Michael Patoka


Having completed my Masters degree at UNSW in Masters of Commerce, helping to open and establish Colombo House from our inaugural year in 2014, has always felt like being at home! As the Dean, it gives me great privilege to welcome new residents to the College and watch them on their journey through their studies. Looking after Colombo we have created many warm traditions and the college continues to create new and exciting initiatives through our leadership and volunteer opportunities. 

I grew up in Sydney. I love sharing my intimate knowledge of Australia's culture and landscape with our residents and making sure they know the best places to visit in their term breaks! I work closely with our College House Committee to make sure we are delivering the best community-building, inclusive and fun activities to our residents. Colombo House pastoral care team are always there for students needing support, we all live on site and this makes it easier to discuss matters, regardless how simple or complicated they may be. 

Colombo House is my home along with my family; my wife Stephanie and our three children; Matilda, Joshua and Rosy who have all grown up living in the College and consider the college community their extended home. 

It gives me great pleasure to welcome students from all over Australia and the world through our doors. We are a young, thriving college community and are continually working hard to build our respectful and diverse culture. I hope we get the chance to meet you soon!

What is your favourite thing to cook?

Cooking is a huge part of Colombo living! I love cooking for residents and our large Paella is famous for the start and end of College year celebrations.

How do you spend your free time?

I love making the most of our beautiful beaches! I enjoy surfing and watching the sunrise at Maroubra beach, running in Centennial Park or bushwalking in and around Sydney.

What is your favourite event in Colombo every year?

This is a tough question to answer as I love attending all our events. I would have to say O-week as it’s a fabulous time to watch all our new residents meet so many others and quickly change from nervous first time arrivals to settling into our family environment and feeling confident settling into college + University life.

What's your favourite place on-campus at UNSW?

Colombo House obviously! Our rooftop is a great place to head up, do some gardening, have a BBQ or relax and watch the world go by.

The Deputy Dean is responsible for assisting the Dean of the College in the daily management of the college, as well as fulfilling the role of Resident Fellow in terms of providing academic and pastoral support to a group of students.

Delicia Toro

Deputy Dean

Hi everyone! I’m Delicia, the Deputy Dean at Colombo House. This will be my second year as a Deputy Dean at Colombo and I am very excited to meet you all! A little bit about myself… I was born in France, lived in Spain for a couple of years, then moved to Mexico for around 8 years, and then decided to do an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Neuroscience in Canada. And finally… decided to move to Sydney to pursue a career in medicine. 

While studying in Canada, I worked for several years in different colleges. It has always been my passion to help other students and be part of their academic and personal growth. When coming to Sydney, I was very lucky to become the Deputy Dean and work with Dean Mike to build an inclusive and diverse community. It has been absolutely amazing getting to know so many different people and seeing how every student brings their own qualities to the college. 

What is your favourite thing to cook? 

As a French person, I love making delicious crepes for everyone at Colombo! My record has been making crepes for over 80 students!

What was the highlight living at Colombo?

My highlight is to be able to share my experiences to help other students and learn something new from every one of our students. Every day at Colombo is different which makes it very interactive! At Colombo, you never feel alone, there is always someone to talk to or something to do!  I'm also very lucky to work with Dean Mike, who is always looking after Colombo and making sure every student and myself feel supported. 

How do you start your day? 

I start my day with a cup of coffee and a smoothie! Then I like to exercise, listen to music and get ready for the day!  

What is your favourite event in Colombo? 

My favorite event is the international food festival where different groups of students cook a dish and share their culture with the college. This is such a great way to get to know different cultures and try so many different dishes!  

Interesting facts about me?

A fun fact about me is that I lived on a boat for several months with my parents and we would sail around France and Spain almost every weekend. I absolutely love traveling and getting to know different cultures. I speak French, Spanish, English, and Catalan so if you ever want to chat in a different language, I’d be more than happy to do so! 

Resident Assistants and Student Fellows

A Student Fellows (SFs) is assigned every year in Colombo House. They’re a volunteer senior student whose role is to create and run a range of proactive wellbeing initiatives for the entire college. The SF works closely with the RA’s, Deputy Dean and Dean, ensuring the wellbeing of all residents is top of mind

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 SF, Deputy Dean and Dean, ensuring the pastoral care of all residents is of the highest quality.


Colombo Team