Newman College (University of Melbourne)

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Newman College
University of Melbourne
Newman College shield.jpg
Location887 Swanston St, Parkville, Victoria, Melbourne
Coordinates37°47′42″S 144°57′49″E / 37.7950°S 144.9636°E / -37.7950; 144.9636Coordinates: 37°47′42″S 144°57′49″E / 37.7950°S 144.9636°E / -37.7950; 144.9636
MottoLuceat Lux Vestra
Motto in English"Let Your Light Shine"
ArchitectWalter Burley Griffin
Architectural styleArt Deco
ColoursBlue, Green and White
RectorWilliam Uren SJ AO
Senior tutor1
Newman College Chapel, University of Melbourne
The Mannix wing faces Swanston Street
Interior of the dining room

Newman College is a Roman Catholic co-educational residential college affiliated with the University of Melbourne. During the university year it houses about 200 undergraduate students and about 80 postgraduate students and tutors. The college was named after Cardinal John Henry Newman, a former Anglican and major figure in the Oxford Movement who became a Roman Catholic in the 19th century. The college continues to commemorate the life of Newman through events such as the "Cardinal Newman Dinner" and the prominent positioning of his portrait in the dining hall. Although most strongly affiliated with the University of Melbourne, a small number of undergraduate students attend RMIT University, or Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences located on Royal Parade. The College previously accepted a small number of students from the Australian Catholic University.

The collegiate system was a response to the secular nature of the university, as each of the major Christian churches were given land to the north of the main campus to establish institutions in which to teach religion. The college motto is Luceat Lux Vestra, translating from Latin as "Let Your Light Shine".

At its opening the administration of the college was entrusted to the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) who continue its administration to the present day. As of 2015, the rector of the college is Father Bill Uren SJ AO who is a former chaplain and rector (1987–1990) of the college.

Student life[edit]

Students' club[edit]

All undergraduate members of Newman College are accepted into the Newman College Students' Club (NCSC), a self-governing incorporated organisation which runs day-to-day and special events in the college. An executive committee (the general committee) is elected annually. The president, treasurer and functions representative are elected directly to their positions. The president then allocates various portfolios to the elected members of the general committee. The portfolios include vice-president, secretary, community service, culture and female and male sports.

Co-curricular activities[edit]

The college places a strong emphasis on participation in co-curricular activities, with music, sport and the dramatic arts playing a large role in life at Newman. The 2011 college production was A Chorus of Disapproval by Alan Ayckbourn. Inter-collegiate soirées are held many times throughout the year, showcasing the talents of the students, with the Very Reverend Peter L'Estrange SJ Prize awarded at the end of the year to the best performing artist in college. The Very Reverend Michael Scott SJ Prize is the annual art competition and the college is a strong participant in all inter-college sporting endeavours, especially in football, netball, softball and tennis. The Albert Power SJ Medallion for Debating is named after Newman college's second rector, the Very Reverend Albert Power SJ.

Newman students also have a strong sporting culture, having won more than half of the intercollegiate football premierships ever played. In 2011 the college won the men's hockey, football and basketball inter-collegiate premierships.

Daniel Mannix Memorial Lecture[edit]

The Archbishop Daniel Mannix Memorial Lecture started in 1977 and is a highlight of both the university and college academic calendar. It is named in honour of the third Archbishop of Melbourne, who was a driving force behind the formation of the college and for improving the opportunities of Catholic students. Past lecturers have included the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser, the Hon. Kim Beazley, the Hon. Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Patrick Dodson, Ita Buttrose, Sir Gustav Nossal, the Hon. Alexander Downer, Manning Clark and the Hon. Justice Alastair Nicholson. In 2011 it was delivered by Christine Nixon.

Formal dinners[edit]

Formal dinners are held at 6:30 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the academic year. Attendance is not mandatory, however all members of the college must wear an academic gown and international standard business attire. There are ample occasions during the academic year with a black tie dress code, including the Students' Club, Valete and Commencement dinners. 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, and after the bell has been sounded, grace is then said. It is considered discourteous to leave the hall before the final grace. Formal dinner are followed by students' club meetings in the coffee lounge adjacent to the dining room.


All members of the college administration, as well as tutors, academics in residence and postgraduate students (and some older undergraduate students), comprise the Senior Common Room (SCR). Like the junior common room, the SCR annually elect a president, secretary and treasurer, among other portfolios, to organise several events throughout the year. The SCR is responsible for the organisation of the Michael Scott Art Prize and the Newman Tracts Publication.

Public seminars[edit]

The college hosts regular Irish studies seminars which are open to the public and which allow scholars the opportunity to present their findings on a wide range of topics.


Newman College
Newman College - Dining from courtyard.JPG
Dining room façade
Former namesRoman Catholic College
General information
TypeResidential college
Architectural styleGothic Revival Chicago influence
Address887 Swanston Street, Parkville
Town or cityMelbourne
Construction startedApril 1916
CompletedMarch 1918
OwnerRoman Catholic Trusts Corporation
Design and construction
ArchitectWalter Burley Griffin; Marion Mahony Griffin
Main contractorBart Moriarty
Awards and prizesAustralian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) Heritage Architecture Award 2010

The original set of campus buildings were built during 1916 to 1918 and were designed by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin, in collaboration with his wife, Marion Mahony Griffin. Burley Griffin also designed furniture for the college, including distinctive chairs, tables and bookshelves for the dining room and the original bedrooms of the college. Much of this furniture remains in day to day use at the college, but some of it has found its way into various art galleries and private collections.[2] This was recognised by its inclusion on the Australian National Heritage List on 21 September 2005, citing "one of the best examples of Griffin’s architecture in Australia" and "Newman College is significant as an outstanding expression of Griffin’s architectural style".[3] The stonework has had substantial renovation to repair over 80 years of damage through exposure and natural degradation of the original stone, under the guidance of Andronas Conservation Architecture and received the Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) Heritage Architecture Award 2010.[1]

Allan & Maria Myers Academic Centre[edit]

The Allan & Maria Myers Academic Centre is a modern facility shared by St Mary's College and Newman College. It offers a program of public events and its library contains several special collections that are available to researchers.[4]

The centre houses the Newman College Irish collection (O'Donnell Collection), which was formed in 1924 with a bequest to the college. It originally consisted of around 700 books and 300 pamphlets, many in the Irish language, which were the personal library of Nicholas O’Donnell, a Melbourne Irish language scholar of the early 20th century. Around half the collection consists of historical works. The rest deals with language, literature, biography, religion, politics, description and travel, with some works on music and a few on education.

Every year an O'Donnell Fellowship is bestowed on a visiting scholar so that the holder may do research in the O'Donnell Collection.


The college council, chaired by the Archbishop of Melbourne, oversees the governance of the college. Members include the rector, the other three diocesan bishops of Victoria (of the Sandhurst, Ballarat and Sale dioceses), college alumni and members of the university. Members are appointed by the archbishop. Each year the rector selects two students to be members as student representatives. The president of the students' club is an observer who reports to the council on the life of the college.

In 2012, the college council instituted the positions of "provost" and "deputy provost and dean" to oversee the everyday administration and maintenance of the college. The rector remains the official head of the college and remains a Jesuit priest. These positions are currently held by:

  • Rector: William Uren SJ AO
  • Provost: Sean Burke
  • Deputy Provost and Dean: Guglielmo Gottoli

The college chaplain, business manager, services manager and senior tutor are also members of the college administration.


Dome of Newman College
Order Title Rector Term start Term end Time in office Notes
1 The Very Rev. James O'Dwyer SJ 1918 1919 0–1 years
2 The Very Rev. Albert Power SJ 1919 1923 3–4 years
3 The Very Rev. Jeremiah Murphy SJ 1923 1954 30–31 years
4 The Very Rev. Philip Gleeson SJ 1954 1961 6–7 years
5 The Very Rev. Michael Scott SJ 1961 1968 6–7 years
6 The Very Rev. Gerald Daily SJ 1968 1977 8–9 years
7 The Very Rev. Brian Fleming SJ 1977 1986 8–9 years
8 The Very Rev. William Uren SJ 1987 1990 2–3 years
9 The Very Rev. Peter L'Estrange SJ 1991 2005 13–14 years Moved to Campion Hall, Oxford
10 The Very Rev. William Uren AO, SJ 2006 present 12–13 years

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni of the college include:


  1. ^ a b Martin, Eric; Turnbull, Jeff; Eric Martin and Associates (25 September 2000). "Newman College, University of Melbourne: Architectural Heritage" (PDF). RAIA UIA Nominations. Australian Institute of Architects. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  2. ^ "Burley Griffin chair from Newman in the Art Gallery of South Australia". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-08-02.
  3. ^ "Newman College (Place ID 105739)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 21 September 2005. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Site of the Allan and Maria Myers Academic Centre". Archived from the original on 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2013-05-05.
  5. ^ Walter, Catherine; Stephens, Tony (26 January 2008). "A brilliant career interrupted by war". Obituaries: The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2008-01-29. Retrieved 18 June 2016.

External links[edit]