Iona College (Queensland)

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Iona College
Iona crest.jpg
Brisbane, Queensland
Australia Australia
Coordinates 27°26′18″S 153°8′55″E / 27.43833°S 153.14861°E / -27.43833; 153.14861Coordinates: 27°26′18″S 153°8′55″E / 27.43833°S 153.14861°E / -27.43833; 153.14861
Type Private, Single-sex, Day school
Motto Latin: In Hoc Signo Vinces
(In this sign you will conquer)
Established 1958
Principal Fr Michael Twigg OMI
Enrolment 1,500 (5–12)
Campus Lindum
Colour(s) Black and White

Iona College is a private, Roman Catholic, day school for boys, located in Lindum, a suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Founded in 1958, the college currently caters for approximately 1,500 students from years 5 to 12, on a 27–hectare campus [1] 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) east of the Brisbane central business district.

Iona is operated by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a religious order that was founded in 1816 by Saint Eugene de Mazenod.

In 2015, Fr. Michael Twigg was appointed principal of the college. The college had 38 OP1 students in 2016 and 81.5% of OP Eligible students had an OP1-15.


Iona was founded by Fr. Tim Long, and Fr. Denis McCarthy in 1958. Iona College is named after the island Iona, which is located in the Inner Hebrides off Scotland.

On 1 October 1957, Father Tim Long and Father Denis McCarthy arrived on the hill at Lindum in an old second-hand Vauxhall, with only five pounds in cash, a gift of blankets, sheets and towels from the Oblate parish of Eagle Junction and a 'Mass Kit' from the Mercy Sisters at All Hallows School. The site, of 32 acres (13 ha), had been given to the Oblates by Archbishop James Duhig to begin a school for boys. [2] With the help of local families, the preparing grounds for students, interviews and designing the uniform, College arms and motto and constant quest for finance became easy. On 28 January 1958, 58 students arrived at the school.

In 1961, Father Tim Long suffered a heart attack in London while making his way back to Ireland at the age of 65.

There are two other schools run by the OMI in Australia: Mazenod College, Victoria and Mazenod College, Western Australia.

Arms, motto and colours[edit]

The College colours are black and white. The College crest consists of a shield on which is depicted an arm holding a cross, while underneath is the Latin phrase "In Hoc Signo Vinces", which translates to "In This Sign You Will Conquer".


The college is situated on 63 hectares and the campus includes such facilities as:

  • A performing arts centre (IPAC)
  • 4 basketball courts – indoor and outdoor
  • Indoor Volleyball courts
  • 7 cricket / rugby / soccer / athletics ovals
  • An Olympic sized swimming pool
  • A fully equipped gymnasium and weights room
  • 4 tennis courts
  • Industrial Design and Technology Centre
  • Art Precinct.

In total the school has 26 different blocks with a chapel, a staff and priests' house.

Iona College has an outdoor education centre called "Glendalough" near Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Most year levels visit the camp every year.[3] The site has an area of 19 hectares and Glendalough is close to the southern shores of Lake Weyba, one of the large shallow lakes of the region. Double kayaks are provided for use on the lake. Other nearby activities include climbs of Mt Coolum and Mt Peregian, the environmental walk at Stumer’s Creek Reserve and numerous local patrolled surf beaches.

Performing Arts Centre and cultural activities[edit]

The Iona College Performing Arts Centre (IPAC) was opened in 1998, giving the school's cultural activity such as Speech & Drama, Music and Art a venue to display their talents.

Iona has a proud tradition in many cultural activities such as drama, music, art, debating and public speaking, titration and mooting.

Every year The Festival of Music, a statewide competition open to all schools is held in the Iona Performing Arts Center (IPAC). Both state and private schools are allowed to enter this competition. Iona's musical, play and band concerts all are performed here. Music at Iona College maintains a good reputation, such as the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and Jazz Band receiving great success in their relevant fields of competition.

The school provides over 14 school bands. It can be divided into 5 categories. These include:

  • Concert bands (Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Concert Band, Year 6 Band, Year 5 Band)
  • String orchestras
  • Vocal ensembles (Iona Singers, Ionian Voices)
  • Jazz ensembles (Jazz Ensembles 1, 2 and 3)
  • Percussion ensembles (Percussion Ensembles 2, 3, 4, Senior Percussion Ensemble)
  • Mass Band
  • Sports Band

These categories can divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The bands use IPAC to perform and practise. The school also provides music lessons for students.

Iona has been very successful in public speaking with various regional, state and national representatives. The Carter Shield is an annual public speaking competition between Moreton Bay College and Iona College. 2006 celebrated the tenth year of this competition and in 2015, Iona College won the Shield for the twelfth time.


The college offers a variety of sports including:

Iona is a member of the Associated Independent Colleges and competes in this sporting competition against such schools as Marist College Ashgrove and St Patrick's College. Iona College has a reputation of winning the Associated Independent Colleges Cross Country, Athletics and Volleyball aggregates.

House system[edit]

As with most Australian schools, Iona College utilises a house system. Iona currently has 8 houses, many of which are named after famous Oblates. They are:

  • Albini (Gold) – named after Fr Charles Albini
  • Anthony (Mauve) – named after Brother Anthony Kowalczyk
  • Cebula (White) – named after Fr Jozef Cebula
  • Charlebois (Orange) – named after Fr Ovide Charlebois
  • Gérard (Green) – named after Fr Joseph Gérard
  • Grandin (Red) – named after Fr Vital-Justin Grandin
  • Mackillop (Maroon) – named after Saint Mary MacKillop
  • Mazenod (Blue) – named after Saint Eugene de Mazenod

Many inter-house competitions are held throughout the year, such as swimming, athletics and cross-country. Although inter-house sport is an important aspect of inter-house activities, it is by no means the only area. Houses also compete in the arts and academic arenas. The winner of each competition receives points which contribute towards the Oblate Trophy.

Notable alumni[edit]

Order of Australia Recipients

  • Paul Stevenson OAM, Iona College graduating class of 1972 is an Australian psychologist and a recognised authority within the fields of psychological trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, stress management and psychological recovery from disaster incidents. His experience includes on-site involvement with the Moura Mine disaster in 1994; the Port Arthur massacre (Australia) in 1996; the Thredbo landslide in 1997; the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005; the Marriott bombing (Jakarta) in 2003; the Australian Embassy bombing in 2004; the Indian Ocean tsunami recovery in 2004–05; the Victorian bushfires in 2009, and the 2010-2011 Queensland floods.
  • Ashley Callus OAM, Iona College graduating class of 1996 is a triple Olympian and recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), who has also represented Australia at three Commonwealth Games and three World Championships. Ashley won a gold medal in a world record time at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games alongside Michael Klim, Ian Thorpe and Chris Fydler in the Men’s 4 x 100 metre relay.



  • Cr Ryan Murphy, Councillor for Doboy Ward in Brisbane City since 2012
  • Don Brown (Australian politician). He has been the Labor member for Capalaba in the Queensland Legislative Assembly since 2015. Prior to entering politics, Brown has studied applied science and law at Queensland University of Technology, and had worked as a pathology scientist, and as a union official for United Voice.
  • Dr Anthony Lynham is an Australian oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Labor politician, and a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland representing the electoral district of Stafford. He is currently the Queensland Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines.


  • Tom Ward, Rhodes Scholar in 2001[4]


  • John Dougherty, Managing Director of Rosies from 2002–2005[5]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "College Campus". Iona College Website. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  2. ^ "History". Iona College Website. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  3. ^ Iona College page on Glendalough's facilities
  4. ^ New Rhodes Scholar will help people with disability,UQ News Online
  5. ^ The torch is passed to a new leader at Rosies Youth Mission,The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane website

External links[edit]