The Commonwealth Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, in April announced the Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership were back. The awards aim to recognise the ‘best of the best’ in the profession. The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) relaunched the awards to recognise the nation’s outstanding teachers and principals. The awards began in 2006 and have been presented until 2009, with no awards last year. AITSL will use its new National Professional Standards for Teachers and National Professional Standard for Principals as the basis for judging the awards across five award categories: Australian Primary Teacher of the Year, which includes early childhood and special education; Australian Secondary Teacher of the Year, which includes special education; Australian Primary Principal of the Year, which includes early childhood and special education; Australian Secondary Principal of the Year, which includes special education; and Excellence in Teaching or Leadership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education. AITSL wants the education departments, Catholic systems and associations of independent schools in each state and territory to nominate one outstanding teacher or principal in the five award categories, using their existing awards processes to identify their nominees. It’s worth contacting your department, system or association because winners in each category will receive a professional learning sabbatical scholarship in Australia or overseas for up to four weeks to the value of $25,000. Nominations close on 30 June.