Interview with Keynote Speaker, educator and Reading Australia fellow Alex Wharton

Alex Wharton is one of two keynote speakers at this year’s Educational Publishing Awards. He is Head of Middle School at Carinya Christian School, Gunnedah. Prior to this current role which still includes significant classroom teaching, he has served as an English Teacher and Head Teacher of English for a combined total of 10 years. Alex has written extensively with regards to teaching and learning resources for subject English, and presented at local, state and national conferences for English Teachers. Alex is the Copyright Agency’s first Reading Australia Fellow for Teacher of English and Literacy. Alex aims to use this opportunity to share this unique professional learning opportunity with colleagues, knowing full well this experience will further transform his own daily teaching and leadership practices within the English classroom.



What first inspired you to embark on a career in education?

I was significantly impacted by the teachers I had in my senior years of high school. They modelled to me life-long learning, a passion for your craft, and love of subject. Being in education is a wonderful way to make a tangible difference to the lives of others around you.

Is that what keeps you there now you’ve had experience in the field?

Yes! Education is about bettering others. Everyday, we are still able to develop and model to others the power of education to change the world.

You’ve just been awarded the Reading Australia Fellow for Teaching and Literacy. Can you tell us a little bit about the project you will be embarking on and what led you to want to work in this area?

I am so honoured to have received the inaugural Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy. My Fellowship is titled The Missing Peace and it is a literary analysis of the Australian representation surrounding the First Nation and non-First Nation colonial experience. A consideration of the textual representations relating to the colonial experience, this Project aims to bring together narratives from a variety of different writers to significantly inform English teaching practice.

The Copyright Agency’s CEO Mr Adam Suckling has said, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures is a cross curriculum priority (also known as the CCP) in Australian schools, but teachers are often scrambling to find great resources to bring these perspectives to life.” 

So over the next twelve months, I am using the $15,000 funding to research the representation of the colonial experience in every state and territory in Australia. This involves conferences, museums, libraries, interviews, school visits, academic presentations, and in depth research into literature.

What do you anticipate might be an outcome of your research that may impact or be meaningful to the Australian educational publishing community? 

The notion of something being missing is a key motif which drives much of our greatest Australian literature. Yet, one can only be aware of something being missing, when the knowledge of what should be there, arises. The Missing Peace is a research based, Australian literary analysis project, which seeks to address the missing pieces (oh yes, word play!) in the professional knowledge of English teachers regarding Indigenous and non-Indigenous representations pertaining to the colonial experience.

Is there a gap in what educational publishers are producing to help with Indigenous literacy? Or are there publications that are hitting the spot in your observations? 

Author Ellen van Neerven has written some fantastic content on how teaching books by Indigenous authors has a huge impact on both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Magabala Books – Australia’s oldest independent Indigenous publishing house – is doing some exceptional and exciting work in this space, and I am looking forward to meeting with them in coming months as part of my Reading Australia Fellowship.

To change tact now, when it comes to choosing educational resources for your school, what features do you look out for? Why?

I look for curriculum mapping and alignment, that the resource is both relevant and engaging to our student learning experience. I interrogate a text for its adaptability, for its usefulness and consider ways that it can bring about transformative learning experiences for the students in our care. 

What’s the most valuable thing about a high quality resource to you for planning and in the classroom?

It is the trust and confidence that comes with using a high quality resource in my classroom. It enables me to use the resource as a vehicle to shape understanding, to build a positive learning experience, and to challenge thinking in ways which classrooms were designed for.

Is there a particular Australian resource that you really value? What is it and talk us through what aspects of it really work for you and your students.

The Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia resource suite is by far the most valuable to my work as an English Teacher. Reading Australia provides teaching resources for Australia’s greatest literature and it’s all mapped to the Australian Curriculum. It’s a resource made freely available to teachers, and written by teachers for their use in the classroom. I love that it offers quality Australian literature suggestions, accompanied by the most incredible collection of resources ranging from academic essays, to author podcasts, to units of work that I know I will love teaching and my students will love learning from. 

I think the world of the Australian education publishing sector makes an incredibly valuable contribution to our society. We are fortunate to have a sector who is committed to advancing the cause of education for the ultimate benefit of others – our students. 


The Educational Publishing Awards will be held 4 September 2019. Get your tickets here. 

Nominations open for the inaugural Mike Horsley Award

Mike Horsley Award

At this year’s Educational Publishing Awards the first Mike Horsley Award will be presented to an individual who has shown dedication and excellence in their contribution to the Australian educational publishing sector.

The Mike Horsley Award recognises outstanding service to the Australian Educational Publishing Industry (primary-secondary-tertiary) by an individual from within its ranks. The award honours Educational Publishing Awards founder, the late Professor Mike Horsley.

Nominations are now open for the inaugural Mike Horsley Award, the winner of which will be announced on 4 September, at the 2019 EPAAs. The individual will be selected by the Schools & Education and Tertiary & Professional Publishing Committees of the Australian Publishers Association.

Nominations can be made via this form and close on 9 August 2019. 


About Professor Mike Horsley

Professor Mike Horsley in 1994 commenced the Educational Publishing Awards with the vision to promote and celebrate research, innovation and excellence in Australian educational publishing. He believed that Australian learning resources are a critical feature of the education landscape and a key influencer of student learning outcomes.

Starting his career as a secondary school teacher, Mike became president of the Economics and Business Studies Teachers of NSW, and went on to become deputy director of a UNESCO/UNDP/IOE regional vocational education curriculum project in the 11 countries of the South Pacific. With Ni-Vanuatu partners he established a new business school in Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu and was a long time resident of Samoa and Fiji. Between 1991-2001 he was the director of the Diploma in Education at the University of Sydney, and subsequently became foundation director of the Master of Teaching; the world’s first case based teacher education program. This led to appointments on Board of Studies Curriculum Committees and to the Review of Teacher Education in NSW, which prepared the path for the NSW Institute of Teachers.

For almost 10 years Mike conducted learning and homework centres for Sydney’s Islander (Samoan, Tongan, Fijian) communities. He was a world authority on homework research and in 2012 Reforming Homework, jointly authored by Richard Walker from the University of Sydney, was published by Palgrave Macmillan.

The 26th Educational Publishing Awards Shortlist

EPAA website image


Announcing the 26th Educational Publishing Awards Australia (EPAA) shortlist.

Organised by the Australian Publishers Association and sponsored by Copyright Agency, the prestigious EPAAs recognise excellence and innovation within the educational publishing industry.

In total, 148 entries were received — the highest in a number of years — so we would like to thank those who submitted their titles for consideration.

Many thanks also go to our fantastic judging panel, and, finally, a big congratulations to those shortlisted.

Educational Publishing Awards Australia 2019 Shortlist



Primary Award Categories 


Adaptations, Student or Teaching Resource

A shortlist for this category will be announced at the Educational Publishing Awards ceremony.


Student Resource – Arts/Science/Humanities/Social Sciences/Technologies/Health and Physical Education/Languages 



Woody Brambles

Louie & Ted (an imprint of Wild Dog Books)

Australian Backyard Earth Scientist

Peter Macinnis

National Library of Australia (NLA Publishing)


Student Resource – English (Literacy/Literature/Language)


Talk About Texts

Julie Baillie et al.

Macmillan Education Australia


Oxford Reading for Comprehension

Carmel Reilly, Holly Harper, Cameron Macintosh et al. 

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Student Resource – Mathematics (Numeracy) 

A shortlist for this category will be announced at the Educational Publishing Awards ceremony.


Teaching Resource (Primary)


Informative Writing Manual

Beverley Laing

Highlighting Writing Pty Ltd trading as ‘Seven Steps to Writing Success’


Sound Waves Foundation Teacher Book and Foundation Online and Student Book

Barbara Murray, Terri Watson

Firefly Education Pty Ltd


Reference Resource


Nganga: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Words and Phrases

Aunty Fay Muir, Sue Lawson

Walker Books Australia


The alphabetic principle and beyond: surveying the landscape

Robyn Cox, Susan Feez, Lorraine Beveridge

Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA)


Educational Picture or Chapter Book


It’s a Story, Rory!

Frances Watts, David Legge

ABC Books: An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers 


Nature Storybooks: Dingo

Claire Saxby, Tannya Harricks

Walker Books Australia


Through My Eyes: Natural Disaster Zones (series)

Lyn White (series editor), Wai Chim, Zoe Daniel et al.

Allen & Unwin



Donna Rawlins, Mark Jackson, Heather Potter

Walker Books Australia




Student Resource – Junior –  English/Humanities/Languages/Arts/Technologies/Health and Physical Education


The Obento Deluxe and Supreme 5e Series

Obento Deluxe: Sue Xoris, Kyoko Kusumoto, Peter Williams 

Obento Supreme: Kyoko Kusumoto, Ayako Lyons, Jean Swinyard et al.

Nelson – A Cengage Company


Pearson Humanities Victoria 7-10

Grant Kleeman, Peter Byrne, Sharon Szczecinski et al. 

Pearson Australia


iiTomo 1 to 4, Second edition

Yoshie Burrows, Yoko Nishimura-Parke, Mami Izuishi et al.

Pearson Australia



Student Resource – Senior – Mathematics/Science


Chemistry for Queensland Units 1&2 Student book + obook assess

Krystle Kuipers, Paul Keillor, Philip Sharpe et al. 

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Jacaranda Maths Quest 11 for Queensland + studyON series

Mark Barnes, Steven Morris, Kahni Burrows et al. 



Student Resource – Senior – English/Humanities/Languages/Arts/Technologies/Health and Physical Education


Global Interactions

Grant Kleeman, David Hamper, Helen Rhodes

Pearson Australia


English for Queensland Units 1&2 Student book + obook assess

Kelli McGraw, Lindsay Williams, Sophie Johnson

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Business for QCE Units 1 & 2: Creation and Growth

Sally Adams, Berenice Furlong, Melissa Larsson et al.

Nelson – A Cengage Company


Physical Education for Queensland Units 1&2 2E Student book + obook assess

Crystal Hede, Kate Russell, Ron Weatherby et al. 

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Macmillan Accounting VCE

Neville Box, Simon Phelan

Macmillan Education Australia


Teaching Resource (Secondary)


Physical Education for Queensland Units 1&2 2E Teacher + obook assess

Crystal Hede, Kate Russell, Ron Weatherby et al. 

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Poems to Share II

AATE and Red Room Poetry

AATE and Red Room Poetry


Reference Resource

A shortlist for this category will be announced at the Educational Publishing Awards ceremony.


Tertiary and TAFE


Scholarly Non-Fiction Book of the Year


Call of the Reed Warbler 

Charles Massy 

University of Queensland Press


Atomic Thunder: The Maralinga Story

Elizabeth Tynan

NewSouth Publishing


The Art of Time Travel: Historians and Their Craft

Tom Griffiths

Black Inc.


Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia

Billy Griffiths

Black Inc.


Grappling with the Bomb: Britain’s Pacific H-bomb Test

Nic Mclellan 

ANU Press


Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning – print 


The Child in Focus: Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood Education

Estelle Irving, Carol Carter

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Learning through Play: Creating a Play Based Approach within Early Childhood Contexts

Christine Robinson, Tracy Treasure, Dee O’Connor et al. 

Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand


Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning  – blended learning (print and digital) 


The New Lawyer

Rachael Field, Nickolas James, Jackson Walkden-Browne

Wiley Australia


Financial Institutions and Markets 8e

Ben Hunt, Chris Terry



Australian Politics in the Twenty-First Century: Old Institutions, New Challenges

Glenn Kefford et al. 

Cambridge University Press


Clinical Psychomotor Skills (5-Point Bondy): Assessment Tools for Nurses 7e

Joanne Tollefson, Elspeth Hillman



Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning – digital only


Bachelor of Applied Business

Chris Swan, Kathryn McInnes

La Trobe University in partnership with Didasko


Introduction to the Tibetan Language: An eTextbook for spoken and literary Tibetan

Ruth Gamble, Tenzin Ringpapontsang, Chung Tsering et al.

ANU Press


Teaching: Making a Difference, 4th Edition

Rick Churchill, Sally Godinho, Nicola F. Johnson et al. 

Wiley Australia 


Tertiary (Adaptations) Teaching and Learning  – print or blended learning (print and digital) 

Literacy for the 21st Century: A Balanced Approach, 3rd Edition

Gail E. Tompkins, Carol Smith, Rod Campbell et al. 

Pearson Australia


Child and Adolescent Development for Educators 1e with CourseMate Express

Christi Crosby Bergin, David Allen Bergin, Sue Walker et al.



Tertiary (Adaptations) Teaching and Learning – digital only


MindTap for Czinkota’s International Marketing Asia-Pacific edition 4e

Michael Czinkota, Ilkka Ronkainen, Catherine Sutton-Brady et al. 



Fundamentals of Corporate Finance

Robert Parrino, David Kidwell, Hue Hwa Au Yong et al.

Wiley Australia


Revel for Principles of Marketing, 7th Edition

Gary Armstrong, Stewart Adam, Sara Denize et al.

Pearson Australia


TAFE & Vocational Education Teaching and Learning – print or blended learning (print and digital) 


Clinical Placement Manual for the Diploma of Nursing 1e

Catherine Joustra, Ali Moloney



Support by SDL – A series for the Individual Support Worker

Hayley Costa

Skin Deep Learning Pty Ltd


TAFE & Vocational Education Teaching and Learning – digital only


SHB30315 – Certificate 3 in Nail Technology

Hayley Costa

Skin Deep Learning Pty Ltd


MindTap for Leadership and Management: Theory and Practice 7e

Kris Cole


Certificate IV in Patisserie 

Kathryn McInnes, Kathy Roser, Denise McCallum 




Hear who the winners are first – Early Bird Tickets are on sale


With thanks to our sponsors:

  • The Copyright Agency
  • OPUS Group
  • NewGen Knowledgeworks
  • VitalSource
  • Indigi-Print
  • ReadCloud and,
  • CQ University.

Call for entries 2019 (now extended)

What resources are you really proud of that you produced recently and you know are making a difference in the classroom?

They could be a print resource such as a textbook or workbook, with or without a supporting teacher book, a digital only resource such as a website, CD/DVD or app), an enhanced eBook, or a blended learning resource. Whatever format they are in… enter them in the EPAAs for 2019!

Entries are open today for Australian educational publishers to submit their best learning resources made and published between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 to the country’s eminent educational publishing awards. Enter now to be in the running!

The Educational Publishing Awards Australia will celebrate – for the 26th year in a row – excellence in producing vital learning tools used by educators and their students across primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.

This year’s awards feature two new categories: one for a scholarly non-fiction publications and the other will be announced shortly!

The venue for the awards night is already booked – The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne – and will take place a little earlier this year, on Wednesday 4 September 2019. Tickets will go on sale soon but get the date into your diary.

The call for entries is now open:

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, 31 May 2019. (NB. This has been extended from 24 May).

Please read the conditions of entry and judging criteria before submitting your nomination here.

Whether you are a traditional publishing company, a niche publisher or a digital start-up, do enter, because we would love to consider and recognise your learning resource.

The awards will be presented in Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and TAFE & Vocational Education categories as well as the Primary and Secondary Publisher of the Year.

Take a look at the list of 2019 categories here.

How do I enter?

Entries are made via this digital platform.

Head to this link to read the criteria for each category and follow the prompts to submit your learning resource.

Judging 2019

Judging of the awards is a rigorous process for all involved. Back for a fourth year in a row is Chief Judge, Professor Angela Carbone, Associate Dean (Learning Innovation), Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne University of Technology. An overall winner for each sector (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary and TAFE & Vocational) will be selected by the Chief Judge from the category winners.

Interested to see who won in 2018? Or need a reminder?

Take a look here at the full list of previous winners.

2019 could be your year. Start submitting and we look forward to hosting you in Melbourne on 4 September.


Keep up to date and join the conversation:


T: @EPAs_Aus