VC Update

Published: Monday 1st September 2014

It’s been a busy few months of opening, blessing and naming new buildings and spaces on several ACU campuses.

In North Sydney, we opened the University’s newest learning facility at 8-10 Berry Street. The building is named Champagnat House, in honour of St Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers. It houses a diverse range of state-of-the art practice facilities for nursing, physiotherapy and allied health students ­– including a clinic. The building also houses a dance/drama space, and teaching spaces for early childhood education students.

Along with the specialist facilities, the building incorporates general teaching spaces, higher degree research facilities, and contemporary student amenities that have been developed under the design concept of a ‘learning garden’.

The MacKillop Campus also saw the opening and blessing of The Peter Cosgrove Centre. The function centre on Level 22 of Tenison Woods House, at 8-20 Napier Street, is named in honour of our former Chancellor, now the Governor General of Australia. Individual rooms within the centre were also christened in honour of esteemed Australians. The Polding Room, for John Bede Polding, former Archbishop of Sydney. The Therry Room, for Father John Joseph Therry, the first Catholic chaplain in the colony of NSW. And The Vaughan Room, for Roger William Vaughan, second Archbishop of Sydney.

At the McAuley at Banyo Campus, what was formerly referred to as ‘Building T’ will be named the Saint John Paul II Building. Designed to achieve a high-level of sustainability in energy, water conservation and waste management, the three-storey building will have 5,500 square metres of ground floor area. Architects, designers and engineers have been hard at work to ensure the new building reflects the existing heritage structures on campus, and the artists’ impressions I have seen are stunning.

The building will house student learning and support services, and health sciences facilities­ – including state-of-the-art simulation labs for physiotherapy and speech pathology. It will also be home to the new Learning Sciences Institute (LSI).

At St Patrick’s in Melbourne, a long list of spaces, buildings, gardens and driveways received official new names. These include the main campus building at 115 Victoria Parade, which has been named The Mary Glowrey Building. Mary Glowrey was the first president of what is now the Catholic Women's League, and a gifted doctor. She spent many years working in India with the Congregation of the Society of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, a Dutch order of Religious Sisters.

The roof top deck of the Daniel Mannix Building also has a new name – St Bernadette’s Garden, in honour of St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and the patron of our Faculty of Health Sciences. The roof top deck provides a place where students and staff may gather, enjoy the outdoors, or take a moment to quietly reflect. It’s a wonderful space, and a real pleasure to find such a beautiful patch of green in the city.

Following approval by the Senate, several buildings on the Aquinas Campus have been given new names. These include the Thomas Aquinas Chapel, named after the philosopher and theologian. And the renamed Sisters of Mercy Theatre – a tribute to the campus’ long association with the Sisters of Mercy.

As ACU continues to grow, we are determined that our facilities, and the quality of these facilities, grow along with it. I was very proud to attend these openings and blessings, and talk to the many of you who attended.


Professor Greg Craven