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Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:32

Celebrating fifty years of education at Signadou

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As Canberra celebrates its Centenary, Signadou Campus of the Australian Catholic University remembers fifty years. The Dominican Sisters, with the encouragement of Archbishop Eris O’Brien, took a great risk and with much foresight, founded a Teachers College in the national capital.

The striking building, by architect Fr Bonaventure Leahy OP, was named after the ‘Signadou’, the sign from God, on which Dominic gathered the first community of Dominican Sisters in the south of France. The College opened in 1963 with Sr Margaret Mary Brown OP (Sr M. Gerard) as principal. Initially the College was for Religious women of several congregations, and then within a short time it accepted first lay women then men who would staff the Catholic Education System in the ACT. These were the heady days before and immediately after Vatican II. The College became part of ACU in 1989.As well as a teaching degree, the campus now offers Theology, Philosophy, Religious Education, Educational Leadership, Social Work, Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine (in conjunction with Calvary Clinical School).

When the College was opened in March 1963, an ABC film crew was there to record the event. The ABC broadcast a short documentary featuring the new building, the opening words of the Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies and the life of the Dominican Sister. The film was called To Learn-To Teach. Nancy Clarke, librarian at Signadou between 1983-2007, has put an account together under this title, and it will be launched on Friday 22 March, at the commencement of a celebratory weekend. The activities can be found on the College website www.acu.edu.au.

Congratulations and best wishes to all concerned, especially as so many gather to reminisce and renew acquaintance with former students and companions. 

See the flyer for the Signadou College Fifty Years Celebration.

From reports in the 12 March 2013 edition of OPFAM, the Newsletter for the Dominican Family in Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea

 

 

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