The Dean is responsible for overseeing the daily management of all aspects college life, supporting both the students and residential staff in making sure the college is safe, enjoyable and all-inclusive.

Michael Patoka


I’m a husband and father of 3 young children and I’ve been working in student housing for over a decade in Sydney and London.

I grew up just over the hill in Coogee and completed my Masters at UNSW, so when I joined Colombo House it really felt like I was coming home.

As Dean, I get to be a part of the academic and personal journey of the students who live here. Colombo House is a college that celebrates diversity, maturity and independence and I look forward to having a chat with you when you arrive!

What cheers you up?

The ocean breeze and the first sensation of jumping into water.

What was the last picture you took on your phone?

My weekend cook up of pizza waffles… delicious!

What’s something you’ve been really proud of lately?

My daughter starting school.

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

My grandfather. I was named after him, but never got the chance to meet him.

How do you spend your free time?

Once a week I love to go for a kayak on Sydney Harbour. I love the water!

Resident Assistants

Resident Assistants (RAs) are assigned to each floor of Colombo House. They’re volunteer senior student leaders whose role is to make sure each and every student has access to any support they may need. The RA team works closely with the Deputy Dean and Dean, ensuring the pastoral care of all residents is of the highest quality.