Vale, Professor Reg St Leon OAM

The IGS Community is deeply saddened by the death of Founding Principal Professor Reg St Leon OAM.

We honour this giant in multilingual education for his far-sighted vision to establish International Grammar School (IGS) in 1984, a school in which students could be taught in many languages from the age of 3.

We were very fortunate to welcome Reg to the 2018 IGS Speech Night, where we unveiled a portrait of this great educator, and been honouring him as we celebrate our School’s 35th anniversary throughout this year.

The portrait of Professor Reg St Leon OAM

Principal Shauna Colnan has been in Italy on sabbatical, advancing the work of our School for the future, and is very sad that she could not be with the IGS community at this time.

Ms Colnan shared the following letter with staff and students to commemorate the loss of our Founding Principal: 

“Reg St Leon was my great friend, mentor and inspiration. He was a giant in education; a trailblazer. He had immense creativity and a restlessness to make things better.

Imagine dreaming up IGS! That’s what Reg did. He drew a picture of the Harbour Bridge and wrote the word “excellence” above it. It was a simple and powerful vision.


When Reg visited IGS, he marvelled at what the school had become. He thought you were the luckiest kids on earth, to be here, and to reap the benefits of all the work that the teachers put into making a school.

And so today as we mourn the passing of our Founding Principal, I have a feeling that he wouldn’t want us be too sad. He’d be far more interested in you learning lots and getting as much out of school as you possibly can. In fact he wouldn’t want you to waste a minute.

Reg and Ms Colnan deep in conversation

So let’s be thankful for the gift that Reg St Leon gave us and honour his legacy by continuing to be the very best that we can be each and every day here at IGS, making the most of every opportunity.”

Ms Colnan will return to the School on Monday 11 March.

In 2017, after receiving the OAM, Reg said, “When I am gathered to my fathers at the end of my life, I will think, I did one thing that was terribly worthwhile, and that was starting the foreign languages at IGS.

“Those kids at IGS are the luckiest children in the world.”

We offer our condolences to his many friends and family and give thanks for his vibrant legacy.

Please see other tributes for the founder of IGS, from our special assemblies and his memorial service.