Opening and blessing of Caroline Chisholm building

Published: Wednesday 15th June 2016

Above: The Hon Trent Zimmerman, Pro-Vice Chancellor Mr Julien O’Connell and Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven unveiling the Caroline Chisholm opening plaque.

Message from Professor Marea Nicholson, Associate Vice-Chancellor (NSW/ACT): ACU officially opened its latest North Sydney campus acquisition 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 13-storey building was purchased last year to assist in expanding our higher education and research presence in North Sydney. 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. 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.

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 presented 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 Don Chisholm and Mrs Judy Chisholm as well as other members of Caroline Chisholm’s family. Mr 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. At a more basic level I am sure Caroline would also be pleased to be honoured by a premier educational organisation. She held education to be of great importance”.

The event also marked the birthday of Caroline Chisholm, with ACU providing a special birthday cake. ACU was delighted to have five of Caroline’s great-great-great-great grandchildren at the event to cut the cake.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all who contributed to this successful event including the Events Team in Sydney, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, the North Sydney Campus Facilities teams as well staff from the Office of the Associate Vice-Chancellor NSW/ACT. It is through the hard work and dedication of staff behind the scene that events such as this flow smoothly and successfully.

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