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Christ College (University of Tasmania)

Coordinates: 42°54′19″S 147°19′8″E / 42.90528°S 147.31889°E / -42.90528; 147.31889
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Christ College
University of Tasmania
Seal of Christ College
LocationSandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Coordinates42°54′19″S 147°19′8″E / 42.90528°S 147.31889°E / -42.90528; 147.31889
MottoJesus Christus esto mihi (Latin)
Motto in EnglishLet Jesus Christ be mine
Established1846 (as theological college) 1929 (as residential college)
Named forJesus of Nazareth
Previous namesChrist's College[1]
ArchitectDirk Bolt
ColoursBlack, Gold, Blue      
DirectorDan Wardop
MascotBlack Pigs

Christ College is the oldest tertiary institution in Australia and is a residential college of the University of Tasmania.[2]

The college is located on the university's grounds in Sandy Bay. The college, familiarly referred to as "Christ", is the largest of the three Sandy Bay residential colleges, with a residential community consisting of approximately 285 undergraduate and postgraduate residents, a significant number of whom are international students from Asia, Europe and the Americas.


Christ College 1846–1856, Bishopsbourne

1840, Christ College was first proposed in Lieutenant-Governor Sir John Franklin's Legislative Council; 1846, it was later founded in Bishopsbourne, modelled on the Oxford and Cambridge colleges, as an Anglican college; 1856, the college closed due to bad financial conditions; 1879, the college reopens in Hobart; 1885, the institution moved to the Hobart High School premises on the Domain on a seven year lease; 1892, the lease was not renewed because of the foundation of the University of Tasmania; 1911, the college reopened as the matriculation section of the Hutchins School; 1926, The Christ College Act receives Royal Assent; 1929, a move of staff and students into an enlarged site in Park Street; 1933, the institution was formally affiliated with the university as its first residential college; 1971, the college relocates to Sandy Bay.[3]

On 23 October 1974, Prince Charles visited the University of Tasmania. This included a garden party at Christ College.[4]

In 2003, the administration of Christ College was taken over by Accommodation Services, which also administers St John Fisher College and the University Apartments.[5]

In 2008, the college completed its first major refurbishment initiative since moving to the Sandy Bay site.


The college's Sandy Bay campus buildings were designed by Dirk Bolt and are regarded as one of Tasmania's finest examples of post-Second World War Australian architecture.[6][7] The college's design centres on four distinct buildings, each clustered around a central elevated courtyard, while still framing external views over Hobart and the Derwent Estuary. These buildings marked one of the earliest uses of concrete masonry for both internal and external finish, a style that became closely associated with the distinct Tasmanian architectural style of the 1960s.

Since moving to the Sandy Bay site in 1962, Christ College has been made-up of six residential blocks, each named after influential figures in the establishment and history of the college. As such, the six college blocks are named in honour of four former wardens, the first Bishop of Tasmania and an important benefactor of the college.[5]

Gell: John Philip Gell was the first Warden of Christ College when it opened in 1846. He was born in 1816, and educated at Rugby and Trinity College in Cambridge before moving to Tasmania.[5] In 1849 he resigned as Warden, returning to England to marry Eleanor Franklin (the daughter of Sir John Franklin). He strongly believed that the basis of the college's academic life should be its library, and one of his most notable contributions to the college is the original Christ College library collection. Gell was indefatigable in building this up from both his personal collection and those of his friends and family. Another reminder of him is his portrait (done later in life), which remains on display in the college's dining hall. He was succeeded as Warden by the Revd Philip Valpy Mourant Filleul of St Aubin, Jersey, Channel Islands, who held the post for four years before returning to England to become Vicar of Biddisham in Somerset.

Barrett: William Rothwell Barrett was the founder of Christ College in its current form as a residential college of the University of Tasmania.[5] Barrett was the first Warden of the college to be appointed after the Christ College Act of 1926 and remained Warden from 1929 until 1949. In 1955, Barrett became the Assistant Bishop of Tasmania, but remained closely involved with the University through his role in the establishment of Jane Franklin Hall, then the University's first residential college for women. His portrait remains on display in the dining hall of Christ College.

Dudley: Lancelot Stokes Dudley was appointed Warden of the College in 1953, having already served as Acting Warden in 1933 while William Barrett was in England.[5] Contemporaries describe him as being a good scholar and an evangelical churchman, but also as humourless and a "shy quiet man" who may have been better understood by his theological students than by his undergraduate charges.[8] Dudley remained with Christ College until his death from leukaemia in 1957.

May: The Rev. Canon (Emeritus) John May was himself a student of Christ College in the early 1930s, soon after its affiliation with the University of Tasmania. He returned to the college to be appointed Warden from 1958 to 1963, and again 18-years later in 1981.[5] May was responsible for the college's move from Park Street to its present location in Sandy Bay, and was therefore closely involved in the design of the college buildings at the present site. In 1982, May became a senior fellow of the college, and his portrait remains in the Christ College dining hall.

Nixon: Francis Russell Nixon was the first bishop of the Church of England in Tasmania, and the driving force behind the foundation of Christ College in 1846.[5][9] Nixon strongly advocated for the college's establishment despite the judgement of John Gell (the college's first warden), who felt that the college was not yet financially-secure enough to open. In this respect, Nixon can be considered indirectly responsible for the college's collapse in 1856, as a result of mismanagement stemming partly from his interference (in the appointment of a Bursar) and indifference (in failing to properly oversee the college trustees). In 1847, Nixon was described as "a remarkable man both in appearance and character, good-looking, coal-black hair ... piercing black eyes, and full, rather thick lips; tenacious of his rights, extremely anxious to be correct with regard to costume and all other points of etiquette, devoted to the fine arts and a beautiful draughtsman."[9] Nixon's influence on Christ College is felt today in the community's celebration of the college's year of founding, as well as in the college's library collection, which retains a number of his books.

Toosey: James Denton Toosey was one of four trustees appointed to manage the affairs of Christ College after its closure in 1856.[5] Born in England in 1801, Toosey studied cattle husbandry and moved to Hobart in 1826, where he worked on the Cressy estate of the Horse Breeding Co. of the New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land Establishment.[10] Contemporaries describe him as kindly and hospitable, and celebrate his public spirit. When he died in 1883, Toosey bequeathed his property to the diocese with the request that it be used for the revival of the college. This included a portrait of the Duke of Wellington, as well as the bookcase and two large cupboards held in the conference room.



The college motto is Jesus Christus esto mihi ("Jesus Christ shall be mine" or "Let Jesus Christ be mine").[5]


The college seal was designed by Captain D. Colbron Pearce of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery. The seal, a symbolic expression of Dux Lux Rex Lex, is composed of the baton, torch, crown and book. These were incorporated into the seal design featuring a shield surmounted by a mitre after suggestions from the residents of the college.[5]


The college is represented by the colours black, gold and blue      . These are prominent in the sport jersey used by the college team.

The Rock[edit]

The Rock was brought to the college site from the quarry in Proctor's Road in 1962. It is tradition that the Rock be burned annually, but it is now so fragile that since 2006 this ceremony is no longer performed.[5]

Social and cultural events[edit]

The college holds many cultural and social events throughout the year and are organised by the social and cultural convenors.

In O-Week, the orientation program, residents are involved in get-to-know-you events, guided tours around the university, Sandy Bay and Greater Hobart, as well as trips to Mt Wellington and Port Arthur.[11]

Each year the college holds a themed ball, a scavenger hunt and a satirical college play. Other events include various parties throughout the year, and residents can be involved with Clean up Australia Day, tree planting, the ANZAC Day dawn service, the annual play, World's Greatest Shave, winter sleep outs, movie nights, trivia nights, Relay for Life and various formal dinners.[11]

The college also offers free tutoring sessions through Accommodation Services.[11]


It is a tradition that students from the southern residential colleges of the University of Tasmania compete annually in a series of sport events.

Christ College competes annually with Jane Franklin Hall and St John Fisher College in a variety of sports, with residents in non-affiliated residences such as University Apartments, Midcity Apartments, the Annexe and Old Commerce able to play for the college of their choice. Major sports consist of Rugby union, Australian football, cricket (men's) and netball (women's). Minor sports consist of soccer, badminton, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, netball (men's) and softball (women's). Debating is a mixed non-sport feature.

Major sports[edit]

Sport '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 '20 '21
Rugby (Men's) 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 2nd
Rugby (Women's) 2nd 3rd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd
Australian Football (Men's) 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd
Australian Football (Women's) 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd 3rd
Cricket (Men's) 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd
Netball (Women's) 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 2nd

Minor sports[edit]

Sport '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 '20 '21
Tennis (Men's) 2nd 3rd 2nd
Tennis (Women's) 1st 1st 2nd
Badminton (Men's) 3rd 3rd
Badminton (Women's) 3rd 2nd
Softball (Women's) 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd
Table Tennis (Men's) 2nd 3rd 2nd 4th 3rd 2nd
Table Tennis (Women's) 3rd 3rd 4th 4th 3rd 1st
Soccer (Men's) 2nd 2nd 1st 1st 1st 2nd 3rd
Soccer (Women's) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 1st 2nd
Basketball (Men's) 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
Basketball (Women's) 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd
Netball (Men's) 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st
Volleyball (Men's) 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 2nd
Volleyball (Women's) 1st 1st 1st 1st 3rd 2nd

Sports records[edit]

Sport '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17
Rugby (Men's) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st 2nd 2nd
Rugby (Women's) 1st 1st 2nd 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd 1st 2nd 1st
Australian Football (Men's) 3rd 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd 2nd
Australian Football (Women's) 2nd 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
Cricket (Men's) 1st 2nd 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd
Netball (Women's) 2nd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 2nd 2nd
Tennis (Men's) 2nd 3rd 2nd
Tennis (Women's) 1st 1st 2nd
Softball (Women's) 1st 2nd 3rd
Table Tennis (Men's) 2nd 3rd 2nd
Table Tennis (Women's) 3rd 3rd 4th
Soccer (Men's) 3rd 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
Soccer (Women's) 1st 1st 2nd
Basketball (Men's) 3rd 3rd
Basketball (Women's) 2nd 3rd
Netball (Men's) 2nd 3rd
Volleyball (Men's) 1st 2nd 2nd
Volleyball (Women's) 1st 1st

Student club committee[edit]

2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
President Emilia Flynn Alice Eldrige Sylvie King Jack Holyman Eleanor Snibson Ruby Campbell
Vice-President N/A N/A Maggie Trewin
Secretary Laura Cockerill Evelyn Unwin Tew Eliza Bird Paul Nielsen Beck
Treasurer Alex Gibson Madison Mulder Amy Lawrence Taej Bhonagiri
Communications Officer Sarah Whitaker Jalen King Hunter Forbes Zeke Gaffney Anh Thư Thái Hoang/Eleanor Lyall Caleb Eley
Social Convenor Tammen Westlake Georgia Walsh Katherine Stuart Liam Lamprey Claire O'Connor Nick Bennett
Male Sports Convenor Levi Gumley Etienne de Kock Jason Gale Darlington Echetama/Jack Perkins Sam Johnston Brayden Viney
Female Sports Convenor Ella Gair Zoe Witkowski Isobel Caddie Abbey Beven Brodie Robaard Emma Allwright
Cultural Convenor N/A Elliot Styles Heidi Hodges/Tobias Chilvers Elizabeth Joseph Caleb Borg Eleanor Snibson
Diversity Officer N/A Nilesh Bartlett Inti Callaghan Renesa Naidoo Jeremy Lai Srilakshmi Chintakindi
College Ambassador Samuel Cullen Pearl Mitchell Ting Xing Katya Bandow Maryanne Nielsen Beck
IT Officer Jasper Chilvers Tammen Westlake Tobias Chilvers Matthew Snibson/Zeke Gaffney Jeremy Lai Harry Chellis
First-Year Representative ————- Emilia Flynn Tammen Westlake Hunter Forbes Jack Holyman Ella Clarke

The role of Diversity Officer replaced the position of International Representative in 2016. The role of Vice-President was split into Secretary and Treasurer starting in 2019.

Past records[edit]

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
President Joshua Duggan Jerry Rockliff Evan Leonard Danielle Button Josh Biggs Pete McEvoy
Vice-President Megan Leonard Jamie Graham-Blair Michael Cooper William Hextall Elsa Bland Mardi Rohden
Communications Officer Olivia Shanley Joshua Duggan Jamie Graham-Blair Claire Milligan Olivia Congdon Kirsten Heslop
Social Convenor Jess Williams Alex Ford Jerry Rockliff Freddie Dunham Garion Weller Kate Stevenson
Male Sports Convenor Nick Bien Owen Clifford Matty Moir Jarrah Rubinstein Matt Barwick Liam Dolbey
Female Sports Convenor Carena Lai Ellen Britcliffe Stephanie Lockett Stephanie Warren Winston Johnson Claire Turnor
Cultural Convenor Belinda Warren Elissa Davies Jess Melvin Nicola Dobson
Diversity Officer Rui Ling Li
College Ambassador Abnash Sandhu Matthew Moir Lisa Shiu Fern
IT Officer Jesse North Dylan Webb Andrew Bakker
First-Year Representative Olivia Carr Jessica Deas John Dunbar



  1. ^ "03 Oct 1846 - OPENING OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE. - Trove". Launceston Examiner. 3 October 1846.
  2. ^ "Christ College - Accommodation Services - University of Tasmania, Australia". Archived from the original on 21 September 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  3. ^ "History | christ-college-hbt".
  4. ^ "A Royal Visit". UTAS 125 timeline. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Christ College - History". University of Tasmania. Archived from the original on 29 June 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  6. ^ Barry McNeill and Eric Ratcliff (2006). Dirk Bolt. Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  7. ^ Stuart King (2011). Life Cycle: Christ College Archived 22 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Australian Design Review. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  8. ^ "College life in the 1950s". 125timeline.utas.edu.au. Retrieved 14 June 2024.
  9. ^ a b "Nixon, Francis Russell (1803–1879)". Biography - Francis Russell Nixon - Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  10. ^ "Toosey, James Denton (1801–1883)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  11. ^ a b c "Life at Christ".
  12. ^ The Legacy Of “Old Brooke” « | Jottingsonrugby | Sean Fagan Archived January 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Warlow-Davies, Eric John (1910–1964)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.

External links[edit]