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Published 23 November 2022

Future Anything Educator Awards 2022 winners unveiled

2022 was a record year for Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum school entrepreneurship program with almost over 5000 students and 200 teachers in almost 50 schools across Australia bending the future, one youth-led idea at a time.

The Future Anything National Grand Final 2022 , broadcast live from the The Triffid in Brisbane on 21 November, was a celebration of the most innovative, scalable, and sustainable student enterprise ideas, with high school entrepreneurs from across Australia pitching their for-purposes businesses live on stage.

In addition to celebrating the young peoples’ work, Future Anything also recognised the legends behind the students: their teachers.

The Future Anything Educator Awards 2022 shone a spotlight on the teachers who’ve not only led Activate in their classroom but who have lived it through their own entrepreneurial approach to teaching and learning.

Nominations were received for teachers and teams in schools across Australia, from South Australia to North Queensland.

Trailblazer 2022: Trudy Cory, Kenmore SHS (QLD

The Trailblazer award recognised an outstanding first-year teacher of Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum entrepreneurship program.

The winner was Trudy Cory, Food and Nutrition & Business Enterprise teacher and Shadow Head of Department (Technologies) at Kenmore State High School.

On receiving her award, Trudy said “[Activate] has been a great program for our school. I’d like to thank my Head of Department, Dan, and our Future Anything Activator Monte who’s been coming into school to support our students. It’s been fantastic. And most of all, it’s the unexpected moments in the [Activate] program. Those moments when kids tell you “I can’t pitch” or “I’m not standing up in front of people” and then they do, and their faces are just amazing. It’s fantastic and I’m looking forward to teaching Activate again next year.”

Other finalists celebrated in this category were Adrienne Costello (Stuartholme School, QLD) and Louise Mullany (Mercy College Mackay, QLD).

Educator of the Year 2022: Vanessa Noonan (Brisbane South State Secondary College)

The Educator of the Year award recognised an experienced Future Anything educator, one who not only ‘thinks like an entrepreneur’ in their own approach to teaching and learning, but has also built an enterprising culture in their students, staff and school community.

Winner of this hotly-contested category was Vanessa Noonan, now Director of Learning and Innovation at Lutheran Education Queensland who has formerly led the delivery of Activate at both Brisbane South State Secondary College and Sheldon College.

Presenting the award, Future Anything’s Nicole Dyson said “Vanessa’s ability to take entrepreneurial learning and embed it within two different school contexts is really very special. I’m so honoured that she champions our work in this incredible way.”

Vanessa Noonan said “‘I really believe that our young people benefit from the [Activate] program, from this curriculum and this opportunity. Thanks to Nic and her team for advocating for us as educators on the ground, and providing us with new pedagogies and entrepreneurial learning opportunities for us to leverage in our classrooms.”

The other finalists celebrated in the Educator of the Year category were Leah Cordwell (Emerald State High School, QLD) and Shawn Brown (Yarrabilba State Secondary College, QLD).

Team of the Year 2022: Yarrabilba State Secondary College

The final Educator Award of the night recognised teams of outstanding Future Anything educators.

Their collective efficacy, positivity, and shared vision has led to the emergence/growth of an enterprising school culture, partnerships with the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem,  and/or engaging (and fun) opportunities for young people to bend the future; one youth-led idea at a time.

Against extremely stiff competition from Bishop Druitt College (NSW) and Marymount College (QLD) the coveted ‘Team of the Year 2022’ award was taken out by Yarrabilba State Secondary College.

Nicole Dyson said “While of course our young people undergo a significant amount of learning engaging in Activate , there is also heaps of learning for our teachers, especially in learning to step back, so our young people can step up. The whole team at Yarrabilba SSC have truly personified an entrepreneurial approach to teaching and learning.” 

Chrissie Taylor, Head of Department at Yarrabilba SSC said “We’ve has an incredible level of support to get here as a team on stage today, not just from Nic and the Future Anything team,  but also from our executive and leadership team at school. The benefits our young people get out of running these programs are immense and are so worth the long hours and struggles we all face as educators. The payoff is incredible.”

Chrissie added “Implementing Activate across three different cohorts has influenced our pedagogy in a huge way, especially the pathways we can offer our young people now that they’ve had such extensive  exposure to entrepreneurial thinking and learning throughout junior secondary.”

You can watch the whole Future Anything National Grand Final 2022, including the unveiling of the Educator Awards 2022 Winners, on YouTube here. 


The Future Anything National Grand Final 2022 took place at The Triffid in Brisbane and live online on Monday 21 November 2022, supported by Major Partner Advance Queensland and Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur. It was the culmination of Future Anything’s  Activate in-curriculum entrepreneurship program.

Registrations for schools to be part of Activate 2023 are now open. Click here to read more about Activate.


Huge thank you to all the partners, sponsors, educators and students who make this event possible.

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