Glorious Melbourne University Graduate House is 110 years old

Glorious Melbourne University Graduate House is 110 years old
Keith Ryall

At the corner of Grattan and Leicester streets is situated one of the oldest group of terrace houses in the Carlton/Parkville area.

The main entry is at 220 Leicester St which leads to only a small glimpse of what Graduate House offers its diverse membership and guests.

But first, some background on this superb Carlton icon …

Graduate House has a long and proud history dating back to 1911 when Sir John Monash was the first chairman of the Melbourne University Graduate House. More recently, the current president of the association is the Hon Diana Bryant AO QC, formerly Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and the first woman to be appointed to this auspicious leadership role. The other “first” saw the election in 2020 of senior legal consultant Mr Vincent J. Mirabelli to the position of chairman; he is the first Italian-born person to take on this prestigious role.

In 1957, the association purchased the beautiful old terrace houses located from 222 to 234 Leicester St. In 1962, postgraduate residential students were admitted to the college. During the past decade, the Council of the Graduate Union approved the purchase of additional student accommodation in nearby Barry St and Barkly Place to support the need for quality residential accommodation. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 180 people per night and 800 per year (mainly students) were accommodated.

Effective soon, Graduate House will be able to offer accommodation to undergraduate students as well as those enrolled in postgraduate courses. Non-residential membership of the association will continue to be open to graduates from any university within Australia or overseas. New members are always extremely welcome. Once the lockdowns are over, it will again be a great place for local and interstate/international residents and guests to have an enjoyable lunch, dinner or just a quiet Friday evening cocktail in a very pleasant environment.

Located in the heart of the education precinct between The University of Melbourne and RMIT University, and only five minutes away from the campuses of other universities in Melbourne’s CBD, Graduate House is the perfect place to stay, for short- or long-term accommodation. Facilities range from fully furnished and equipped apartments, bedsits with ensuite and kitchen, and double rooms. Breakfast and weekday dinners are included in the modest tariff.

Graduate House is ideal for students enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate coursework or research, visiting academics, speakers, clinicians or researchers or simply someone needing temporary accommodation prior to finding more permanent accommodation. Full details of accommodation rates are available on the website –

To help celebrate the 110th anniversary since the founding of the association in 1911, a Jubilee Donors Gala Dinner is planned at the Park Hyatt Melbourne on December 10. Details are being finalised and will be available on the Graduate House website in due course.

The Graduate Union of the University of Melbourne and Graduate House will continue to be part of the Carlton/Parkville university precinct for many years to come – a wonderful example of “commemorating the past and making a commitment to the future”, as our late Prime Minister Bob Hawke commented during Australia’s Bicentenary Celebrations in 1988 •

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