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Published 21 November 2023

Future Anything Educator Awards 2023 winners unveiled

2023 was a record year for Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum school entrepreneurship program with over 5500 students, 220+ teachers in 65  schools across Australia bending the future, one youth-led idea at a time.

The Future Anything National Grand Final 2023, broadcast live from the The Triffid in Brisbane on 20 November, was a celebration of the most innovative, scalable, and sustainable student enterprise ideas, with school-age entrepreneurs pitching their for-purposes businesses live on stage. If that wasn’t enough, 20 teams from across Australia shared with innovative ideas in a packed student showcase.

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

The third 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 Tasmania to Far North Queensland.

The Future Anything Educator Awards 2023 winners were:

Trailblazer 2023: Lee Staddon, Bentley Park College (QLD)

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

The winner was Lee Staddon from Bentley Park College in Cairns, Queensland. On receiving his award, Lee said “Thank you very much to Future Anything and everyone in this room – we all know the power of the Activate program.”

Other finalists celebrated in this hotly-contested category were Lisa Masters (Port Neill Primary School, SA),  Jack Morris (Marsden SHS, QLD), Tricia Yandell, (Loxton High School, SA) and Alyssa Burns (Faith Lutheran College Redlands, QLD).

Educator of the Year 2023: Vicki Cull (Redbank Plains State High School)

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 Vicki Cull of Redbank Plains SHS. Vicki said “I have taught Future Anything’s Activate program for five years and I absolutely love it.”

Vicki continued ” I’ve been to three National Grand Finals and Future Anything always puts on an excellent event. But our most important congratulations go to all the students who make this program what it is.”

The other finalists celebrated in the Educator of the Year category were Alexia Little (Cardijn College, SA) and Kelly Free (Wavell SHS, QLD)

Team of the Year 2023: Matthew Flinders Anglican College (QLD)

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 Brisbane South State Secondary College (QLD) and Woodville High School (SA), the coveted ‘Team of the Year 2023’ award was taken out by Matthew Flinders Anglican College (QLD).

Trudy Edwards from Matthew Flinders Anglican College said “We are thrilled to receive the accolade of Future Anything Team of the year 2023. It is so rewarding for our staff to be recognised by an educational leader of Future Anything’s calibre whose mission is an absolute inspiration to us. We are incredibly grateful to all judges and everyone who has supported the Activate program. We are deeply humbled by your encouragement and acknowledgement.”

Reflecting on the Future Anything Educator awards 2023, Nicole Dyson, Founder & CEO of Future Anything said “My story started as a teacher, and I firmly believe that teachers have the power to do so much of  our  young people. What they do in the classroom reveals for young people the potential that they have inside them and I believe that great teachers have the ability to truly subvert young people’s perceptions of what they’re capable of and show them a world of possibilities in front of them.”

Nic added “We are so lucky to work with the educators here at the Future Anything National Grand Final 2023 who do this every single day.” 

You can watch the whole Future Anything National Grand Final 2023, including the unveiling of the Educator Awards 2023 Winners, on YouTube here. 

The Future Anything National Grand Final 2023 took place at The Triffid in Brisbane and live online on Monday 20 November 2023, 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 2024 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.

Major Event Partners

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