Who are we?


John XXIII College is a Catholic Collegiate community in the Dominican tradition, inspired by the values of intellectual excellence, community life, mission inspired living and personal spirituality.  John XXIII College students will be inspired to be reflective learners and compassionate leaders, able to think globally and equipped to contribute to the wider society and the world.

In seeking to achieve its vision, John XXIII College strives to be:

  • A Community of Learning
  • A Community of Care
  • A Community of Service
  • A Community of Faith, Hope and Love

College Mission

The Mission of John XXIII College, a College affiliated with the ANU, is to give its Residents an opportunity to experience personal growth in a supportive academic environment in which they can flourish in their pursuit of learning.   Through academic, cultural, social and sporting opportunities each student will be empowered to make wise life choices so that they can achieve their full potential.

This mission is supported by providing:

  • A dynamic College experience: living and learning in a safe, high-quality environment focused on academic excellence.
  • Opportunities for personal growth via a range of academic, cultural, social and sporting activities.
  • A caring community in the Catholic faith tradition.
  • Resources for activities that encourage spiritual, faith-based and service focused growth.
  • A student-centred environment in which to live while studying at the ANU.

What does this mean

The College’s primary aim is to provide more than just accommodation for its residents, it is to provide them with a total university experience.

At John XXIII College, the residents’ academic success is the primary focus, but this is achieved in the context of the spiritual, academic, cultural, sporting and social development of the whole person.   This development occurs in an environment which provides the necessary support and encouragement needed by the residents.

Respect for Christian values is presumed of all College members, as is a serious commitment to learning and to fostering one’s intellectual growth, whether that growth comes from their formal studies or through realising the advantages of living within a community that fosters their development.

John XXIII College is a world of opportunities to get involved in!

Handbook 2019

John XXIII College Resident Policies & Procedures

Background and Origins

John XXIII College is a fully catered men’s and women’s Catholic Residential College affiliated with the Australian National University.    As the first of only two independent Colleges at the University, John XXIII was established on the site of Lennox House at the ANU in 1967, prior to its construction at 51 Daley Road in 1969.   The College was founded by and is owned by the Order of Preachers (Dominicans).     During its history John XXIII College has always enjoyed both an independence from and a healthy, collaborative partnership with the ANU.

St. Dominic established the Dominican order in 1215, by 1229, Dominic had acquired a Chair of Theology in Paris and later in 1248, acquired a Chair in Theology at Oxford.  Seeing his vision being located within tertiary institutions he stipulated that no Dominican priory was to be built without a professor.   At Australian universities, the Dominican founded three colleges – Mannix College (Monash University), St. Albert’s College (University of New England), and John XXIII College at the ANU.  John XXIII College is the only university college still owned by the Dominicans in Australia.

The College was named after Angelo Roncalli, Pope John XXIII who was Pope from 1958 until his death in 1963.   John XXIII made an extraordinary contribution to a new age in the Catholic Church.   A man of humility and evangelical simplicity, he was widely travelled and cultured in the arts, languages and history, but is best remembered for his calling the Second Vatican Council, that led to significant changes in the Church.

From 1967 until date till 2000, all Heads of College were Dominican priests and the College was run as a ministry of the Dominican Order.  Today, Dominican members of the College Company appoint the Board to which the Head of College now reports. Despite the departure of the priests from the day to day running of the College, the Dominican ethos is strongly present and the Dominican charism inform the College’s daily administration.  Father Mannes Tellis OP is the Resident College Chaplain.

Logo & Motto

The motto “Veritas Vi Veritatis” reflects St Dominic’s attachment to the truth translating roughly to “Truth by the force of its truthfulness (will conquer)” or more briefly “The truth will conquer”.

In 2011, the College underwent a rebranding so that it could present a unified and cohesive presence in the community.   As part of the rebranding the College’s long-standing shield has updated to give it a more modern feel; however the new shield contains all of the imagery of the original shield.

          02 johnxxiiicollege_logo_colour                       Sheild Only Transparent Backgroup

The heraldic shield of John XXIII College combines elements symbolising the Dominican Order, ANU and Pope John XXIII:

  • The black-and-white cross (central bottom half) and fleur-de-lis (either side of the castle) are icons of the Dominican Order;
  • The blue and white striped lines (bottom left corner) representing Sullivan’s Creek (adjacent to the College) and the original colours of ANU;
  • The red and white striped lines (bottom right corner) and the castle (central top half) are part of the Papal Crest of Pope John XXIII, the College’s namesake.

Masters (Heads of College)

The Dominican Fathers ran the College for its first 31 years.   During its history there has been six Dominican Fathers who have served as Masters (Heads) of the College, these were:

  • Thomas Hegarty (1969-1977)
  • Thomas Fitzgerald (1978-1981)
  • Paul Jackson (1981-1987)
  • Lawrence Fitzgerald (1988-1990)
  • Ian Waite (1990-1996)
  • Colin Fowler (1996-2000)

At the end of 2000 the shortage of suitable priests in the Dominican Order saw the position of Master of the College passed onto lay Masters – Heads of College:

  • Ken Evenden (2001 – 2007)
  • Sean Brito-Babapulle (2008 – 2011)
  • Stephen Foley (2012 – 2014)
  • Damien McCartin (2014 – 2015)
  • Geoff Johnston (2015 – Present)