Major renovations add charm to Ballarat Campus

Published: Wednesday 9th March 2016

Major renovations to two buildings have added to the charm of Ballarat Campus. The Catherine of Siena Centre and the renovated St Thomas Aquinas Chapel have been a blessing to both staff and students.

Catherine of Siena

The Catherine of Siena Centre is a combination of 4 heritage houses which still have the heritage frontage onto Ripon Street but have a very modern façade fronting onto the Campus.  The innovative design by Morton Dunn Architects and carried out by Page Constructions has created an extremely functional office, meeting, videoconference, full kitchen and entertaining area for the Schools of Education, Arts and Theology & Philosophy. The building was named after Saint Catherine of Siena who was a teacher in the Dominican Order and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian and a significant figure in the church. Considering that almost 80 per cent of students on this Campus are female it was decided that using the name of a role model such as  Catherine of Siena would be most appropriate. Catherine is also a Doctor of the Church.


The St Thomas Aquinas Chapel which has been fully renovated during the past 12 months will feature beautiful stained glass windows when it is finally completed.  St Thomas Aquinas has had his name associated with the Campus since 1911 when Mother Xavier Flood (Sister of Mercy) renamed the Mercy Training College “Aquin College”. The College underwent a few name changes and also had different occupants. But in 1974 St Thomas Aquinas was reinstated as the name for the Teachers’ College. Aquinas is the patron saint of Catholic Education and is considered the Catholic Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. A statue of St Thomas is located near to the chapel.