Living Legend

How does it work?

Do you know a Montessorian whose tireless dedication and leadership over many years have made an impact on the Australian Montessori community? Have you been personally affected by a respected or beloved mentor who embodies Montessori values in Australia? Here’s your opportunity to help recognise the contributions of a respected role model of Montessori values in Australia.

From 1 January to 30 June each year, members of the Australian Montessori community (including educators, leaders, staff, trainers and parents) are invited to nominate a nationally known, widely admired Montessori educator who is a respected model of Montessori values in Australia.

In thinking about whether your Montessori heroine or hero might be an appropriate choice, consider your champion’s personal attributes and adherence to Montessori values; their years of Montessori experience and their role as an educator, including their inspiration and noteworthy accomplishments and contributions; and their wider world work in advancing the cause of Montessori education, including their organisational involvement and volunteerism.

Submit your nomination through the Living Legend form on this website. You may nominate only one person for this tribute, although multiple nominations may be received for the same nominee from diffrent members of the Australian Montessori community.

At the end of the nomination period (30 June), the Living Legend Nomination Committee will narrow down the list of nominated candidates to no more than six finalists. Once the list of finalists has been announced to the community through the Montessori Australia website and other publications towards the end of July, all members of the Australian Montessori community will then be asked to cast a vote on the Montessori Australia website for one finalist whom they would like to be recognised as that year’s Living Legend. Voting will continue online through 31 August.

All finalists will be celebrated; however, the Living Legend honouree will be invited to deliver an address at the October conference and will be highlighted in Montessori Australia publications and on the Montessori Australia website. Their address is followed by a gala reception in the Living Legend’s honour. The Living Legend will receive a prize and may be asked to speak at local or national Montessori conferences or events as a keynote speaker.

The main aim of the Living Legend tribute is to honour the often invisible work of the many Australian Montessorians who work tirelessly for children, often without recognition and sometimes with only minimal compensation. The recognition and ceremony will draw attention to the efforts of the many Montessorians who have worked diligently for many years in the background of Montessori education in Australia to help demonstrate that Montessori works to enable children to become the transforming elements of society, leading to a harmonious and peaceful world.

The Living Legend tribute will hopefully also serve to bring the Montessori community in Australia together and to remind us all that the reason we do this work is to support the natural development of the human being from birth, early childhood through to maturity.

Nominating someone

We invite educators, leaders, staff, trainers and parents from all schools and centres to nominate a nationally known, beloved Montessori educator who is a respected model of Montessori values such as grace and courtesy, respect, integrity, responsibility, enthusiasm, and promoting diversity and inclusiveness. Candidates will be appreciated based on the following criteria: personal attributes and their adherence to Montessori values; years of Montessori experience and their role as an educator, including their inspiration and noteworthy accomplishments and contributions; and their wider world work in advancing the cause of Montessori education, including their organisational involvement and volunteerism. 

In narrative form, please address all three areas including the questions below and any additional information you believe should be considered. Please note that it is not essential or expected that any one nominee meets all the criteria listed below.  200 minimum word count anticipated to provide sufficient information for an evaluation by the committee.

  1. Personal attributes. Describe how the nominee reflects and models Montessori values in their life and work including demonstrating grace and courtesy, conveying respect, exemplifying integrity and responsibility, exuding enthusiasm and promoting diversity and inclusiveness.  
  2. Role as an educator. Describe the nominee’s activities within the Montessori and broader education community. Have they been a principal, school administrator or director, or a key faculty member of a teacher education program? Does teaching experience include children, teacher education (adult learners), or college?  Has the nominee presented workshops at Montessori Australia Conferences, or other educational conferences? Have articles by the nominee been published in Montessori journals, have they conducted research or authored books related to Montessori Education? Approximately how many years has the nominee been involved in Montessori Education? What Montessori credentials does the nominee hold? 
  3. Wider world work. Describe the nominee’s work, contributions and influence on others. What advancements, accomplishments, or noteworthy contributions has the nominee made to Montessori education? Has the nominee been involved with, worked for, or served on voluntary committees with Montessori Australia or other Montessori organisations in any capacity? Did they serve as chair or co-chair of a conference of a local or regional Montessori organisation? Was there participation in accreditation teams for schools or teacher education programs? Have they been involved with peace/social justice work or made contributions to Montessori activities nationally or internationally?