New era as Innocent Chikwama takes over as Katanning Senior High School principal

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenGreat Southern Herald
Innocent Chikwama, Geoffrey Macnicol, Tania Conning and Frank Gaudin.
Camera IconInnocent Chikwama, Geoffrey Macnicol, Tania Conning and Frank Gaudin. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Great Southern Herald

Students at Katanning Senior High School will have a familiar, yet new, leader when the school year starts on Monday.

Innocent Chikwama has been promoted to principal having served as deputy principal since April last year.

Mr Chikwama said he was humbled and honoured to be asked to take the reins.

“Leadership is a privilege and a big responsibility, and I am grateful for this opportunity,” he said.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Mr Chikwama moved to Australia in 2007 following a five-year stint teaching and studying in the UK.

He previously taught at Newman Senior High School, before taking on leadership roles at schools in Toodyay and Perth’s southern suburbs.

For Mr Chikwama, the time already served in the school’s leadership positions has been invaluable.

“(It) gave me time to understand the school culture, build trust, listen and talk to staff, students and community members and build positive relationships,” he said.

Mr Chikwama said his priority going into the school year was to build on the legacy of former principal Denise Robinson and prepare for the public school review scheduled for March.

“Katanning SHS has a strong history of great educational outcomes for students, and we want to built on that success,” he said.

In the longer term Mr Chikwama said one of his objectives was to provide equitable opportunities for all students, regardless of their background.

“As my role model Nelson Mandela said, ‘education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’,” he said.

Long-time Katanning SHS staff member Frank Gaudin has been promoted to school’s other vacant leadership position, with Mr Gaudin now one of the two deputy principals.

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