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Meet Iona College Principal, Damian McKew

Meet Iona College Principal, Damian McKew

August 2020 | Meet Your Neighbours
  1. Please introduce yourself and your position.

My name is Damian McKew and I am the Foundation Principal of Iona College Geelong. This is my third Principalship after 4.5 years at Trinity College Colac and nine years at Clonard College Geelong.

  1. What do you love most about your job?

The great joy of working with so many young people and importantly having the great opportunity to make a difference in their lives and in their futures. As Principal, no two days are ever the same, so I really like working in a dynamic ever-changing environment as well.

  1. How long has Iona College school been in operation?

Our school officially opened its doors to students at the beginning of the 2020 school year. Prior to this, we started physically building the College at the end of 2018. I officially took up my role in January 2019.

  1. What are the highlights of the first year of operation?

Getting to know the students, families and staff has definitely been the highlight for me. It is such a unique environment having just 152 Year 7 students with us. It really makes a change from the complexities of operating in a big school. Its been wonderful to watch our Year 7’s and the great excitement that they bring with them to school each day.

  1. What is in store for the future at Iona College?

We are undertaking an extensive building project. Our oval is currently under construction and will be finished by the end of the year. Later this year we commence construction of our specialist centre which will provide state of the art facilities in visual and performing arts, science, technology 9digital, wood/plastics and metal) media and STEM. At the same time, we will be also constructing our gymnasium, food technology and music centre. We are putting together some excellent facilities that our students will derive great benefit from for many years.

Whilst starting with 150 students in 2020 ultimately it is projected that we will grow to a student population of around 1200. It will be great to watch the school grow with our student numbers each year.

  1. What do you think the students will be most excited about in the years to come?

I think our students have much to look forward to. We have assembled for them an excellent teaching and support staff and I look forward to recruiting many more high preforming staff members in the future.

Along with the wonderful facilities that are evolving, our students can look forward to an array of learning opportunities that will lead towards many and varied pathways.  Given the nature of our College, we are growing with our students. They will be known individually, and we will work with families to ensure that they make the most of the opportunities that they are given.

  1. What makes Iona College unique?

Being able to start as a greenfield site not only physically but also from a staff and student perspective. We do not have a history. Our school community is building its own unique culture. We have the opportunity not to be constrained by tradition rather we will make our own traditions representative of what a modern 21st century education should entail.

  1. What would you like Ashbury residents to know about Iona College?

We are particularly keen to play an active part in our local community and be a school of choice for local residents. We have a dynamic and experienced staff who will ensure that success of our College and ensure that no students is ever left behind. Our motto is ‘Learning to Change the World’ and we aspire to be a school of inspiration for our students so that they will make to most of their talents and make our world a better place.


  1. What is the best way for Ashbury Residents to enrol their children?


All applications for enrolment are made via our website ( The College will be in contact once enrolments have been received.