University of Sydney a heritage site

The University of Sydney, University Colleges and Victoria Park have been approved to be listed on the State Heritage Register.

Sydney University Quadrangle

“It is only fitting that Australia’s oldest university should be on our State Heritage Register,” Heritage Minster Gabrielle Upton said.

“The site has long-standing cultural heritage, with Aboriginal people of the Cadigal people living in the area and using the rich landscape including a spring that drained to Blackwattle Bay.

“The land was reserved by Governor Phillip in 1790 for use by ‘church, Crown and school’ and the university was established in 1850.

“This demonstrated how early Sydney aspired to shape its own society. Until then, anyone wanting a higher education had to travel overseas,” she said.

This interconnected cultural landscape is of social significance as iconic places of historic, academic, cultural, sporting, recreational, and social pursuits and events.

The Main Quadrangle Building, the Anderson Stuart Building and the Gate Lodges, together with St Paul's, St John's and St Andrew's Colleges, comprise the most important group of Gothic and Tudor Revival style architecture in NSW, possibly Australia, Ms Upton said.

Originally a grand entrance avenue and parkland for the university, Victoria Park was dedicated in 1870 and still retains many parts of its 19th century planning and ‘picturesque’ character as a welcome green space in urban Sydney.

The listing further recognises this as the home of the first university college for women in Australia, with the Women’s College opening in 1892 and individually listed on the State Heritage Register in 2005.

“In the intervening years, the University and its surrounds have seen student activism and protests, research breakthroughs, teaching, sporting and cultural excellence,” said Ms Upton.

“Today, this site’s colleges, libraries, museums, education, public and recreational spaces provide opportunities for people from all over the world to interact. The University and its colleges provide opportunities for students to learn in an environment that is looking to the future and proud of its history.

“This is a time to celebrate, to reflect on the history and the culture of this unique cultural landscape, and to preserve and protect the heritage values of the University of Sydney, University College and Victoria Park for years to come,” she said.

“This announcement demonstrates our commitment as curators and caretakers of some of Sydney’s most historic buildings,” said Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

 “We recognise we sit on the land of the Cadigal people of the Eora nation and we are immensely proud to be custodians of this site that we share with the people of NSW.

University of Sydney campus images available for download: University of Sydney building imagesfrom Annika Dean (Sydney Uni).
Drone vision of the University of Sydney campus available: CloudStor FileSender