From the Principal

Join the Conversation

This year we have begun to develop our school’s next strategic plan Into the World 2022-2026, and we’re excited to work towards launching it at Speech Night in December.

Our mission at IGS is to equip our students to be world ready.

But what does “world ready” mean against a backdrop of staggering change? What will the world be like when the IGS preschoolers of 2021 leave school in 2035? What will have changed and what will have stayed the same?

The pandemic has demonstrated that change can upend the way we live our lives and the assumptions we have about all things. It has also put into sharp focus the essential role that education plays in the life of a child.

Last term, the School Board, the senior leadership team and I were treated to a fascinating presentation by UTS Professor Anthony Burke and Board Director Michael Heenan. Anthony and Michael presented a compelling and inspiring vision of the transformation that is underway that will turn Ultimo and its surrounds into an exciting international 24/7 hub over the next 20 years…

A little more about Anthony and Michael.

As well as being proud dad of Alec in Year 12 and Elyse in Year 10, Anthony Burke is the Professor of Architecture and Course Director for the Master of Architecture in the Faculty of Design Architecture and Building at the University of Technology Sydney. He is recognised internationally for his work in architectural design, curation and commentary, specialising in contemporary design theory at the intersection of technology, urbanism and practice. Anthony is researching Australia’s architectural history with a specific focus on Sydney’s emerging new wave of “city changing projects” reshaping the Sydney CBD. He serves on numerous design excellence review panels and committees in Design and Architecture.

Michael Heenan is the CEO and Principal, Design, of leading Australian design firm, AJ+C. He is an award winning architect with an impressive portfolio that spans sectors and ranges in size from luxury private residences to the masterplanning of new cities and Olympic venues. His designs for the Sydney Fish Market Reference Project and Berry Sports and Recreation Hall were named the Future Project of the Year and the Best Sports Building at the World Architecture Festival respectively. He has been an international judge and juror at the World Architecture Festival held in Barcelona, Singapore, Berlin and Amsterdam from 2010 to 2019, as well as an Australian Institute of Architects International, and NSW Chapter Juror in 2016 and 2017. We are so fortunate to have Michael on our Board where he is the Chair of the Building, Finance and Strategy Committee.

Michael and Anthony have graciously accepted our invitation to deliver a strategic provocation to interested parents on 1 June from 6.30pm in the Bibliothèque, as we bring you into the strategy-making conversation that began last term.

As we develop new areas of action for IGS for the next five years, we need your input. We are looking forward to staging this one night only conversation about our School and its future. It should be an engaging stakeholder consultation. It’s also an important opportunity for me to hear your views, particularly in the context of the emerging opportunities around us.


On the night, Michael and Anthony will set the scene and build a shared understanding among participants of the breathtaking ways in which the global is coming straight to our front door. IGS is in the centre of the new “innovation corridor” which extends from the University of Sydney to Blackwattle Bay and Pyrmont Bay and which will include a world class harbour foreshore walk; a vibrant 24/7 cultural and entertainment destination; extended transport offerings; low-carbon, high performance initiatives; and more green public spaces. There are so many exciting opportunities for alignment with innovative local industries and our students are set to benefit in myriad ways.

On the night, I’ll share some insights about our progress to date in creating the new strategic plan, including the broad directions set down for us by the School Board, and then we’ll open the floor for a discussion about what we currently do well at IGS. We will then dream a little and focus on our new areas of action – deeper learning, students striving and flourishing, and a strong and sustainable school – building upon our current strategic plan.

Finally we’ll share ideas about what we could do to build our future in these areas. I’m interested in your hopes and dreams for your children and the ideas you have about our School.

So please save the date (1 June), and over the coming weeks I will send out more information about this event. 

Shauna Colnan