A Presence in the West: Religious Contributions to the Secular Ideology of an Australian University


  • Mark Peter Hutchinson

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    • Mark Hutchinson is University Historian at the University of Western Sydney, and Dean of Humanities, The Scots College, Sydney, Australia.


Between 1972 and 1984, the rise of social justice and religious vocational movements in an increasingly self-conscious Western Sydney intersected with the rise of an increasingly influential cadre of politicians, public servants, and educationalists. Mobilising a broader sense of grievance, and organising in community, political, and social groups, these people contributed to a widespread campaign for a university in Western Sydney which extended from the streets of Mount Druitt to the Prime Minister's Office. This article traces the contribution of these religious motivations to the secular legitimisation, mission, and implementation of the University of Western Sydney.