St Hilda's College (University of Melbourne)

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St Hilda's College
The crest of St Hilda's
The crest of St Hilda's
University University of Melbourne
Location 19-25 College Crescent, Parkville, Victoria, 3052
Coordinates 37°47′33″S 144°57′45″E / 37.79250°S 144.96250°E / -37.79250; 144.96250Coordinates: 37°47′33″S 144°57′45″E / 37.79250°S 144.96250°E / -37.79250; 144.96250
Motto Communitas
Motto in English Community
Founder E.H. Sugden
Established 1888
Undergraduates 188
Postgraduates 11
Website St Hilda's College Website

St Hilda's College is a college of The University of Melbourne, providing a residential community for students from all parts of regional Victoria, interstate and overseas. It provides accommodation, academic and pastoral support for 178 undergraduate students and 20 graduate students. 15 Residential tutors are also accommodated in the College.


St Hilda's College was established as a result of the inspiration of Dr E.H. Sugden, the first Master of Queen's College, who in 1888, at the Official Opening of Queen's, stated: "I hope we soon have a hostel for women in these grounds".

Between 1888 and 1957 there were a number of attempts to establish a residential college to provide for the needs of the increasing numbers of young Methodist and Presbyterian women who were coming to Melbourne to undertake tertiary study. However it was not until 1957 when a provisional council was established and then 1959 when a group of church and university women began a fundraising campaign that the idea started to become a reality. Early in this successful attempt, Queen's College donated the land on which St Hilda's now stands, an area to the west of the Queen's buildings then known affectionately as the "cow paddock". This donation facilitated the development of the much discussed college - land was available, only money was now required.

Mrs Marjorie Smart was invited to take up the position of Principal, and with her background in academia and the diplomatic service showed herself to be ideally suited to be the foundation principal of a fledgling college. Building commenced in September 1962, and by March 1964 the first students arrived to take up residence with over 250 students applying for the initial 87 places available.

In 2014, the college celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a series of decade reunions and celebratory events, including a production of Barry Manilow's 'Copacabana'.


Although initially established as a college for women, when all colleges were single-sex residences, St Hilda's was the first at The University of Melbourne to become co-educational, in 1973. A fitting tribute to its namesake, St Hilda, who is believed to have run the first co-educational abbey in the English town now known as Whitby, in the years around 663AD.

A statute granting affiliation with The University of Melbourne was passed in 1960 and a public appeal was launched under the patronage of Dame Pattie Menzies and the chairmanship of Sir Charles Lowe. The money raised in this appeal, together with grants from the Commonwealth and State Governments, made it possible to complete the first phase of the College building by the beginning of 1964.

In 2007, the Brian James Wing of the College was completed providing modern en suite accommodation units for third year Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students, as well as Tutor accommodation and a Visiting Scholars' Apartment. In 2009, work was put in hand to construct the Academic Centre that would provide additional tutorial rooms, a link to the Alice Paton Library from the existing tutorial rooms, a Pool Room, Student Kitchen, Ladies' Lounge and space for the Student Shop. The Academic Centre, appropriately named the 'Miller Academic Centre' was opened on 12 September 2010.

Work began at the start of December 2010 to replace the kitchen facility and also to build another space to replace the C-Block tutorial room for student enjoyment.

Renovations on B Block were completed during the summer of 2014/2015.


St Hilda's College participates in the Intercollegiate Sporting Council (ICSC) competition. Sports available to all residents include: netball, Australian rules football, soccer, women's softball, athletics, men's cricket, swimming, rowing and hockey. Additional sports are also offered on an alternative year basis, these include: basketball, tennis, volleyball, badminton, squash and table tennis. St Hilda's has an illustrious reputation for its sporting achievements. Most notably, the college has qualified for the Division 1 Netball grand final the 13 of the past 15 years, being successful in a number of these. In 2015, St Hilda's College teams qualified for grand final appearances in both Division 1 and 2 Netball, Men's Hockey, Men's Soccer, Tennis, Squash, Women's Softball, Men's Cricket and both Men's and Women's Basketball, obtaining premierships in Division 2 Netball, Squash, Men's Cricket and Men's Basketball.


The Intercollegiate Activities Committee (ICAC) run a number of events with which St Hilda's participate. These provide the opportunity for each of the colleges associated with The University of Melbourne to engage with members of other colleges from the university. Events include: Intercollegiate 'Fresher Dance Off' in which first year students present a dance learnt in their 'O Week' to the other colleges with one college crowned the winner. Battle of the Bands involves each participating college forming a band and presenting a short set to the audience, with again one college being crowned the winner. Other ICAC events open to all colleges include trivia nights, public speaking events, theatre games and more.

St Hilda's College Ball[edit]

Each year St Hilda's College hosts their annual ball, which raises funds for a charity of the college's choosing. In 2016, the St Hilda's College Ball is raising funds for the Lighthouse Foundation. This event is organised by a group of four executive ball convenors, selected each year by the General Committee of the Student Body.


Barbara Green has presided as Principal of the college since 2000. Dr Sergio Fabris currently presides as Vice Principal.

St Hilda's Student Club[edit]

The St Hilda's Student Club is the representative body for undergraduate residents. It not only represents students, but also organises many sporting, cultural, arts and community service activities that are at the core of the rich St Hilda's College experience. All undergraduate students automatically become members on enrolment, and its executive, or General Committee, are responsible for everyday matters and decisions that impact the Club and student body.

External links[edit]