Ormond College

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Ormond College
Ormond College, College Crescent, University of Melbourne.jpg
Ormond College from College Crescent
Logo of Ormond College.jpg
University University of Melbourne
Location 49 College Crescent, Parkville, Victoria
Coordinates 37°47′37″S 144°57′49″E / 37.7935°S 144.9635°E / -37.7935; 144.9635Coordinates: 37°47′37″S 144°57′49″E / 37.7935°S 144.9635°E / -37.7935; 144.9635
Motto Et Nova et Vetera
Motto in English The New and the Old
Established 1879
Master Rufus Black
Undergraduates 360
Postgraduates 50
Website ormond.unimelb.edu.au

Ormond College is the largest of the residential colleges of the University of Melbourne located in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is home to 358 undergraduates, 48 graduates and 27 professorial and academic residents.



The University of Melbourne was established by an act of the Parliament of Victoria in 1853. Seventy-five (quickly reduced to sixty) of the one hundred acres (400,000 m²) of the university site were set aside for residential colleges, to be founded under the auspices of the churches. Ten acres (40,000 m²) each were allotted to the Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches, the remaining area being reserved for sporting facilities. The Anglican Church was the first to accept the offer and Trinity College opened in 1872.

At the end of August 1877, Alexander Morrison, Headmaster of Scotch College and convenor of the Presbyterian Church Assembly's Committee to "watch over the land", received a letter from the Director of the Victorian Education Department, proposing that if the church did not mean to take the land for a college, that it be sold and the proceeds divided, half to the church, and half to the state for university purposes. This spurred Morrison into action. A subscription list was opened, with a target of £10,000; on this list Francis Ormond's name appears against a donation of £3,000.

Building commences[edit]

The General Assembly meeting in November 1877 resolved that the church should immediately proceed with the building of a college and that £10,000 be raised for the purpose, that the buildings be used as a college of residence for university students and as a theological school. Immediate steps were taken to raise the money. In the course of three years, some £38,000 were raised, of which Francis Ormond contributed £22,571. The foundation stone of the college (now lost) was laid by the Governor of Victoria, George Phipps, 2nd Marquess of Normanby, on 15 November 1879.

The formal opening of the college took place on 18 March 1881. At this ceremony it was announced that Francis Ormond had offered to bear the whole cost of building. On opening there were 20 students, soon growing to 24.

Rapid growth[edit]

Ormond College (1879) University of Melbourne

The rapid growth of the college soon outstripped the available accommodation and Francis Ormond provided funds for the southwest wing, together with a temporary building (which was, however, stone-walled and tin-roofed) where the cloisters now are, which served as kitchens and a dining hall. The next addition to the buildings of the college was the Wyselaskie building, which was completed in March 1887.[1] John Dickson Wyselaskie was a Western District squatter, who also gave generously to the Presbyterian Ladies' College. The building contained a lecture hall and two residences for theological professors and was adapted and divided in 1968 so as to provide for four residences. On 6 July 1887, the portrait of Francis Ormond, which now hangs above Hall Door, was unveiled by Sir James McBain.

Admission of women[edit]

From the beginning Ormond accepted women as non-residents, able to attend tutorials and participate in college life whilst living offsite with funding from the College. Female students were amongst its most illustrious early scholars. From 1961-1974 female students were able to live in college in return for waitressing duties (they were known as student waitresses) and attend tutorials; they were admitted as members of the Ormond College Students' Club in 1969. In 1973 Ormond accepted women students as residents for the first time. Women quickly rose to leadership roles in both the staff and student bodies including being elected Chair of the Students' Club and appointed to the role of Vice-Master (deputy head of college). The College has a number of distinguished women alumni who have risen to prominence in their fields.


The centenary was recognised with much pomp and ceremony in the presence of the former master and then Governor of Victoria, Davis McCaughey, whose 20 years of responsibility developed the college in so many ways to its present strength and size.

Recent history[edit]

Ormond College was embroiled in controversy in 1991 over allegations that the master of the college had sexually assaulted two female students at a party and that the college council had dismissed these complaints out of hand. The master was convicted of one charge of assault, however the conviction was later overturned on appeal, though he resigned his position. The events of this controversy were written into a book by Helen Garner, The First Stone, which itself was embroiled in controversy over bias, its criticism of third wave feminism and fictionalisation of various events and circumstances.[2][3][4] Since this case, Ormond College has taken steps to reform its procedures in regards to sexual harassment and assault.

Buildings and grounds[edit]

The original buildings consisted of the front wing of the main building and the tower, which is 50.3 metres high and imitates that of the University of Glasgow. The master used the southwest door as his private entrance.

Victoria wing[edit]

Allen House

In honour of the silver jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, Francis Ormond funded the building of the Victoria Wing which came into use in 1889. In 1893 the dining hall, kitchens, staff quarters and the original lodge (Allen House) were opened. On either side of the end window of the hall are effigies representing Francis and Mary Ormond.

1920s expansion[edit]

No further significant alteration to the college structure occurred until after World War I. After the war, the demand for places in college was far greater than the room available. The college took rooms in Parkville (a practice which has been resumed in the last few years) and in 1922 the fourth side of the quadrangle buildings was brought into service. This wing contained the MacFarland library (now the chapel), the students' common room, the various walks and further student accommodation.

Post WWII expansion[edit]

The period after World War II saw great demands for accommodation; for the first time the college passed 150 men. Three-man studies appeared, which continued into the early 1960s. Following an appeal for funds in 1949, a series of improvements were made to Main Building. The kitchens were extensively modernised and general maintenance was brought up to date after the lag resulting from the Depression of the 1930s and the shortages of men and material during and after the War. In 1955, the squash court was built to commemorate the Ormond men who died in the Second World War.

New lodge[edit]

The new lodge was designed by the architects Grounds, Romberg and Boyd and was completed in 1958. It was occupied by tutors for some time until the master and family moved in after the lodge had been extended over the summer of 1960-61. At the same time, a permanent residence was provided for the vice-master by the conversion of a few rooms of the old lodge (Allen House) and the addition of a semi-circular cream brick building. The remainder of Allen House was converted into tutors’ flats and student studies.

1960s building[edit]

In the vacation of 1960-61 a new domestic wing was built to accommodate the extra staff and facilities required for the larger college planned for 1962. The three octagons of Picken Court were built during 1961 and were ready for occupation in 1962. They now contain accommodation for 104 students and eight tutors. The chancellor of the university, Sir Arthur Dean, opened the building in March 1962.

1965 saw the erection of the new premises of the MacFarland Library, which were combined with a new theological hall common room. The library had so far recovered from the neglect of the years after 1930 that, while still having room for improvement, it had grown beyond the capacity of the original building. The former library became the chapel, the official opening of which took place on 19 March 1967. For the first time the college had its own place of worship, as befits a church foundation. In 1982 the library was reorganised, separating the Ormond College and Joint Theological College collections.

The chancellor of the university, Sir Robert Menzies, on a Sunday in April 1968 and in the company of a distinguished gathering, officially opened the southeast building and named it McCaughey Court after the Master, Davis McCaughey. This building, which caused much comment, won awards for the architects Romberg and Boyd.

The last 20 years[clarification needed] of the college has seen progressive maintenance and modernisation. In the 1980s, bathrooms, the tower, JCR, the quad and the plaza were all renovated. The current tennis courts were built in 1982 and four Parkville houses were acquired in 1985. The 1990s saw the installation of both individual student telephones and network connections. The gym was opened in 1999.

The college has recently developed major new facilities. In 2010 the Junior Common Room was redeveloped into cafe style space and lounge. In May 2011 the college opened a four million dollar student academic centre. The building contains a wide range of formal and informal learning spaces along with the college library and information technology facilities. These facilities are complemented by refurbished tutorial rooms in McCaughey Court and library for the college historical collections in Main Building.


List of masters[edit]

  • 1881-1914 John Henry MacFarland[5][6]
  • 1915-1943 David Kennedy Picken[7][8]
  • (J.C. McPhee, Acting Master, August 1943-September 1944[5])
  • (The Revd J. E. Owen, Acting Master, September 1944-December 1945[5])
  • 1946-1953 Stanley L. Prescott[5]
  • 1954-1958 Brinley Newton-John[5]
  • (The Revd John S. Alexander, Acting Master, 1959[5])
  • 1959-1979 John Davis McCaughey[5]
  • 1980-1989 David Henry Parker[5]
  • 1990-1993 Alan Gregory[5]
  • (Kenneth Robin Jackson, Acting Master, September 1992 - December 1993[5])
  • 1994-2008 Hugh Norman Collins[5]
  • 2009–present Rufus E.R. Black

Notable alumni[edit]

Politics and government[edit]





  • Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop - Australian World War II hero, surgeon, Wallabies player
  • Major General Rupert Downes- soldier, general, surgeon and historian
  • Major General "Pompey" Elliott - Senior Officer in Australian Army during WWI, senator, solicitor, VFL footballer, athlete[25]
  • Brigadier General William Grant - engineer, Temporary Brigadier General in First AIF, commanded Australian Light Horse Charge at Beersheba[26]
  • General Peter Gration - Chief of the Australian Defence Force
  • Sir James McCay - Australian general and politician, champion of women's suffrage and federation[27]
  • Stanley Simpson Reid - Australian Rules footballer, Presbyterian minister, Boer War soldier



Media and arts[edit]

Rhodes scholars[edit]

Fulbright scholars[edit]


  1. ^ "Newspaper Article". Trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  2. ^ Manne, Robert (2005). Left Right Left: Political Essays, 1977-2005. Black Inc. pp. 161–167. ISBN 9781863951425. 
  3. ^ Kissane, Karen (1995). "The Other Side of Ormond". The Age. 
  4. ^ Kissane, Karen. "The Other Side of Ormond". Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Former Heads of Affiliated Colleges University of Melbourne Calendar
  6. ^ Serle, Percival (1949). "MacFarland, John Henry". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  7. ^ Picken, David Kennedy (1879-1956) at Australian Dictionary of Evangelical Biography
  8. ^ David Kennedy Picken at History of University of St Andrews, Scotland
  9. ^ a b c (Macintyre 1984, p. 148)
  10. ^ (Macintyre 1984, p. 51)
  11. ^ (Macintyre 1984, p. 185)
  12. ^ R. Wright. "Biography - Ian Macfarlan - Australian Dictionary of Biography". Adbonline.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  13. ^ (Macintyre 1984, p. 142)
  14. ^ Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.141
  15. ^ Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.144
  16. ^ Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.140
  17. ^ http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mcarthur-sir-william-gilbert-stewart-7286
  18. ^ http://www.vicbar.com.au/GetFile.ashx?file=BarCouncilChairFiles/Robson+welcome+Bar+Formatted+final.pdf
  19. ^ "Australian Academy of Science - Biographical memoirs-Ian-Munro-McLennan". Science.org.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  20. ^ - Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.124
  21. ^ Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.ix
  22. ^ McFarlane, John (1988). The Golden Hope: Presbyterian Ladies' College, 1888-1988. P.L.C Council, Presbyterian Ladies' College Sydney, (Croydon). ISBN 0-9597340-1-5. 
  23. ^ Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.148
  24. ^ J. R. Poynter. "Biography - Sir Kenneth Clinton Wheare - Australian Dictionary of Biography". Adb.online.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  25. ^ A. J. Hill. "Biography - Harold Edward (Pompey) Elliott - Australian Dictionary of Biography". Adb.online.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  26. ^ http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett/Generals/grant.html
  27. ^ http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett/Generals/mccay.html
  28. ^ Macintyre, Stuart - Ormond College Centenary Essays. MUP, 1984, Melbourne, p.51
  29. ^ "Reverend John Flynn (1880–1951)". Archived from the original on 2009-10-28. 
  30. ^ Gregory, Alan. "Biography - Sir John Lewtas (Jack) Frew - Australian Dictionary of Biography". Adbonline.anu.edu.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  31. ^ "Benjamin Rank | Royal Melbourne Hospital". Mh.org.au. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  • Macintyre, Stuart (1984). Ormond College Centenary Essays. Melbourne: MUP. 

External links[edit]