Suzy Urbaniak OAM

Suzy Urbaniak OAM

Co-Founder and CoRE Lead

Centre of Resource Excellence (CoRE) Learning Foundation

Suzy firstly worked as a geologist, finding gold in the Great Sandy Desert and Kalgoorlie. She later had to turn to education as a career path to support herself and three young sons. Suzy never imagined herself to be a teacher! Still, when she had to, she knew her students would be young scientists and engineers in her classroom, exploring, creating and discovering. She would bring the real world into the classroom and take her students out into the real world. 

Suzy later coined this ethos #therealclassroom. After many years, the seeds of the CoRE Learning Model had evolved. With the support from her school and colleagues at Kent Street Senior High School - CoRE (The Centre of Resource Excellence) was officially launched as a STEAM Learning Program in 2015. In 2019, together with two of her colleagues, the CoRE Learning Foundation (NFP) and its CoRE Expansion Program commenced. Making learning real for students, connecting their education to the resources industry and other STEM careers. Suzy has undertaken > 150 field trips with her students, currently coaches 50 educators, works within twenty-one schools in Western Australia, and supports ~120 educators through CoRE’s Gamifying Earth Science Initiative.

She was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in 2016. She was inducted into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018, in 2020 was acknowledged as Australian of the Year 2020 WA Local Hero, and in 2021 was a finalist in the West Australian of the Year and in 2024, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal. Suzy is passionate about ‘supporting today’s youth for tomorrow’s world’ and ensuring that students have diverse learning tasks. Their talents and capabilities shine, and their learning achievements are recognised as improvements and successes.

Suzy Urbaniak OAM