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St Margaret’s College renamed to honour historical connections​


St Margaret’s College, the residential college for young women established in the Sisters’ former home adjacent to the school has been renamed Durack College.

College Director Dr Kylie Armstrong said “the name change holistically honours historical links to place, the College’s connection to the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent and St Margaret’s and their long standing service to educating rural women, which included a mission to prepare young women for a university education”.

“The Durack name is affiliated with the College’s locality with the Sisters having purchased a building for St Margaret’s built by Patrick Durack. Durack is also a name synonymous with Australian pastoral history and given many of the College’s residents are from rural and regional parts of Australia it gave further justification to the choice of the Durack moniker.

“Furthermore, the Durack women were pioneers, well-educated and strong role models. Patrick’s granddaughters were Dame Mary Durack, a literary award winner and Elizabeth Durack, an artist and illustrator. Dame Mary’s 1959 book of history Kings in Grass Castles is considered a classic of Australian literature and is the story of Durack’s family. These women embody the College’s vision to empower young women through education,” said Dr Armstrong.

St Margaret’s first opened the doors of the College in 2015, strengthening the legacy of the school’s founders, the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent.

The pioneering Sisters were passionate about the education of young women and embarked on a mission to prepare them for tertiary studies, establishing St Margaret’s in 1895.

In light of the Sisters’ enduring vision and the school’s 123 year boarding history, the establishment of St Margaret’s College seemed a logical extension. The boutique accommodation which can house up to 25 young women is situated in the very building the Sisters once called home.

Brianna Rankine is a foundation College student who was also a boarder at St Margaret’s.

“As a boarder at St Margaret’s AGS, I was very excited to hear of a college in the works in my senior year. I knew that a college founded by the Board would be of the same quality as the school itself. My time at St Margaret’s was fantastic, so naturally I knew its college would be the right choice for me. 

“The College’s smaller size with a capacity of just 25 students means we are more of a big family than a small institution. Our students are also hand picked by our Director which means all of the young women in residence are kind and responsible people. As a result of this there is no huge drinking culture or peer pressure one would usually get from other colleges.”

Brianna said Durack College was more than just a home away from home, offering unique and tailored opportunities for students.

“A unique part of this College is the opportunities we get at our social networking events. We have one for each field of study to help the residents transition from student life to working life. At these events both students and professionals are invited to join our residents to help the students break into the professional world. These have been very successful - one of our residents was awarded an internship after one of these events,” said Brianna.

Brianna has also accessed the College’s distinctive employment opportunities at St Margaret’s.

“The employment opportunities at St Margaret’s are very helpful. As a music student I’m at uni everyday and have a lot of afternoon rehearsals so I work the morning shifts in the boarding house. The shifts are only two hours meaning I can still do my full day at uni without missing anything. It’s also good for the school. If someone doesn’t turn up for a shift or calls in sick at the last minute they know there’s a college full of girls that are willing to pick up a shift anywhere.”

Dr Kylie Armstrong says: “At Durack College we are focused on supporting, mentoring and empowering the students as they strive for educational success in their tertiary studies. Of equal importance is preparing these young women for their future career pathways.

“The College’s innovative Student Success Program is designed to meet this criteria along with our newly launched mentoring program, connecting final year students with a leader in their field of study.”

Tours of the College will be available throughout the school’s Open Day on Saturday, 10 March. Alternatively, enquiries can be made to reception@durackcollege.com.au

Visit www.durackcollege.com.au for more information.