Our Principal


Stephen McIllhatton took up the post of Principal at Downlands College in August 2011.

He was educated at the University of NSW completing a B.Sc., Dip.Ed., and Masters in Ed. Administration. Additional Theological qualifications were obtained from ACU. He began his career as a teacher and year level coordinator at Cleveland Street Boys High in Sydney, followed by 15 years at Waverley College in Sydney in a variety of positions: Head of Mathematics, Director of Administration, Deputy Headmaster (Curriculum) and finally Deputy Headmaster. He was appointed Principal of St Joseph's College, Melbourne, in 2000 and subsequently progressed to be an Education Consultant with the Catholic Education Office, Lismore.

Stephen has three children, all of whom have been educated in Catholic schools, with Christopher, the youngest, completing his education at Downlands.

Stephen observes:

"Downlands College prides itself on being a warm, kind and caring school as well as being disciplined and organised.
It has an outstanding record of academic success through expecting the best from its pupils. The school has a unique history, beautiful surroundings, and unequalled character. It is made up of people who are genuinely friendly, bright and energetic. The College is renowned for the way in which it looks after its pupils and is characterised by its strong Catholic ethos and MSC spirit which underpin everything we do."

"Our expectation is that all our pupils will be smartly dressed in the College uniform, punctual, courteous and civilised. We want them to have the confidence to be themselves, to enjoy school and each other's company and importantly, to have a sense of humour. While the traditional values of courtesy, discipline, organisation and mutual respect are held of everyone, we especially value love, courage, concern, compassion and understanding.

'We pursue academic rigour, we want our pupils to be enthusiastic about hard work and to play a full part in the broader aspects of school life, whether it be in sport, drama, music, social justice projects, community service, support for charities, or any one of the many other activities which are on offer. We also want them to enjoy their learning and to take responsibility for it.

"Our aim is simple: to treat every pupil as an individual, supporting them as they grow into mature, confident, resilient, well-rounded young people with strong relational skills who are prepared to make a difference where ever they journey.

"Welcome to our College!"


Mr Stephen McIllhatton
M.Ed(Admin), B.Sc., Dip.Ed., Dip.Theology, Cert.RE.