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Queen's College (University of Melbourne)

Queen's College is a residential college affiliated with the University of Melbourne providing accommodation to around 220 students who attend the University of Melbourne, the Victorian College of the Arts, RMIT University and Monash University Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Queen's College
University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne - Queen’s College
Queen's College Logo.png
Queens College Crest
Location1-17 College Crescent, Parkville, Victoria
Coordinates37°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
MottoAedificamus in aeternum (Latin)
Motto in EnglishBuilding for eternity
FounderWilliam Abraham Quick
Named forQueen Victoria's golden jubilee
MasterDr Stewart Gill OAM

In addition to the students (commonly referred to as "Queener's"), Queen's College (usually known simply as "Queen's") also houses a number of fellows, resident tutors, scholars and professionals (collectively known as the Senior Common Room), staff and academic guests.

The resident tutors conduct weekly tutorials for the students on subjects that are involved in their expertise.



Queen's College quad from inside the College grounds
Queen's College North Wing c.1926
Queen's College iconic tower and flag
Queen's College Nicholas Laboratories


The college was founded in 1887, on 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land assigned to the Methodist Church by the Parliament of Victoria in the area then known as University Reserve (now College Crescent). While this land was allocated soon after the founding of the university in 1853, it was not until 1878—some twenty-five years later—that the Methodist Conference took the first steps towards building the college.

The then Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Loch, laid the foundation stone on 16 June 1887 after the efforts of the Reverend William Abraham Quick, who is widely regarded as the founder of Queen's.


Initially, it was decided that the college was to be named Victoria College. However, when it became clear that it was to be built in the year of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, it was finalised in December 1886: "That the new College be called Queen's College in honour of the Queen's Jubilee"[1]


Queen's opened its doors on 16 March 1889, with a total of 24 students, under the leadership of the Revd Edward Holdsworth Sugden, who would go on to hold the position of master for over forty years. Shortly afterward, it became clear that more building was necessary, and on 20 April 1890, the South Wing was opened. Subsequent extensions were made in 1905 and in 1910 a new East Wing was created, joining the new southern wing with the original sections.

During this time (from 1897 to 1920), it is noted that "Queen's College was a veritable hothouse of dramatic activity",[2] with plays and soirees being performed several times annually. Melbourne University Student Theatre traces its roots to this time, and it is no wonder that promotional posters from these productions still adorn the walls of the college to this day.[3]


Post-Great War pressures nurtured additional building plans, advocated mainly by J. T. Tweddle. The central tower (named the Sugden tower after the first master of the college, the Revd Edward J. Holdsworth Sugden) and a new northern wing, known as the Tweddle Wing, were constructed and completed in 1923. 1930 saw the introduction of a scientific laboratory (which now serves as a student recreation centre) in the southern section of the college, courtesy of A. M. and G. R. Nicholas.

From 1958 to 1978, a significant expansion and improvement programme was enacted, partly funded by the Commonwealth Government. The Raynor C. Johnson Wing, named after the college's third master and erected in the west of the college grounds, was completed in two stages. The first opened in 1961, with the second following eight years later. During the construction of the Johnson Wing, it became clear that the dining hall (which now serves as the Junior Common Room) was too small to contain the projected student body. As such, the current Eakins Hall was built, finished in 1964. The final student accommodation building, Kernick House, was completed in 1975.

In 1964, 3 acres (12,000 m2) of college land was allocated for the creation of a women's college. The college, named St Hilda's, is now a coeducational facility as by the time it was completed Queen's was also accepting both men and women as equal members.

For a decade from 1969, Queen's had also been ensuring that the pre-existing facilities would attain the same standard as the new wing. The resulting "comfortable, single bedroom studies" remain much the same format today. Also around this time, the Methodist Church merged with most parishes of the Presbyterian Church to form the Uniting Church in Australia, of which the college became an institution.

Coinciding with the college's centenary celebrations, the new Featonby Library and several tutor flats contained in Parnaby Wing were opened in 1987. More recently,[clarification needed] the college has focused on expanding accommodation for academic visitors, postgraduate students and resident tutors, with the construction of Scott Terrace(1998), Jack Clarke and Lapthorne buildings (2000). In 2012, the Honourable Alex Chernov AC QC, Governor of Victoria, official opened two new wings of graduate accommodation with facilities for 54 graduate residences.


Every Monday and Tuesday night Queen's College students must wear their academic gowns and venture down to Eakins dining hall to sit for a Formal Dinner.

The Master reads out a prayer whilst all students stand. Once the prayer is finished, dinner is served. A Queen's College traditional method of serving food is incorporated in the dinner. One end of the table serves meat, while the other serves vegetables.

A tradition brought from the Oxbridge college systems is the wearing of tweed to formal dinners, which is an optional tradition that most students no longer observe.

The "spoonbang" is still observed with vigor at the start of formal dinners to celebrate the winning of Queen's College teams in sports, cultural and academic competitions.


The college's coat of arms celebrates its founding as a Methodist institution, in the tradition of the 18th-century Anglican cleric John Wesley.[4] It has the following heraldic description:

Argent, a cross sable, in each quarter three escallops of the last, for Wesley; on an escutcheon of pretence the Royal Arms of England. Crest: on a wreath and sable, a wyvern proper. Motto: Aedificamus in aeternum.

The actual rendering of the escutcheon uses the royal arms not of England but of the United Kingdom. This is superimposed on the arms of John Wesley.

The college motto translates to "We build for eternity".

The arms were assumed without a formal grant from the College of Arms.


It is customary to open each formal dinner (held every Monday and Tuesday night) at Queen's with a grace. The college's full Latin grace is as follows:

Domine, qui aperis manum tuam et omnia implentur bonitate,
Benedicere dignare cibum istum
Ut nos, ex eo gustantes,
Inde corporis et animi accipiamus sanitatem.
Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum, Amen.

An English translation is:

"Lord, you open your generous hand
And the whole world is filled with good things.
Please bless this food we are about to eat,
So that we may have healthy bodies and healthy minds,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."[5]

An English grace was composed by Henley in 1995, with the proviso that the Latin grace be retained at least once per week.

Head of collegeEdit


  • The Revd Edward Sugden (1887 - 1928)
  • The Revd Frederick Walwyn Kernick (1929 - 1933)
  • John F. Foster (1933 - 1934) - acting master
  • Raynor Johnson (1934 - 1964)
  • The Revd Norman Edgar Lade (1964 - 1965) - acting master
  • Owen Parnaby (1966 - 1986)
  • George A. M. Scott, FLS (1986 - 1992)
  • Jack William Clarke, OAM (1992) - acting master
  • The Revd John A. Henley, (1993 - 2001)
  • David T. Runia, FAHA (2002 – 2016)
  • Dr Stewart Gill, OAM (2017 - present)


  • Jack Clarke (1964 - 1989)
  • Philip Creed (1989 - 1991)
  • Robert Nethercote (1991 - 2002)
  • Phillip Mosley (2002 - 2014)


Dean of Students (known as Dean of Wellbeing 2014 - 2017)

  • Dr Tim Corney (2015 - 2016)
  • Jacob Workman (2017 - present)

Dean of Academic Programs (known as Dean of Studies 2014 - 2017)

  • Dr Brenda Holt (2015 - 2016)
  • Jacob Workman (June 2016)
  • Sally Dalton-Brown (2017 - present)

Notable alumniEdit

"Wyverns" are residents, past or present, who have lived in the college for six months or more. The Wyvern Society is responsible for allowing the continued communication of former Queen's students and organising reunions.

Notable Wyverns include:

Rhodes ScholarsEdit

  • Peter H. Bailey AM OBE, Queen's 1945, Rhodes Scholar 1950
  • S. E. K. Hulme AM QC, Queen's 1948, Rhodes Scholar 1952
  • John R. Howes, Queen’s 1953, Rhodes Scholar 1957
  • Wilfrid R. Prest, Queen’s 1959, Rhodes Scholar 1962
  • Michael C. Garner, Queen’s 1978, Rhodes Scholar 1984
  • P. Merlin Crossley, Queen’s 1982, Rhodes Scholar 1987
  • Matt Wenham, Queen’s 2004, Rhodes Scholar 2004.
  • Michiel le Roux, Queen's 2003, Rhodes Scholar 2006


Queen's has a body of 24 fellows and a smaller body of honorary fellows. Fellows of Queen's College are not actively engaged in teaching the students. Instead, they are men and women who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to academic studies general contributions society. The chief task of the fellows is to advise the master on academic affairs and giving of scholarships to students of the college. They are led by the principal fellow.


  1. ^ See Queen's College Handbook (2006) p. 2
  2. ^ A History of Melbourne University Student Theatre Archived August 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ See Queen's College Handbook (2006) p. 92, point 20.
  4. ^ See Queen's College Handbook (2006) p. 97
  5. ^ See Queen's College Handbook (2008) p. 107
  6. ^ Farrer, K. T. H., "Callister, Cyril Percy (1893–1949)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 2018-06-20


External linksEdit