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Newman College (University of Melbourne)

Newman College
University University of Melbourne
Location 887 Swanston St, Parkville, Victoria, Melbourne
Motto Luceat Lux Vestra
Motto in English "Let Your Light Shine"
Established 1918
Architect Walter Burley Griffin
Architectural style Art deco
Colours Blue, Green and White
Rector William Uren SJ
Undergraduates 200
Postgraduates 80
Senior tutor 1
Tutors 50
Dining room façade, a Burley Griffin design
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, Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences located on Royal Parade or 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, a former chaplain and Rector (1987–1990) of Newman. He replaced the Very Reverend Peter L'Estrange SJ, who held the position from 1991 before moving to Campion Hall, Oxford.


  • Student life 1
    • Students' club 1.1
    • NCSC General Committee 1.2
    • Co-curricular activities 1.3
    • Daniel Mannix Memorial Lecture 1.4
    • Formal dinners 1.5
    • Postgraduates 1.6
  • Public seminars 2
  • Buildings 3
    • Allan & Maria Myers Academic Centre 3.1
  • Administration 4
    • Rectors 4.1
  • Notable alumni 5
    • Rhodes Scholars 5.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Student life

Students' club

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.

NCSC General Committee

Year Portfolio Name
2011-12 President Alexander Eastwood
Vice-President Milly Harrison
Treasurer Patrick Burke
Secretary Sophia McQuillan
Community Service Paul King
Culture Catherine Buckley Alice Gaynor
Functions Humphrey Riordan
Female Sports James Lenehan
Male Sports Ben Buckingham
2012-13 President Dominic Gasparini
Vice-President James Lenehan
Treasurer Tom Hennessy
Secretary Peter Catterson
Community Service Patrick Woods
Culture Will Pridmore
Functions Rebecca McElhatton
Female Sports Genevieve Lawrence
Male Sports Will Howard
2013-14 President Peter Catterson
Vice-President Ben Frilay-Cox
Treasurer Alexander Smith
Secretary Samuel van den Nieuwenhof
Community Service Maximillian Rudd
Culture Isobel Carmody
Functions Hayden Brass Tim Gibney
Female Sports Tim Gibney Mickie Tanna
Male Sports Peter Harrod
2014-15 President Mickie Tanna
Vice-President Mai Mitsumori-Miller
Treasurer Molly Voss
Secretary Maddie Smith
Community Service Rob Muirhead
Culture Janet Watt
Functions Ben Carmody
Female Sports Sinead Ryan
Male Sports Michael Gibney
2015-16 President Hugh Fleet
Vice-President Ben Carmody
Treasurer Hannah Burn
Secretary Stephanie Pidcock
Community Service Madelaine Barry
Culture Caitlin Bourke
Functions Cosmas Grelon
Female Sports Sarah Millard
Male Sports Mark McOwan

Co-curricular activities

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.

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

The Archbishop Daniel Mannix Memorial Lecture started in 1977 and is a highlight of both the university and college academic calendar. It was named in honour of the third Archbishop of Melbounrne, who was a driving force behind the formation of the college and for improving the opportunities of Catholic students. It has been delivered in the past by such prominent people as 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

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

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.


The original set of buildings were built during 1916 to 1918 and were designed by renowned architect Walter Burley Griffin and are considered to be some of his best work. 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.[1] 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".[2] The stonework is currently receiving 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.

Allan & Maria Myers Academic Centre

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.[3]

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: The Very Reverend William Uren, SJ, AO, BA(Hons), MA, BD (MCD), Dip Juris (Sydney), MLitt (Oxon), Hon DUniv (ACU)
  • Provost: Mr Sean Burke, BComm, GradDipArts (Natal)
  • Deputy Provost and Dean: Dr Guglielmo Gottoli, BEng (Surrey), MSc, PhD (Colorado School of Mines)

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


Dome of Newman College
  • The Very Rev. James O'Dwyer SJ (1918–1919)
  • The Very Rev. Albert Power SJ (1919–1923)
  • The Very Rev. Jeremiah Murphy SJ (1923–1954)
  • The Very Rev. Philip Gleeson SJ (1954–1961)
  • The Very Rev. Michael Scott SJ (1961–1968)
  • The Very Rev. Gerald Daily SJ (1968–1977)
  • The Very Rev. Brian Fleming SJ (1977–1986)
  • The Very Rev. William Uren SJ (1987–1990)
  • The Very Rev. Peter L'Estrange SJ (1991–2005)
  • The Very Rev. William Uren SJ (2006–present)

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of the college include:

Rhodes Scholars

  • James Gobbo (1951)
  • Barry O'Dwyer (1958)
  • Alexander Eastwood (2015)


  1. ^ Burley Griffin chair from Newman in the Art Gallery of South Australia
  2. ^ "Newman College (entry AHD105739)".  
  3. ^ Site of the Allan and Maria Myers Academic Centre.
  4. ^ A brilliant career interrupted by war - Obituaries -

External links

  • Newman College official website
  • Australian National Heritage listing for Newman College
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