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Illawarra provides a secure, stable and happy family-like environment, in which the girls can flourish and become strong, independent Pangbournians.

The Division is located next to the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, at the bottom end and right-hand side of the Parade Ground.

Illawarra’s mascot is a Kangaroo, its colour is green and the Division’s emblem is a capital ‘I’. Georgia Francis, who won a silver medal for Great Britain at the 2014 World U23 Rowing Championships, is a former Chief of Illawarra.

Illawarra’s two Brother Divisions are Hesperus and Port Jackson with half the girls joining Hesperus and half joining Port Jackson for certain Inter-Divisional competitions.

Housemistress, Mrs Amanda Bowden, with her family

The Division’s goals are to be a community with the highest possible academic contribution of each student, to celebrate any success as a House, to create a supportive environment and to maintain, respect and improve the boarding experience.

Illawarriors are encouraged to give their best to fulfil their potential and the House Values are Honesty, Courtesy and Loyalty.

From 1917-1927, Illawarra was the name given to the first term at the College and surrendered its independence as a boys’ division in 1988, before being resurrected into a new girls’ boarding house in 2007 to cater for the growing number of girls joining Pangbourne.

Illawarra is named after the biggest ship launched by the Devitt and Moore shipping company that first set up Pangbourne as a Nautical training college in 1917 before it took the name Pangbourne College and then later became a co-educational school.

More on Illawarra

Boarding Life for The Girls

It is a home from home with all birthdays in the Division marked with cake and brownies. The girls are invited to Mrs John's house for breakfast and snacks on a regular basis, and spend Friday evenings together, watching films and tucking in to homemade pancakes and fresh fruit dipped in chocolate fondue.

A popular room in the Division is The Bubble which includes a TV, a stunning view of the acres of grounds of the College's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from its upstairs vantage point and is the social hub of Illawarra.

Girls can play table tennis and take advantage of the 50” TV in the Gunroom [Common Room] and prizes are awarded for having well-tidied rooms for inspections and earning Merits.

There is also an annual Illawarra Mothers' Lunch at the beginning of the Michaelmas term, which offers the chance for new and existing mothers to get to know one another.

Outside The Classroom

Every year, the Upper Sixth girls in the Division organise the sale of red carnations for Valentine's Day through the Flowers for Friends initiative to raise money for charity, with recent beneficiaries including The Pink Ribbon Foundation, Teenage Cancer Trust and the Alzheimer's Society.

Meet the Housemistress and the Team


  • Mrs Amanda Bowden

Assistant Housemistress

  • Miss Philippa Sanders


  • Mrs Dawn Grehan has been Illawarra Matron for several years, is always on hand to provide a listening ear and helps with the pastoral care of the girls.

Visiting Tutors

  • Miss Rhiannon Bland
  • Miss Emily Wilks


  • Mrs Katrina Oprawko's high standards set the tone for the Division and she is a valued member of the Illawarra team.