Warrane College, University of New South Wales
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Evening shot of Warrane College
|University of New South Wales|
Warrane College UNSW is an affiliated residential college at the University of New South Wales, Australia. The name of the College is derived from the Aboriginal word for the Sydney Cove area, "Warrang", highlighting the recognition by Warrane and UNSW of Australia’s indigenous people as original inhabitants of land on which they are located. Warrane seeks to provide an environment in which the intellectual, moral and overall human development of its residents can flourish.
More specifically, Warrane’s aims are: (1) to ensure good study conditions and further the intellectual development offered by the university; (2) to promote a spirit of friendship and understanding in an atmosphere of warmth and service to others; (3) to provide, for those students who wish it, the opportunity to know and practise the Christian faith more fully; (4) to encourage participation in all aspects of university life; (5) to foster an awareness of one’s social responsibility and of the opportunities to contribute to the needs of the society in which we live.
The prehistory of Warrane can be traced to the 1950s, when the Catholic archbishop of Sydney, Sir Norman Thomas Gilroy, first came into contact with members of Opus Dei and a sample of their educational initiatives in Europe. Around that time, the Archdiocese had the desire to establish a Residential College at UNSW under Catholic auspices. Opus Dei, an institution of the Catholic Church, provided the opportunity for this desire to become a reality  and was invited to operate the college. Education Development Association (EDA), a not-for-profit company and a registered charity, was set up to represent Warrane College and future initiatives of similar nature.
Warrane began operating at its present site in 1971 in an eight-storey building on Anzac Parade, Kensington, in the south-western corner of the UNSW campus. Warrane was officially opened by Sir Roden Cutler. Its five residential floors each provide accommodation for groups of 25 residents, two of whom are residential tutors. Since 2002 all bedrooms and bathrooms as well as dining and kitchen facilities, common areas and offices have been renovated.
The College has had three Masters since 1971.
Four staff members assist the Master in the running of the College: the Dean, two Assistant Deans and Bursar. Staff members live in College and make themselves available to assist students. Two residential tutors live on each residential floor. Tutors are mentors to the students, providing academic and personal support. Several academic tutors and residential fellows live in College. They are distinguished academic staff or students of UNSW who conduct the academic program of the College, including formal tutorials and consultation times for different university subjects.
The range of students at Warrane is diverse in terms of place of origin, university studies, belief background and extra-curricula interests, something that helps to promote an enriching learning experience. The majority of students are undergraduate, with about a third in first year. While residents are from all university faculties, a large proportion belong to the faculties of Engineering, Medicine and to the Australian School of Business. There are normally several residents undertaking higher degree programs at UNSW such as Masters and Doctoral programs and younger students benefit from their experience.
One of the main features of college life is the weekly formal dinner, which normally features distinguished guest speakers, including politicians, sportsmen, academics and business leaders. The college hosts several faculty nights during the year with guest speakers in specific fields talking to residents about career options and the “big picture” of their profession.
Warrane fields teams for all sports of the UNSW Inter-College sports shield. The competition is staged over both sessions and includes a number of major sports, such as Rugby Union, Soccer, Basketball, Hockey and Tennis. The competition also includes several carnival days for various sports, including Australian Football, Rugby League, Cross Country, Touch Football, Water Polo and Cricket. The College has won the Inter College Sport Shield several times. Social sporting events are also organised within the college, including the “Warrane Wimbledon” tennis tournament and inter-floor touch football competitions.
Warrane’s Activities Committee organises a wide range of social activities. Traditional events include trivia nights, movies, televised sporting events, beach barbecues, ski trips and bushwalks. The annual social calendar includes harbour cruises and informals organised with colleges from UNSW and the University of Sydney. The highlight of the college’s social calendar is the Harbour Cruise, informally dubbed Boat Party. The Warrane Ball is a close second.
Residents recognise the rich cultural diversity represented in the College by celebrating national days such as St Patrick’s Day, Chinese New Year, Anzac Day and Autumn Moon Festival with special cuisine and entertainment. The Warrane play or musical has become a yearly fixture and during each session residents perform at the College Variety Night and at several musical nights. Residents also often form a college band and musical performances are a regular feature of birthday celebrations. The Activities Committee organises regular visits to cultural events such as concerts at Sydney Opera House, exhibitions at Art Galleries and museums and intra-College debating nights. Established in 2011, Pink Shirt Friday is also a tradition of the college, aimed at raising awareness regarding Women's Rights.
The Warrane College Chapel is open each day. Regular activities in the chapel include Mass, the weekly meditation by the College Chaplain and an all-night vigil every month.
The College promotes a spirit of community service through visits to nursing homes, St. Vincent De Paul night patrol and task force and yearly volunteer service projects to developing countries and underprivileged communities in Australia.
- [Jose Manuel Cerda, Like a bridge over troubled waters in Sydney: Warrane College and the student protests of 1970, Studia et Documenta 4(2010) 147–181 http://www.isje.org/setd/2010/SetD%204-2010-6.pdf]
- [Tony Shannon, In defence of Warrane and Opus Dei, Canberra Times, June, 1974]
- [Cited in Walker, Church, College, pp. 434-435]