Australian Catholic University commenced operation on 1 January 1991 and has eight campuses, located in Sydney (three), Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Ballarat and Rome. The University was formed by the amalgamation of four Catholic institutions of higher education in eastern Australia, and is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (Australian Catholic University Ltd).
The University had its origins in the mid-1800s when religious orders and institutes began preparing teachers, and later nurses, for Catholic institutions. Through a series of amalgamations, relocations, transfers of responsibilities, and diocesan initiatives, more than 20 historical entities have contributed to the creation of Australian Catholic University.
The University is a publicly funded university, open to all, is a Table A listed higher education provider under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, and is a member of the International Federation of Catholic Universities. The University is a member of Universities Australia.
The University has four faculties that reflect areas of strength, growth and the University’s mission. These are: Education and Arts, Health Sciences, Law and Business, and Theology and Philosophy.
In 2020, the University had 32,687 students, 1314 academic staff and 1279 professional staff.