College Mission & Values

Aquinas College is a residential community of adult learners that draws on the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition and embraces the best in contemporary approaches to tertiary education and student residential care.  Drawing on both Jesuit and Marist spirituality and practice, it invites and supports young women and men to grow in faith and wisdom to become mature and integrated human beings so that they can bring critical minds and compassionate hearts to their engagement with others and with the world.

Aquinas has these core values:

  • Academic Excellence  Aquinas creates a supportive and student-centred environment that fosters and honours academic endeavour and achievement. The College assists students to unlock their potential through a wide range of academic support programmes.
  • Family Spirit  Aquinas builds a family-style community environment where there is a culture of friendship, inclusiveness and diversity. The College’s many programmes and opportunities seek to nurture holistic human growth in this environment.
  • Respect  The Aquinas way is founded on respectful relationships among its own members, and they with the wider community and the environment.
  • Faith  Framed by a Christian worldview, as expressed within Catholic belief and practice, the College welcomes students and staff of all faith traditions, seeking to support the spiritual development of all and to create spaces for respectful dialogue and informed understanding.
  • Justice  Aquinas assists the development a critical social conscience and sense of social justice in each of its students, providing them with opportunities for practical service to people in need, and to grow in their understanding of their shared responsibility for creating a more just world.

The College’s Coat of Arms 

This emblem brings together imagery sourced from the College’s name and its founding.

The mid-section depicts two wolves around a cauldron. This was the coat of arms of the family of St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), the founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). The wolves symbolize the hospitality of the Loyola family.  Legend has it that two hungry wolves were fed when they came to the family’s castle door one night. The name ‘Loyola’ derives from lobo (wolf), y (and), and olla (cauldron) in Spanish.

The lower section of the emblem depicts the Sun of Justice that was the emblem of Thomas Aquinas, the Dominican friar (1225-1274) after whom the College is named. St Thomas, a doctor of the Church, remains one of the most influential philosophers, theologians and scholars in the history of the Church.

The upper section of the College crest depicts three crescent moons that are part of the episcopla coats of arms of Archbishop Beovich, who founded the College in 1950.

The College’s motto
Translated from the Latin, the College motto “Lucere et Ardere” is ‘to shine and burn’.
It is taken to mean, “to enlighten with knowledge and enliven with faith.”