong leader and has kept up to date with contemporary trends and issues associated with her position.

Currently, that position is as Director of Education for the South West Regional Education Office.  

Those qualities find her among the five finalists in the 2024 Women of Achievement Award. 

Sue was nominated by Katie Wallace, Principal at Australind’s Kingston Primary School. 

In her nomination, Katie praised Sue for her proactive approach in leading and supporting schools throughout the region, ensuring they are fully equipped to deliver exceptional outcomes for their students. 

She said sue has maintained a focus on guiding autonomous school leaders to collaborate and share evidence-based best practice.  

“She always actively mentored aspirational leaders taking her role as a system leader and mentor very seriously believing investing in people is an investment in education.” she said. 

“Throughout her educational career, Sue has demonstrated strength in leadership and a professional responsibility to maintain a contemporary knowledge of trends and issues associated with her position. 

“Her core values and beliefs are centred on the pursuit of how children learn and that every child has a right to quality public education. 

“She has maintained a consistent focus on monitoring and building the capacity of school leaders to actively engage in leading effective curriculum design, quality classroom teaching practice and the delivery of a relentless focus on student performance and academic achievement.” 

Engaging with schools across the South West Education region, Sue enhances school leaders' abilities to lead curriculum design and teaching practices. 

Sue maintains that for successful education you need people who feel that they are empowered to make decisions and so that is part of my role. 

“That’s part of my role to give principals confidence, or to give them information to make them more confident to make decisions about how to improve educational differentiation for children, how to manage staff issues, how to connect and continue to manage the expectations of their community.” she said. 

Over the past 17 years in the position as director, Sue said she has been privileged to have been in the position to support and mentor many aspirant and newly-appointed principals. 

“There is no more important job than to be a leader in a school; spanning many levels from leading in the classroom, teams, groups and across the school into leadership positions,” she said.

We spoke to Sue about her nomination for this award. Check out the video on our Facebook.

Learn more about the other finalists nominated for the Women of Achievement Award

The winner will be announced at the Department’s International Women’s Day breakfast, on Monday 18 March 2024.