University House

Identity area

Type of entity

University unit

Authorized form of name

University House

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1954 -


University House was originally designed as a residence and meeting place for postgraduate students and staff in the style of Oxford and Cambridge colleges. A University statute provides for the appointment of a Master, traditionally an academic, by the Vice-Chancellor of the University and a Governing Body, now known as the Board of Fellows. For its first decade, residence at the House was compulsory for unmarried doctoral students, and the tariff included all meals with formal dinners held each evening. In recent years its role has primarily changed to provide short-term accommodation for visiting scholars and staff and a venue for conferences and events. The University House building was the first purpose-built building on the University site, opened by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 16 February 1954. It was designed by architect Professor Brian Lewis and its furniture was designed by Frederick Ward. It houses a number of important artworks including paintings, tapestries, sculptures, antiquities and a Leonard French mural. From 1987, the ANU Staff Centre, located in Old Canberra House, was operated as an extension of University House with a bar, restaurant and function venue, but in the 1990s a number of areas were leased for external commercial operations and were then used for accommodating academic centres. Since 2003, Graduate House which adjoins University House has also been administered by the Master of University House.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

Professor Dale Trendall: 1954 – 1969
Professor Sir Rutherford Robertson: 1969 – 1973
Acting Master, Dr Ray Crawford: 1973
Acting Master, Dr Sandy Roy: 1973
Professor Ralph Elliott: 1974 – 1987
Dr Susan Bambrick: 1987 – 1991
Dr Rafe de Crespigny: 1991 – 2001
Professor John Richards: 2001 – 2012
Professor Lawrence Cram: 2012 -

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Maggie Shapley 15 February 2013




ANU Heritage website:
Jill Waterhouse, University House as They Experienced It: A History 1954-2004, Canberra, 2004

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