Xavier College has announced its vision for the future. A brochure documenting that vision, Xavier 150 & Beyond – Building the Future, is available here.
This vision involves Xavier relocating and transitioning all of its learning and operations to the College’s Kew campuses. As part of this transition the Kostka Hall campus will close at the end of 2021.
The Provincial of the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus and Jesuit Education Australia have endorsed that announcement. That endorsement follows.
A message from the Provincial of the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus and the Chair of Jesuit Education Australia
Over the last 84 years, Kostka Hall – its Jesuits, staff, students and families – have made a significant and distinctive contribution to the life of Xavier College, the Australian Jesuits’ educational ministry, and Australian life – especially in Melbourne. With its Bayside location, and its smaller enrolment, a community of loving service that embodied the key Jesuit characteristic of cura personalis – the care for the individual – whether it be of the student, their family or of a staff member, grew and enabled so many people to develop their various God-given talents and gifts.
We have also been blessed by several Kostka students joining the Society of Jesus and they have made a lasting contribution to Xavier College and the Church in Melbourne and throughout Australia. Kostka Hall was also ‘home’ for many Jesuits for over 50 years. From 1937 until the end of 1994, Maritima was the Jesuit residence. As the number of Jesuits directly involved in Kostka declined, there was a decision to close the Kostka Jesuit Community. Ever since, Jesuits involved with Xavier College and Kostka Hall, have commuted from the Jesuit Community attached to the Senior Campus.
Kostka Hall has faced numerous particular challenges over the last decade. Despite the many strengths of the Kostka Hall Community and the excellent education offered by its dedicated staff, the College has been unable to develop a sustainable enrolment profile. This is not a new challenge for Kostka Hall, rather one it has faced on several previous occasions.
In endorsing Xavier 150 & Beyond Building the Future, we are conscious that there is a significant loss in choosing to re-vision Xavier College, with a consolidation to the two Kew campuses. In working with the College Board, Mr Doherty and Fr Middleton over the last year, we have emphasised the importance of honouring the best of the Kostka experience and, as far as possible, remembering and replicating it throughout the College as we move forward.
We believe the Building the Future vision provides the best opportunity of a Jesuit education flourishing within Melbourne, as well as providing opportunities to our boarding families, especially those from regional Victoria and southern New South Wales. The new vision encompasses significant capital re-investment at Kew. We hope that this will enable a greater number of students to experience a Jesuit education through the College’s bursary program. This is important to us as Jesuits as we have a commitment to ensure greater accessibility for all to our schools across the world.
Last year, Fr Arturo Sosa SJ, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, launched a new document called ‘Jesuit Schools – a Living Tradition in the 21st Century’. It describes Jesuit education as ‘a living tradition that calls for open eyes, ears and hearts’. At this time of significant change, we acknowledge there will be sadness and loss associated with aspects of this announcement. However, we hope that there will also be openness to new ways of lifting up our hearts and minds as the Xavier Community gives expression to the living tradition of Jesuit education in Melbourne.
Fr Brian F McCoy SJ
Provincial, The Australian Province of the Society of Jesus
Fr Thomas Renshaw SJ
Chair, Jesuit Education Australia