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St Catherine's College
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About St Catherine's

St Catherine's College is a leading independent and secular university residential college, affiliated with The University of Western Australia.
 

Background

St Catherine's College was founded in 1928 to provide women with the same higher educational opportunities as men, as there were no university residential colleges in Western Australia that admitted women. Funds were raised with the enthusiastic support of several prominent professional women and an independent and secular residential college at The University of Western Australia was built. In 1946, the first female residents were admitted.

While the College is named after St Catherine of Alexandria, the 4th century scholar and martyr, we are not affiliated to any particular religion. In fact, that’s part of the reason why the St Catherine’s experience is so enriching — students of all races, religions and philosophies make St Catherine’s a truly exciting and enjoyable place to be.

As time passed the need to address gender inequality in higher education diminished, however, St Catherine’s keeps its focus on being a College where its global citizens of excellence are those who can first identify issues facing their communities and then work collaboratively to address them.

Today, St Catherine's has built a reputation as one of Australia's leading university residential colleges. It is a selective, co-educational living and learning environment for 400 students from a diverse range of backgrounds, both local and overseas, undergraduate and postgraduate. St Catherine's is a college without borders, and focuses on the development of the whole person, providing a highly personalised experience that prepares students to take their place as global citizens of excellence.


Core values

Our core values underpin the abiding spirit and determination of our community who make a positive mark in their world every day:

Diversity

"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities"
— Stephen R. Covey

St Catherine's is proud to be home to residents from 30 different nations, and diversity is actively encouraged and celebrated.


Integrity

"Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching"
— C.S. Lewis

Residents genuinely care about the world they live in and about each other, and through a program of guided conversations, they learn to tackle important life issues with empathy and understanding.


Courage

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are"
— E.E. Cummings

St Catherine's fosters honesty and fairness in everything it does and residents come to expect that they can have a go at anything in a safe and nurturing environment.


Leadership

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other"
— John F. Kennedy

Providing leadership opportunities to residents is an integral part of life at St Catherine's. The roles are numerous and aimed at different years of study.


Logo

Our logo repeats the University's colours, underlying the strength of our relationship. Blue represents strength and loyalty. Gold represents wisdom and generosity.

The black swan signifies us as a distinctly Western Australian college, and the books signify learning. The blank pages anticipate that our women and men will write large upon the pages of history, that the College encourages its residents to seek their own answers, to be innovative, intrepid explorers into the unknown while accommodating changes in the world and themselves.

The native floral emblem, Banksia Menziesii, grew abundantly on the site of the College, and is a reminder of our commitment to a sustainable future. The bold contrast between the gold and white emphasises our independence, pursuit of excellence and dedication to community service.


Motto

"To Truth Aspire" became the College's official motto in 1959. The words are taken from a poem by Robert Bridges:

Youth whose hope is high,
Who dost to Truth aspire,
Whether thou live or die,
Look not back nor tire.

This motto inspires us to test all assumptions with rigorous scholarship and an open mind.