Shauna Colnan

"We are committed to excellence across all of our academic pursuits. We are proud of the broad liberal education we provide our students which has language learning at its heart."

Shauna Colnan has had a distinguished career in leadership roles in some of Sydney’s preeminent independent schools. 

Before becoming the Principal of International Grammar School in 2014, Shauna was Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School at MLC School, and before that, Head of Curriculum at Abbotsleigh. For 16 years Shauna worked at Barker College and led one of the nation’s largest English Departments. She was then promoted as Barker’s first Head of Curriculum and Professional Development.

Shauna began her career at Ravenswood School for Girls where she taught English and History. Her capacity as an educational leader has been enhanced by academic studies at the University of Sydney, the University of New England, Harvard University and New York University where she studied Cinema as the recipient of The Barker College Foundation Travelling Fellowship. 

Shauna holds graduate and postgraduate qualifications in business administration, the arts and education, has a special interest in Shakespearean scholarship and performance, and was awarded the John Bell and Joyce Williams Prize in Shakespeare Studies from the University of Sydney.

In 2006, Shauna completed her MBA at the Graduate School of Business at the University of New England where she was awarded the Highest Academic Achiever Prize.

In 2016 Shauna became a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Shauna is a passionate teacher who continues to teach English at IGS. She is also a curriculum expert. She has worked on secondment at the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) (formerly the Board of Studies) and in 2010 was seconded to the national project unit, a strategic team that shaped the NSW response to the emerging national curriculum.

Shauna was NSW supervisor of HSC English marking and served on the examination committee setting the HSC English exams for over a decade.  Shauna’s career has also seen her educating those who aspire to teach through the Teacher Education Program at Macquarie University.

In 2019, Shauna studied on sabbatical at the Harvard Kennedy School where she joined leaders from around the world to participate in the executive education program, Leadership for the 21st Century. When she returned to IGS, Shauna introduced the Kennedy School’s adaptive leadership framework across the school as a way of building a shared understanding of and approach to the challenges and rewards of leadership.

Shauna believes that the key role of schools today is to equip students to be ready for a changing world.