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Published 24 November 2021

The inaugural Future Anything Educator Awards 2021 winners were unveiled at a high-profile pitch event at Brisbane’s QUT Gardens Theatre last night.

2021 was a record year for Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum school entrepreneurship program with over 3500 students and 160 teachers in more than 45 schools across Australia bending the future, one youth-led idea at a time.

The Future Anything National Grand Final 2021 was a celebration of the most innovative, scalable, and sustainable student enterprise ideas, with young people pitching their for-purposes businesses live to a panel of high profile judges. Read more about the winners of the National Grand Final here.

In addition to celebrating students’ work, this year, Future Anything also recognised the legends behind the students, their teachers.

The inaugural Future Anything Educator Awards 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 2021: Stacey Austin, Mackay North SHS

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

The winner was Stacey Austin, teacher and Year 10 Coordinator at Mackay North State High School.

Nicole Dyson, Founder & CEO of Future Anything said “It’s been such a joy to watch Stacey’s work with her young people this year. What really struck me about Stacey is how well she knows all her students. She knows what is special about each and every one of them.”

Other finalists celebrated in this category were Rochelle Butlin (Fairholme College, QLD), Chris Hook (Loreto Kirribilli, NSW) and Koheisha Sheppard (Yarrabilba SSC, QLD).

Educator of the Year 2021: Chris Gauthier, Yarrabilba SSC

The Educator of the Year award recognised and 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 Chris Gauthier, Head of Department at Yarrabilba State Secondary College.

Receiving his award, Chris said “As educators, the reason we all do what we do every day is to make a difference, and through Activate, we often end up helping the students who aren’t always the ones that typically shine.”

The other finalists celebrated in this Educator of the Year category were Kerry Hopper (MacGregor SHS, QLD) and Fiona Mitchell (Redlands College, QLD).

Team of the Year 2021: Bribie Island SHS

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 Kildare College and Ferny Grove SHSBribie Island State High School took out the coveted ‘Team of the Year 2021’ award.

Nicole Dyson said ‘This award recognised the Bribie Island SHS teaching team’s achievements in delivering engaging learning experiences for their students. That they’ve embedded entrepreneurial thinking not just in their business classes, but in English and STEM classrooms too, means that the Moreton Bay community can look forward to a bright future with a new generation of innovators, problem-solvers and critical thinkers coming out of their schools.”

You can watch the whole Future Anything National Grand Final 2021 (including the unveiling of the Educator Awards 2021 winners) on YouTube here. 


The Future Anything National Grand Final 2021 took place at QUT Gardens Theatre and live online on Tuesday 23 November 2021. It was the culmination of Future Anything’s  Activate in-curriculum entrepreneurship program.

Registrations for Activate 2022 are now open. Click here to read more about Activate.

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