Adele Rice had been at the helm of Milpera, Brisbane’s state high school for refugee and migrant students since it opened in 1984 as an intensive English language preparation centre, currently with 250 students from more than 45 countries. Since commencing, the school has catered for over 12,000 students from 120 countries. Adele retired from her role as Principal in 2012.
Ms Rice’s role that has led to national recognition as an expert in multicultural education. Through her vision of compassion and perseverance, Adele has established a study program that has equipped the next generation of specialist ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers to continue her legacy.
Ms Rice has been described as one of the most inspirational educators in the state and has been recognised with many awards including: a Churchill Fellowship, the Save the Children White Flame award, a Paul Harris Fellowship (Rotary), Queensland Multicultural Achiever award, and was recently named joint winner of the Professor Betty Watts Memorial Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching. She was made an honourary Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders in 2011. It is however her students who inspire her and she describes her work as an ‘amazing privilege.’ She was a People of Australia Ambassador for 2012.