The history of St Catherine’s is a history of leaders

St Catherine’s was founded to address inequality by promoting the education of the young to become active and ethical citizens. That remains our aim.


Our founding

While St Catherine’s College is named after St Catherine of Alexandria, the 4th century scholar and martyr, our College was founded as an independent college within The University of Western Australia. 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.

The College was founded in 1928 by the National Council of Women with the enthusiastic support of several prominent professional women of the time.

At that time there was no plan to build a college that would admit women and so funds were raised to make sure women had the same educational opportunities as men — Don't ever tell a good woman something can't be done!

As time passed the need to address this particular inequality 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.

Our 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.

Our 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.


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