St John's College, University of Sydney
||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (June 2013)|
|St John's College|
|University||University of Sydney|
|Location||University of Sydney, H2
8A Missenden Road, Camperdown NSW, 2050
|Full name||The College of St John the Evangelist|
|Motto||Nisi Dominus Frustra|
|Motto in English||Unless the Lord is with us, our labor is vain|
|Named for||St John the Evangelist – author of the fourth Gospel|
|Previous names||The College of St John the Evangelist|
|Rector||Adrian Diethelm (acting)|
Established in 1857, the college is the oldest Roman Catholic university college and second-oldest university college in Australia. St John's is a co-educational community of 267 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The acting rector, Adrian Diethelm, has held his position since 2013.
- 1 History
- 2 Architecture
- 3 Student life
- 4 Governance
- 5 Distinguished alumni
- 6 Rectors
- 7 Visitors
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The College of St John the Evangelist was founded by Archbishop John Bede Polding, who named it after the author of the fourth Gospel. The symbol of the college is the eagle, the traditional symbol of St John. St John's College is the oldest Catholic tertiary institution in Australia. It was the first Catholic college to be established in a pre-existing non-Catholic university in the English-speaking world since the Reformation.
In 1854 the first effort to establish a Catholic college within the University of Sydney was made at a meeting in the old St Mary's Cathedral. The New South Wales government promised a pound-for-pound subsidy capped at a ₤20,000 limit if at least ₤10,000 were raised by public subscription. The amount was met in the six months from July 1857. On 15 December 1857, the act to tncorporate Saint John’s College as a college within the University of Sydney was passed in the NSW Parliament and received Royal Assent from Queen Victoria. The proclamation of the St John's College Council took place on 1 July 1858.
In 1887, James Francis Hogan wrote in The Irish in Australia that Saint Ignatius' College, Riverview, St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill and St John's College, affiliated to the University of Sydney, are three educational institutions which reflect the highest credit on the Catholic population of the parent colony.
In February 1859, William Wilkinson Wardell, the architect of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, and St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, was appointed the architect for St John's College. Working from Melbourne, he drew up the general plans and sent them to Sydney in May 1859. Wardell designed St John's College as a three-storeyed sandstone Gothic Revival building on an H-shaped plan but because of budget restrictions with a limit of 30,000 pounds, July and August saw discussion of Wardell's design and of how much could be built within the budget. In September and October the general plans were approved by the St John's Council and the university senate.
From October 1859 to April 1860, relations between Wardell and the council deteriorated for various reasons, resulting in Wardell's resignation in June 1860. With the main building program already in progress, the council retained Wardell's plans and proceeded with the construction under the supervision of Edmund Blacket, another of Australia's best-known colonial architects, who had finished construction of the first stage of St Paul's College at the same university the previous year. When Blacket was appointed to supervise the construction of St John's, several changes were made to Wardell's specification: Australian hardwood was substituted for pitch pine, bar trusses were used in the chapel, a fountain was dropped from the plans, common rather than fire bricks were used, Portland stone was substituted by Colonel stone, and ornamental pillars were incorporated into the design of the library. Blacket estimated that these and other changes would save ₤1,689, leaving the amended quote at ₤35,754 pounds. When the college was finally occupied, the cost of construction for the first stage was ₤40,000.
English Benedictine influence
St John's College was founded as a Benedictine foundation by the Archbishop of Sydney, John Bede Polding, who was formerly an English Benedictine monk of Downside Abbey. The English Benedictines were prominent in the raising of public support for the founding of St John's; Dom Maurus O'Connell—Dean of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney and first Australian-born Benedictine priest—was appointed as the first rector of the college in 1858. When Roger Bede Vaughan, a former monk of Downside Abbey, arrived in Sydney as Polding's coadjutor bishop in 1873, he was elected by the fellows as rector. Vaughan retained the rectorship until he succeeded Polding as archbishop in his own right, but continued to live in the college and use it as his episcopal palace. Vaughan's secretary, Anselm Gillett—a monk of Ampleforth who had been resident at Belmont Priory during Vaughan's time as superior before his departure for Australia—acted as rector during Vaughan's time as archbishop. After Vaughan's death and Gillett's return to England, another Benedictine, Fr David Barry was appointed rector in 1884. In the latter part of the 19th century the College Council was dominated by clerical fellows who were Benedictine monks, and the majority of its students were educated at the Benedictine Lyndhurst College, Glebe.
The carved Gothic-style reliquary box held in the chapel contains the skull of St Bede the Lesser, a Benedictine monk who died before AD 1000. The relic had been preserved in a reliquary in the church of St Benignus at Genoa, served by the Benedictine monks of Monte Cassino until the early 19th century. The relic was transported to Sydney by the missionary priest Martial Mary and presented to Archbishop Vaughan while he was residing in the college.
St John's College is perhaps the grandest Gothic Revival building in New South Wales and designed by one of England's (and Australia's) foremost ecclesiastical architects of the mid-19th century is unique in Sydney collegiate architecture in its combination of scale quality and construction. A rare realisation of Pugin's ideal Catholic college (and in turn based on Magdalen College, Oxford), it demonstrates the influence of Pugin on the work of William Wardell. It is a notable example of the period when Pugin's insistence of archaeological accuracy was giving way to the more eclectic influences of the High Victorian generation.
Built entirely in sandstone, the college is 14th century English Gothic in style and substantially Renaissance Baroque in plan, in the manner of Wardell's earlier monasteries and convents. The principal floor or piano nobile level is elevated above the ground floor and is related to a central space (the ante-chapel) by a series of classical enfilades. The arrangement of the ground floor entry vestibule, and the formal, axially linked Imperial staircase are just as much classical in inspiration. In this respect St John's is unlike the traditional layout of an English university college. The formal parts of the building are very grand, particularly if compared to the almost domestic scale of Blacket's contemporary St Paul's College.
The main facade on the north wing is a typical exercise in Victorian near symmetry with the central tower nearly in the middle. Under the tower is a porte cochere. Continuing south along the visitor's line of entry on the main axis is a visually low, dark vestibule. This enhances the view, through an open arcade and transverse passage, of the more brightly sidelit formal stone staircase. To the north of the stairhall on the principal floor is the central space. To the east of this space is the chapel, viewed through an arcaded screen. To the south is a vista across the stairwell, through an anti-room to the library and on to the students' accommodation. To the west is the Great Hall, although this was not visible from the central space on Wardell's original design. Lastly through a wide opening to the north is the Lady Chapel in the tower.
Chapel and Lady Chapel
The Chapel of St John's College, unusually located on the first floor, was completed in 1863 and is a space of five bays with a high wooden roof. The two bays at the east end are distinguished as a chancel by a change in floor level. The eastern half of the chapel is in the traditional collegiate Choir arrangement. The details of the tracery and mouldings are late 13th and early 14th century English Gothic. There is a small gallery over the chapel originally designed to enable invalids from the infirmary to hear Mass.
Many of the sanctuary furnishings are believed to have been designed by Blackett in the 1860s including the Blessed Sacrament shrine, which is made of Bondi Gold Sandstone, the tabernacle, cedar choir stalls and pews. The walls of keyed sandstone were originally covered in plasterwork with Pugin type decoration but this was completely removed in 1963. The chapel wrought iron gates were designed by Herbert Wardell and Denning and installed in 1921. The chapel contains five stain glassed windows, three of which were commissioned in 1918 from John Hardman and Co Birmingham, with the designed based on the writings of St Bonaventure, quoted by Cardinal Newman. The eastern window, also from Hardman and Co was presented to the college by Countess Freehill in 1937 in memory of her late husband, Francis Bede Freehill. The embellished sanctuary and Lady Chapel mosaics were also presented by Countess Freehill and laid by Melocco Co in 1916–17 and 1937 respectively (approximately the same time as the Kelly Chapel floor at St Mary's Cathedral). The sanctuary features oak reredos and panelling designed by Herbert Wardell and also two life sized carved statues of the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist made by Koffmefer of Munich.
The Great Hall, or dining hall, is a space with la arge wooden roof of collar beam and arched braces, with king post and with raking queen post. Each truss is visually supported by short stone shafts with foliate capitals and corbels in the early 14th century manner, as is the tracery. The formal entry stairs to the south have never been built and the original eastern wall has been replaced by an open arcade. On the western wall of the Great Hall is the Purcell Window completed in 1930 by Hardman and Co, Birmingham. The upper windows contain the coats of arms of the universities of Sydney, Oxford (trefoils), Cambridge (trefoils) and Paris (left soufflet) and St John's College (right soufflet). The Great Hall has on display a collection of portraits of past visitors, rectors, fellows and students with the most significant portrait being Archbishop Polding / Gallery oil painting of Archbishop Polding DSB 1866 by Eugene Montegu Scott (1835–1909) which was originally commissioned for St Mary's Cathedral.
Brennan Hall and library
The Brennan Hall is named after the notable Australian poet and classical scholar Christopher Brennan (1870–1932) who was a regular visitor and close friend of Maurice J. O'Reilly, the then rector. The Brennan Hall has a double arcade of slender wooden piers. Each pier has four engaged shafts with appropriate bases and capitals supporting arched braces. All motifs are designed in 14th century manner like the reticulated tracery in the square loaded windows. The Brennan Hall is more grand than convenient as it is also a major thoroughfare.
The library holds several collections of books donated by past rectors and fellows of the college, contained in custom made locked shelving units as a private library for its historical relevance to the college. The stained glass windows on the eastern and western walls of the library are by Hardman and Co. Birmingham. The eastern windows contain the coats of arms of Bishop Davis, Archbishop Polding, St John's College and Archbishop Vaughan. The western windows contain the coat of arms of William Bernard Ullathorne, Cardinal Moran and Archbishop Kelly.
Later developments: 1918–present
In 1918, Wardell's son, Herbert, working with his partner Denning, designed what is known as the '38 wing (it was eventually begun in 1938) estimating the cost at 14,000 pounds. Construction was not started for 20 years because of lack of funds and was finally finished on a reduced scale in 1939.
In 1937 Countess Freehill donated 15,000 pounds to the college on the condition that it be used for the erection of the tower and that Hennessy and Hennessy be the architects. The design for the tower was 10 metres shorter than Wardell would have liked. Wardell believed that without the full height of the tower, the horizontality of the building would not be balanced. Nonetheless the tower was built to the amended design.
The 1960s saw great activity with extensions to the college. In 1961, 100 years after the first construction, Menzies Wing on the east end of the South Range was begun. The architects were McDonell, Mar and Anderson. The Menzies Wing was opened by the Right Honourable Robert Menzies and blessed by Cardinal Norman Gilroy on 14 May 1961. In 1962 the refectory was extended through to where the sacristies were, leaving an open arcade where the eastern wall had been. The Polding Wing was built on the west end of the South Range in 1967 and opened by Sir Roden Cutler and blessed by Archbishop James Caroll on 26 November 1967. Although these wings are four-storeyed and very different to the design of Wardell, the architects have looked back to his design for guidance and inspiration. Their modifications of Wardell's original design enabled the present building to accommodate 181 students.
St John's College offers a traditional Oxbridge-style "collegial" experience of university life, situated on grounds within the University of Sydney's main campus.
The college exists primarily as an academic community. Academic assistance is provided to scholars by the academic coordinator, assisted by a team of resident and non-resident tutors comprising senior and postgraduate scholars and university teaching staff and academics. The tutorial program is comprehensive (over 50 subjects per week) designed to supplement the teaching programs provided by the university.
The St John's College chapel was completed in 1863 in the Gothic Revival style as part of the northern wing and longitudinal arm of the college. The Chapel is actively used as a place of worship and also for some weddings, concerts and other college events. Catholic Mass is celebrated in the College Chapel weekly on Sundays at 5:30pm during the academic year, and on other important liturgical occasions. Each Wednesday after Formal Dinner Night Prayer is held in the chapel. Adoration and Benediction is held regularly throughout the semester and during stu-vac. All students of the college are encouraged to worship as a community and it is kept open at all times for prayer and personal reflection.
Formal Dinners are held at 6.30 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the academic year. Attendance is mandatory and all members of the College must wear an academic gown and dress appropriately – men with jacket and tie, women in dress or skirt. There are ample occasions during the academic year when either Black Tie or Lounge Suit for men and ballgown or evening gown for women are worn, depending on the event. At formal dinners, traditional formalities are observed. Students enter the Hall and stand in place prior to the arrival of the members of High Table – the Rector, members of the Senior Common Room and other invited guests – who process in after the Gong has been sounded. Grace is then said in Latin. Late arrivals should bow to the Rector (or Visitor) and be acknowledged. It is considered discourteous to leave the Hall before the final Grace.
Sport is an important aspect of collegial life. St John's College teams compete against the other Sydney colleges in a wide range of sports for the Rawson Cup (men's sport) and the Rosebowl Cup (women's). The Rawson Cup was donated by Sir Harry Rawson in 1906. The Rawson sports are played throughout the university year, including: cricket, rowing, rugby, swimming and diving, soccer, tnnis, basketball and athletics. Other sports which feature in the Rosebowl Cup are hockey, netball and softball.
The college has expansive sporting facilities including a rugby oval, football oval, cricket nets and floodlit tennis and basketball courts. All college residents are also members of Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness and are entitled to access to all exclusive member benefits and services, including three on-campus gymnasiums and an indoor aquatic centre.
Social and cultural
Major events each year include a College play, an informal and two black tie formal balls, and the intercollegiate debating competition. The Student Club also operates a bar, 'The Dail' in the area adjacent to the Junior Common Room.
Music and drama
The college choir sings at Mass in the chapel regularly and also performs at other occasions. Concerts to showcase the musical talents of students are presented each year. Arts of Gold is a bi-annual event which showcases the artistic talents of St John's students to raise money for a selected charity. The college takes part in the Intercollegiate Debating Cup every year, competing with the other colleges of the University of Sydney. Competition is of a high standard with many college teams consisting of university debaters.
The college competes in the Palladian Cup in which the colleges compete in solo and group instrumental and drama performance. St John's won the Palladian Cup in 2007.
The college enjoys a close relationship with Capella Sublima, an a cappella vocal consort based at St John's College where its singers rehearse. In the European Renaissance, a cappella was a group of musicians attached to a cathedral or the court of a monarch. Capella Sublima specialises in choral masterworks of the European Renaissance. Its extensive repertoire includes Josquin, Lassus, Palestrina, Victoria, Guerrero, Tallis and others. They have been recorded for broadcast by ABC Classic FM and numerous other Sydney radio stations.
Currently over ten per cent of St John's residents come from overseas. Students are represented from The United States, Canada, China and Hong Kong, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Government of the College is vested by the 1857 Act of Incorporation in the College Council, which consists of the Rector and eighteen Fellows, six of whom must be Catholic clergy. The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, currently Cardinal George Pell, takes the role of Visitor of the College. This is a largely ceremonial role and can also be called to give guidance and resolve internal disputes. Under the direction of the Archbishop as Visitor, the College associates itself with the interests of the Church and its mission, particularly by the fostering of appropriate academic directions in education, charity, social justice, ethics and the environment.
The college is governed by the college council which consists of the Rector, Michael Bongers, and 18 college fellows, six of whom must be members of the clergy.
St John's College has a number of honorary fellows, distinguished members of the university and wider community who have been selected to support the rector by representing the interests of the college in their own spheres and by mentoring students
The student club is the body that looks after much of the day-to-day activity of the students of the college. Formed in 1891, the club is governed by its own constitution and is led by the house committee. The committee is elected by the students at the end of each academic year. The activities of the club are varied, ranging across social, cultural, sporting and disciplinary areas. The house committee comprises the House President, House Secretary, House Treasurer and six committee members.
- Tony Abbott – Prime Minister of Australia
- Joe Hockey – Treasurer of Australia
- Frank Sartor – former NSW Minister for Planning, former Minister for Redfern Waterloo, former Minister for the Arts, and former Lord Mayor of The City of Sydney
- Peter Collins – former NSW Leader of the Opposition, former NSW Minister for Health, former NSW Attorney-General and former Treasurer of NSW.
- Gregory Bartels – former NSW Liberal Party State Director and father of former politician and leader of the NSW Parliamentary Liberal Party, Kerry Chikarovski
- Justice Richard O'Connor – former member of the New South Wales Legislative Council and Solicitor-General, member of the Australian Senate and in the ministry of Edmund Barton and leader of government in the Senate, and founding Justice of the High Court of Australia
- Justice Sir Cyril Walsh KBE PC – former Justice of the High Court of Australia
- Justice Roderick Meagher AO QC LLD (Honoris Causa) (Syd) – legal scholar and former Justice of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of New South Wales
- Justice John Hailes Flood Nagle QC AO – former NSW Supreme Court Judge, appointed chief judge at common law, and Royal Commissioner into NSW prisons. He was also President of the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.
- Justice Hugh Dennis Macrosan – former QLD Supreme Court Judge, appointed senior puisne judge in 1926, appointed Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Queensland in 1940.
- Sir David Higgins – Chief Executive of Network Rail and former CEO of the London 2012 Olympic Delivery Authority and of Lend Lease Corporation
- Michael Hintze KCSG – founder and CEO of asset managers CQS Management
- Daniel Gilbert AM – director of the National Australia Bank and founder and Managing Partner of Gilbert and Tobin Lawyers
- Jim L'Estrange – former managing director of Star City Casino and current CEO of NSW Rugby
- Jon McCormick – Managing Director of Brookfield Australia
- Francis Bede Freehill – a founder of the City Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd, director of the Australian Newspaper Co. Ltd and co-founder of the Catholic Press
- Michael L'Estrange AO – current Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, former Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Rhodes Scholar
- John Charles George Kevin CBE – former Australian High Commissioner to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), High Commissioner to Pakistan and Ambassador to South Africa
Media and arts
- Bill Peach AM – former ABC TV journalist
- Dean Yates – Bureau Chief of Reuters News Agency Baghdad
- Andrew Corrigan – wine connoisseur and writer and ABC Radio presenter
- Dan Williams – singer in band Art vs. Science
- Paul D. Scully-Power AM Australia's first Astronaut, former Chairman of the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority, former Chief Technology Office of Tenix and former Chancellor of Bond University
- James Franklin – historian, mathematician and philosopher
- Paul Fagan FRCS – otorhinolaryngologist
- John Lynch – Epidemiology and Population Health
- David John Harland – Challis Professor of Law at the University of Sydney
- Thomas John Butler – Latin and first Australian born to hold Academic Chair
- Peter Cunich – historian
- Alfred Davies – literary critic
- Sir Herbert Schlink – surgeon, former superintendent and chairman of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and co-founder of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Sir John McKelvey KBE – surgeon, co-founder and former vice-president of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Walter Burfitt KCSS – surgeon and co-founder of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Sir Clive Wentworth Uhr KBE – radiologist
- Herbert Francis Benning OBE KSG – psychologist and academic
- Bruce Shepherd AM – surgeon and former president of AMA. Founder of The Shepherd Centre, for children with impaired hearing
- John Steven Satterthwaite – Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Lismore
- Luke Burgess – former NSW Waratahs and Wallaby Halfback.
- Matthew Carraro – current NSW Waratahs Centre
- Gareth Hardy – current Western Force Prop
- Daniel Vickerman – former Waratah and Wallaby
- Keith Gudsell – former Wallaby and All Black
- Jack Blomley – former Wallaby
- Jack Potts – former Wallaby
- Kevin O'Hara – former Wallaby
- Richard St John Honner – Australian Olympian (1926 – 400m, 400m hurdles, long jump)
- Nathan Haas – UCI WorldTour cyclist on team Garmin-Cervélo
- Sam Carter – current Brumbies Lock
- Terence Glasheen MBE (1938)
- Air Vice-Marshal Colin Hingston AM (1972)
- Michael L'Estrange AO (1976)
- The Hon Tony Abbott MP (1981)
- Anthony Dietz (1987)
Order of Australia and Order of the British Empire recipients
- Terence Glasheen (1945 – MBE(M) – For saving the life of a pilot during an aircraft crash and showing complete disregard for his personal safety)
- John Charles George Kevin (1964 CBE(C) – Ambassador in Cape Town)
- James Dwyer McGee (1952 – OBE – Most likely for his research and ideas that lead to the development of infrared telescopes to detect German planes at night in World War II, and infrared headlights/binoculars for English army drivers to drive undetected at night. Possibly also related to his earlier research on cathode ray tubes and his large part in the development of early electric televisions and television cameras)
- Sir Cyril Walsh (1969 – KBE(C) – Judge of the High Court)
- Herbert Francis Benning (1969 – OBE(C) – In recognition of service to the community)
- John Flood Nagle (1981 – AO – For service to the community and to education)
- Kevin Fagan AO (1987 – In recognition of service to the welfare of ex-service personnel, to medicine and to the community)
- William Norman "Bill" Peach (1991 – AM – For service to the media and to tourism)
- Brian Patrick Morgan (1993 – AM – For service to medicine, particularly in the field of colo-rectal surgery)
- Francis Harding Burns (1996 – OAM – In recognition of service to medicine in the area of diabetes care and in the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse)
- Aylmer Campbell "Cam" Robertson (retired) (1996 – OAM – For service to the community, particularly through the Toowoomba Art Gallery and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce)
- Bruce Dalway Shepherd (1996 – AM – For service to children with impaired hearing through the establishment in 1972 of The Shepherd Centre For Deaf Children and its continued administration)
- Raymond Thomas Stack (1999 – OAM – For service to the community of Taree, particularly through support for charitable and sporting organisations)
- Gregory Bartels (2000 – AM – For service to the community, particularly through business and professional associations, to local and state government instrumentalities, and to organisations fostering health, education and welfare programmes in developing countries)
- Colin Hingston AM (2000 – AM – For exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force in the field of Strategic Logistics and, in particular, as Head National Support)
- Frank Sartor (2002 – AO – For service to the community, particularly through the implementation of plans to improve facilities and infrastructure in the City of Sydney, and to support for the Olympic and Paralympic Games)
- David Maurice Stack (2002 – OAM – For service to the regional community of Taree, to local government, and to the legal profession)
- Timothy John Stack (2002 – OAM – For service to the community of Taree, particularly through the Taree and District Eisteddfod Society)
- Robert David Coates (2004 – OAM – For service to the Scouting movement and to the community of the Illawarra region)
- Paul Desmond Scully-Power (2004 – AM – For service to science in the fields of oceanography and space remote sensing, and to the community through contributions to a range of government regulatory agencies and through raising public awareness of conservation issues)
- Daniel Thomas Gilbert (2005 – AM – For service to the law and to the community, particularly Indigenous Australians, in relation to social justice and welfare issues)
- Justice Roderick Meagher (2005 – AO – For service to the judiciary, to legal scholarship and professional development, and to the arts)
- James Barry Roche (2005 – OAM – For service to medicine in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology and to the Crown Street Women's Hospital)
- The Very Reverend Brian Lawrence Cross (2007 – For service to religious education, particularly through the Australian Catholic University, to the promotion of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, and to the community)
- Michael L'Estrange (2007 – AO – For service to the development and implementation of public policy in Australia, particularly national security and foreign policy, and to international relations through fostering diplomatic, trade and cultural interests, including strengthening Australia's relationship with the United Kingdom)
- Kirsty Schneeberger (2011 – MBE – For service to the environment)
- Sir David Higgins (2011 – Knight Bachelor – For service to regeneration)
Papal knighthood recipients
- John Lane Mullins KCSG (1920)
- Hugh Dennis Macrosan KCSG (1929)
- Michael Hintze KCSG
- Walter Burfitt KCSS (1940)
- (1858–1860) Maurus O'Connell OSB
- (1860–1874) John Forrest
- (1874–1877) Roger William Bede Vaughan OSB
- (1877–1883) Anselm Gillett OSB
- (1883–1884) Fr Daniel Clancy SJ
- (1884–1887) David Barry OSB
- (1887–1888) Patrick Murphy
- (1888–1915) James J. O'Brien
- (1915–1933) Maurice O'Reilly CM
- (1933–1958) John C. Thompson CM
- (1958–1958) William Cantwell CM (acting)
- (1958–1968) John Burnheim
- (1968–1969) Edmund Barry (acting)
- (1969–1977) Gregory Meere
- (1977–1980) Joseph Rheinberger VG
- (1980–1992) Lester Cashen OAM
- (1992–1994) Barry Tunks
- (1994–1995) Martin Milani (acting)
- (1995–2000) Marshal McMahon
- (2000–2000) Paul O'Donnell (acting)
- (2000–2000) Michael Connors
- (2001-2001 John Hill
- (2001–2002) Colin Fowler OP (acting)
- (2002–2008) David Daintree KHS
- (2009–2013) Michael Bongers
- (2013-present) Adrian Diethelm (acting)
- (1858–1877) John Bede Polding OSB
- (1877–1883) Roger Bede Vaughan OSB
- (1884–1911) Patrick Francis Moran
- (1911–1940) Michael Kelly
- (1940–1971) Norman Gilroy
- (1971–1983) James Darcy Freeman
- (1983–2001) Edward Bede Clancy
- (2001–present) George Pell
- St John's College – History, http://www.stjohnscollege.edu.au/history.html, viewed 2007.
- "The Irish in Australia"—by James Francis Hogan, 1887. Reproduced by Project Gutenberg (retrieved 15 June 2006).
- St John's College – Architecture, http://www.stjohnscollege.edu.au/architecture.html, viewed 2007.
- Sons of St Benedict: The English Benedictines and St John's College, Peter Cunich, 1987.
- St John's College – Handbook , http://www.stjohnscollege.edu.au/handbook.html, viewed 2007.
- Capella Sublima website, http://www.capellasublima.com.au/, viewed 2007.
- An Act to Incorporate Saint John’s College as a College within the University of Sydney, Assented to 15 December 1857, http://www.stjohnscollege.edu.au/upload/St%20Johns%20College%20Act.doc, viewed 2007.
- St John's College Matriculation Book, viewed 2007
- Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/adbonline.htm.
- The judge who showed NSW how degrading its prisons were, http://www.smh.com.au/national/obituaries/the-judge-who-showed-nsw-how-degrading-its-prisons-were-20090924-g4ok.html
- Australian Dictionary of Biography – Hugh Dennis Macrosan, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A100356b.htm
- Australian Dictionary of Biography – Richard St John Honner, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A140550b.htm
- Sydney Alumni Rhodes Scholars list, http://www.usyd.edu.au/alumni/about/rhodes.shtml, viewed 2007
- B. L. Morgan (1988). "James Dwyer McGee. 17 December 1903-28 February 1987". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 34: 513–551. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1988.0017. JSTOR 770060.
- RAAF News – A scholar and a gentleman, http://www.defence.gov.au/news/raafnews/editions/4502/topstories/story26.htm
- Australian Dictionary of Biography – John Lane Mullins, http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A100596b.htm
- Australian Dictionary of Biography – Dr Walter Burfitt, http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070487b.htm
- St John's College website
- St John's College Alumni webpage
- University of Sydney website
- University of Sydney alumni and friends
- Archdiocese of Sydney website
- Cardinal George Pell webpage
- University of Sydney intercollege calendar