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This morning we were delighted to announce Ms Barbara Watkins as our Principal for 2023.

The College Board have been working diligently on the recruitment of our next Principal in conjunction with Jesuit Education Australia (JEA) since we announced Peter Coffey’s retirement earlier this year.

Throughout our extensive search, we interviewed many worthy candidates. We have been determined to choose the best possible person for the role. This has required discernment and patience. An outstanding opportunity presented itself with Barbara’s availability, and we are pleased to appoint her for the 2023 school year, while our process continues.

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Barbara is an exceptional educational leader, and we are very fortunate that her recent work with JEA places her in a position where she is able to undertake this vital role for us. Her extraordinary range of experiences, depth of knowledge, and breadth of vision will guide us well in 2023 while we recruit for a new Principal to commence in 2024.

Barbara will be the first female Principal at the College. This is a significant and positive step for our community, as we commenced coeducation in senior classes in the early 1970s and have been fully coeducational from R−12 since the mid-1990s.

Barbara’s extensive leadership experience and her qualities as an outstanding educationalist and consultant will help to elevate teaching and learning, wellbeing, co-curricular, and faith and service programs across our three campuses.

Barbara will commence early in Term 4 to ensure an excellent transition from Peter Coffey as retiring Principal. Some key areas of focus for Barbara will be:

  • educational mission − preparing young people for the modern world through a focus on innovation in striving for excellence
  • leadership − development of leadership capability at all levels in the school to help staff in their continued growth as outstanding formators and practitioners
  • community − ensuring the College is well connected with its community and our service of the wider community.

She will assist with the development of the new strategic plan in consultation with College families, students, staff, and Jesuit Education Australia. She will be involved in our next master plan for the College community to ensure the vision, mission, infrastructure, and systems are in place to support continued educational excellence.

We look forward to welcoming Barbara to our community at Saint Ignatius’ College in Term 4. We will greatly miss Peter Coffey, who has served the College so well for 28 years, especially as Principal during the past five years. We will provide more information about his farewell in Term 4.

Fr Peter Hosking SJ

OREMUS (Let us pray)

We remember all in our College community. May our prayers comfort those suffering at this time. May God’s blessing be a source of support in their sorrow and loss, and bring courage, patience, and hope.

For those who have died:

  • John Liebelt, former staff member

“Ask and you shall receive … knock and the door will be opened unto you.” (Matt 7:7)

If you would like someone to be remembered by the College community in prayer (even anonymously), please provide details to the Rector, class or Mentor Teacher, or House Leader.

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