University House is the staff club at The University of Melbourne. The objectives of our club are:
- To foster and maintain contacts and the exchange of ideas between the various disciplines represented by staff of The University of Melbourne
- To provide facilities for members of the academic and administrative staff of other universities and kindred organisations while they are working at The University of Melbourne
- To maintain and manage a club house at The University of Melbourne for members of the club
University Club Inc. (University House, Professors’ Walk and University House at The Woodward) is a private members club. The Club was instituted in 1952 for the purpose of creating within the University a wider and more varied society than any single Department could offer, and in the hope that it would promote friendship and the fruitful exchange of ideas between people whose work is varied but has a common objective.
The Club also provides members with meals in pleasant surroundings, serves as a place where colleagues from other Universities can be entertained, and assists members in their private entertaining.
University House was established in 1952 with 270 full and associate members. It was created for the purpose of providing a centre for the community life of the University staff. University House has come to fill an essential place in the life of the University.
In 1952 The Council of the University of Melbourne permitted the building, sometimes called Grosmont, to be used as a club for University Staff.
In 1953 it was named University House. Previously, three professors had lived here with their families:
1885–1922 Professor Edward Nanson (Mathematics),
1923–1927 Professor David Rivett (Chemistry),
1927–1952 Professor Ernst Hartung (Chemistry)
The Staff Association successfully negotiated to take possession of Professor Hartung’s house on his retirement and refurbish it as University House for use as a staff club from 1953.
It was built in 1885 for Professor Nanson and later occupied by A C D (David) Rivett. Since 1955 it has enjoyed the adornment of an arched iron portico saved from Ogg’s Pharmacy in Collins Street when the City Council banned posted street verandahs. Extensions in 1960, 1965 and 1970 added the Main Dining Room, the Main Lounge, the Upper East Dining Room and the Lower East Dining Room – renamed the Matthaei Room in 2000 after the Matthaei Collection Of Early Glass on permanent exhibition in the room. In 1995 a further extension added the Karaghuesian Room, purpose built to house a collection of walnut Renaissance-revival furniture relocated from a Paris apartment.
University House extensions, 1956 with Oggs Veranda
(Source: University of Melbourne Archives Image Catalogue, UMA-I-1614)
University House soiree with pianist Michael Sullivan
Seated far right is past president and long-term office-bearer Max Marginson, standing to his immediate right is past president Barry Davidson.
(Source: University of Melbourne Archives Media Photograph Collection, Photograph No 16584)
(founding President 1952)
- N. Millis
- Veronique Duché(present)
- 1952 – 1974 Anton Pavlas
- 1974 – 1977 Bill Weidner
- 1977 – 1983 Michael Zimbler
- 1983 – 1993 Stan Bracchi
- 1993 – 2016 Philip Taylor-Bartels
- 2016 – Present John Macaulay