Ave Maria, it’s a girl!
New campus on Brisbane seminary site
A new Catholic university campus in Brisbane on the site of the former Pius XII Seminary has been blessed by a former student, Brisbane’s Archbishop John Bathersby.
The Australian Catholic University, McAuley, at Banyo on Brisbane’s northside, “will teach and learn within the boundaries of Christ’s vision”, he said.
“Any education provided here in the future will be quality education because it will seek the transformation of the world and the reign of God here in Queensland.”
The archbishop was speaking at the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the foundation of the new Brisbane campus of the Australian Catholic University National.
It is expected to open next year with 2500 students.
The $34.5 million campus project includes refurbishment and renovation of the existing seminary buildings, which date back to 1941, plus the construction of new buildings.
The vice-chancellor of ACU National, Prof Peter Sheehan, says the campus will combine the best of new technology and modern facilities with the rich history and fine architecture of the former seminary.
“It is an historic location – a visual and spiritual landmark which enhances our tradition of 2000 years of Catholic scholarship,” he said.
Archbishop Bathersby said: “It was here under the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit I came to learn so much about Jesus Christ.
“It was originally a place of religious learning for indigenous people, it remained a place of religious learning in the last half of the 20th century and it will continue to be a place of religious learning into the future.”
The tradition of theological teaching will continue at the new campus through the university’s newly established St Paul’s Theological College.
Prof Sheehan said ACU National had outgrown its present campus at Mitchelton. The move would allow an increased student intake of more than 5000 by 2020.
The campus on the old seminary site will house a purpose-built traditional library and a virtual library, a flexible learning centre, computer laboratory, clinical and science laboratories and intercampus teaching and research facilities.
Recreational facilities will include a swimming pool and BBQ area, sporting ovals, gymnasium, café, bar and servery facilities.
“Our students and staff will experience an environment that promotes quality learning through a combination of modern facilities and teaching practices underpinned by ACU National’s ethos of social justice, equity and ethics,” Prof Sheehan said.
“ACU National is grateful to the Catholic bishops of Queensland, who offered the site to our university, to the Queensland and Federal Governments who have contributed $6 million and $9.2 million respectively, and to private donors.”
The chair of the ACU National Queensland appeal committee, former Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson, hopes to raise at least $3 million to complete construction of the campus.
“I am confident that we will achieve great support for this unique university, which is unlike any other public university in Australia,” she said.
ACU National has six campuses – in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.
It is a public, government-funded university open to all.
It has schools in nursing, education, educational leadership, the arts and social sciences, business and information technology, religious education and theology.