Principal of Illawarra Christian School
Mr Simon Lainson
BEd, GDip (Bible & Ministry)
Simon joined the staff team at Illawarra Christian School in 1999 and was appointed as Principal in 2008. He has a Bachelor of Secondary Education Humanities and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Bible and Ministry from Sydney Missionary and Bible College.
Simon is married to Sarah, and they have five children. He values the partnership his family enjoys with Illawarra Christian School through his children’s education. Simon is an elder at Wollongong Baptist Church. As chairperson of the NSW/ACT Christian Education National (CEN) Principals’ Network and a member of the CEN Hub Board and CEN NSW/ACT State Council, Simon plays an active role in the wider Christian education community.
Passionate about equipping staff and students with a faithful, Christ-centred worldview that informs all of life, Simon is excited to be leading a community of Christian educators, parents and students who learn and grow together under God’s grace.
Deputy Principal of Illawarra Christian School
Mrs Jo Fahey
BCA/LLB, GDip Ed, MEd(Lead)
Jo has been teaching at Illawarra Christian School since 2003. Prior to her appointment as Prep–12 Deputy, she served in a number of infants/primary leadership roles.
Jo graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Education. She has recently completed her Master of Educational Leadership through the National Institute for Christian Education.
With her husband, Brett, and her two daughters, both of whom attend Illawarra Christian School, Jo is a member of Harbour Church where she is Music Ministry Coordinator. She particularly enjoys writing songs for the congregation and also values her weekly growth group.
Jo is enthusiastic about considering leadership from a biblical perspective and is keen to contribute to developing future leaders in Christian schools. She is also excited about building a positive school culture and community that reflects God and his purposes at Illawarra Christian School.
Director of Teaching and Learning
Mrs Cathy Wade
BA, Dip Ed
Cathy taught in several state schools before joining the English staff at Illawarra Christian School in 1990. She was Head Teacher English until 2016 and was appointed Director of Teaching and Learning in 2014.
In this role, Cathy promotes a culture of growth in the school community, guiding staff in their professional learning, facilitating their professional development and improving student learning opportunities.
Cathy’s longstanding connection with the school includes having been a school parent. With her husband, Jim, she now particularly enjoys spending time with her adult family and grandchildren. Cathy attends Figtree Anglican Church where she has been involved in the music ministry for many years.
Providing opportunities for teachers to increase their effectiveness as they impact student learning excites Cathy. She loves the performance and development culture at Illawarra Christian School, where teachers and students continually strive to grow in their teaching and learning practices so that they might best serve and honour God.
Director of Studies
Mr Tim Hewitt
BSc (Hons), Dip Ed
Tim is a former Illawarra Christian School student who returned to join the staff team in 2013. He graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Geosciences and is currently completing his Master of Educational Leadership through the National Institute for Christian Education.
Tim and his wife, Lyndel, have two sons, both of whom attend Illawarra Christian School. The family worships at Figtree Anglican Church, and Tim enjoys his home group and opportunities to lead prayer during services.
In his leadership role, Tim is responsible for administration processes including timetabling, examination organisation, and oversight of accreditation and registration compliance. Tim has a longstanding commitment to Christian education. He values the part he plays in equipping young students for a God-honouring life beyond school, particularly in his role as careers advisor.
Director of Student Learning Opportunities
Mrs Simone Brown
BA, GDip Ed, GDip Psych
Simone began teaching at Illawarra Christian School in 2001 after several years of experience in Queensland schools. She has taught K–6 classes and also secondary Japanese.
Initially, Simone was appointed to a primary leadership position, and she commenced her role as Director of Student Learning Opportunities in 2017.
Simone is married to Trevor and has four children, all students at Illawarra Christian School. She is a member of St Mark’s Anglican Church and enjoys her involvement in music and children’s ministries.
In order to determine and facilitate effective learning paths for individuals, Simone monitors student performance. Her role also involves oversight of the school’s enrichment and learning support programs. Simone is dedicated to identifying the individual passions, gifts and needs of students and to providing opportunities that enrich student learning outcomes. She is energised by innovations in education and is excited about the direction teaching is taking.
Director of Learning Technology
BSc (Psych), MSc (Psych), Dip Ed
Rob has been teaching at Illawarra Christian School since 2005 and was appointed as Coordinator of Learning Technologies in 2011. He primarily teaches in the Information and Communication Technologies area, specialising in multimedia production and digital photography. Rob is currently completing his Master of Education (ICT).
Rob is married to Penny, also on the Illawarra Christian School staff, and he has three daughters attending the school. He is a member of Figtree Anglican Church. He serves in music ministry and children’s school holiday programs.
The use of digital technologies to support the school’s learning framework is an important focus for Rob. He advises on technology-based perspectives in broad areas of school life, and he works closely with the IT team. Rob oversees the iPad program, use of online collaborative tools, and the learning management/pastoral system (SEQTA). He is passionate about project-based learning and seeing students use their God-given potential in life-worthy and innovative pursuits.