The Blessing and Opening of new facility

(L-R:) The Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney; Acting Chancellor, Peter Prendiville; Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond; Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Hayden Ramsay; and Aboriginal Elder, Mrs Elsie Heiss.

27 May 2015

In an important milestone for The University of Notre Dame Australia, the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, officially opened and blessed new premises for the University's School of Philosophy & Theology, Sydney on Thursday 21 May 2015.

The two-storey federation property is the new home to Notre Dame's School of Philosophy & Theology, as well as the University's Sydney Boardroom and a welcoming staff common area for staff to gather, interact and strengthen collegiality.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, said it was a great honour to have Archbishop Anthony bless and open the new facilities. Professor Hammond cited the long and rewarding relationship the University has enjoyed with the Archbishop.

"Archbishop Anthony has been an Adjunct Professor of Bioethics and Moral Theology and a member of our School of Philosophy & Theology Advisory Board. He has lectured units to numerous groups of very lucky students; given guest lectures; run formation and development courses for staff; and presented public lectures at the University," Professor Hammond said.

Official Blessing of the Moorgate Building by the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney.

Professor Hammond said the new building's three distinct purposes were all interlinked and represented vital aspects of what made Notre Dame a special and unique university community.

Logos, Notre Dame Sydney's unique Core Curriculum, requires all students to undertake studies in Philosophy & Theology, and places the life of the mind proudly at the forefront of every Notre Dame degree. The Core Curriculum brings all the University's students together under one banner.

"The School of Philosophy & Theology is integral to Notre Dame, with Theology and Philosophy central to our existence and mission as a Catholic university," she said.

"As all of our students learn to draw on the riches of philosophical and theological thought, this is a building where all students, regardless of what discipline they are studying, have a place and are especially welcomed."

Professor Hammond said the Boardroom would be used by all those who gave their time, knowledge, expertise and insight to help govern and guide the University.

"No enterprise of a kind such as ours can exist or operate without the highest level of governance oversight. We have been, and continue to be, blessed by all those who take on the challenging role of governance," she said.

"The third purpose of the new facility is to provide a space where staff can meet, relax and collaborate. A university could not exist without a strong body of committed, talented, passionate, expert staff and the new staff common room is for our talented staff."

Located at 10 Grafton Street, Chippendale, the new School of Philosophy & Theology was a bookshop immediately prior to the University acquiring it. It is believed to have been constructed between 1900 and 1920.

The University takes an 'adaptive reuse' approach to architecture which preserves the history of a building and its streetscape in a sympathetic and sensitive way. Where possible architects utilise older style buildings, restoring and enhancing the original aesthetics and architectural features.

The opening was also attended by the University's Acting Chancellor, Peter Prendiville; Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Hayden Ramsay; and Members of the Boards of Governors, Trustees and Directors of the University.

A webcast of the Archbishop's Homily is available at:

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;