Sacred Spaces

What facilities are available on Australian university campuses to assist people in practising their religion/faith is the subject of a TCMA research project. Patricia Blundell presented a workshop on this at the 2007 conference and the Executive is investigating the best way of making the report she has produced available to TCMA members. Below are links to information about some ‘sacred spaces’ that have been created in recent years in response to a felt need for people to have access to places that are not linked to one particular religious group but are available to all.

Coffs Harbour Education Campus

In 2002 the founding Chaplain at Coffs Harbour Education Campus (CHEC), Rev Jan McLeod, established the now flourishing Sacred Garden. With student labour and valuable donations from clubs, churches and local businesses, the landscaping, rotunda, pond, paths and plants were completed and the Garden was officially opened in August 2004. Since then the trees, shrubs and flowers have flourished and many students and staff have found a place of solace for prayer and meditation in the Garden. It also serves as a Memorial Garden for the campus.

We are yet to complete and maintain the water feature, install lighting and to install some seating in the pergola.

The idea behind having a water feature in the Sacred Garden is to create an atmosphere of peace and serenity – water being symbolic of life-giving refreshment and healing. We also want to build bench seats around the inside of the pergola to create a space that is more usable on occasions such as the sadder Memorial Services and happy times such as weddings and small graduations.

In addition, there are plans to enhance the garden with a student-designed public art installation called “Turning Point”. We have just received a local council Arts grant of $1500 which is a big boost for our fundraising.

Our ultimate goal is to maximise the beautiful space that has already been created and to develop the spiritual capital on this campus.

Mrs Anne Weeks

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NB: CHEC is a multi-sector campus, combining Southern Cross University’s Coffs Harbour campus, North Coast Institute of TAFE’s Coffs Harbour Education campus, Coffs Harbour Senior College (Year 11 & 12 government high school) and the Coffs Harbour English Language Centre.

The chaplaincy is part of SCU with permission to minister to students and staff across all sectors. Current chaplaincy staff is one half-time position, funded by the Anglican Diocese of Grafton. Contact the chaplain by email at

Sacred Space at RMIT

There is also a Sacred Space at RMIT.  Please click on the link for more details.