ACU officially opens Caroline Chisholm House in North Sydney

Published: Friday 10th June 2016

Proud: Professor Don Chisholm noted that Caroline “would be pleased that she is being honoured by an Institution that offers special support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students”.

ACU officially opened its latest North Sydney campus acquisition recently with the Blessing and Opening of the Caroline Chisholm House.

The building located at 33 Berry Street was officially opened by the Hon Mr Trent Zimmerman, Federal Member for North Sydney and blessed by the Very Reverend Gerald Gleeson, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

The building 13-storey building was purchased last year to expand our higher education and research presence in North Sydney.

The building will allow ACU to meet demand from a growing student and staff population and reflects the university's overall strategic plan for sustainable growth. It consolidated our place as part of North Sydney's thriving education precinct.

The new building has been named in honour of Caroline Chisholm a strong, independent woman who respected the dignity of all, especially the marginalised and those in need, and was effectively one of the first social workers in Australia.

ACU has been fortunate to have been offered the loan of significant items of memorabilia from the family of Caroline Chisholm to display in the new building.

The memorabilia includes a number of personal items of Caroline’s such as a small prayer book with Caroline’s writing inside the front cover, old photographs of Caroline and Caroline’s kitchen clock.

Caroline was also honoured by Pope Pius XII who commissioned a bust which was present to her in the Vatican. This bust will now be part of the memorabilia that will be on long-term loan to the University.

The University is grateful to Professor Don Chisholm whose generosity will enable this display to become part of our North Sydney Campus.

The opening was attended by Professor Chisholm and Mrs Judy Chisholm as well as other members of Caroline Chisholm’s family.

Professor Chisholm noted that Caroline “would be pleased that she is being honoured by an Institution that offers special support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island students”.

At a more basic level I am sure Caroline would also be pleased to be honoured by a premier educational organization. She held education to be of great importance”.

Professor Chisholm went on to comment on some of the less well known facts regarding the life of Caroline Chisholm remarking that it was “a bit hard for her descendants to measure up to this amazing lady”.

Professor Chisholm also spoke about Caroline’s conversion to Catholicism when she married her husband Archibald and her commitment to the Catholic faith which assisted her in “providing support to people without regard to race or religion”.

Professor Chisholm finished by observing that: “Today 30 May 30 is Caroline Chisholm’s birthday and ACU are providing a birthday cake. I’m delighted that we have with us five of Caroline’s great-great-great-great grandchildren to cut the cake,” he said.

“On behalf of Caroline Chisholm’s descendants, very many thanks to the Australian Catholic University for honouring our forebear in this way”.

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