Possibility and potential at The Gaudete Centre

A message from the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Greg Craven.

The Gaudete Centre, our newest function space at the McAuley at Banyo Campus in Brisbane, is now open and available for bookings.

About the space

The Gaudete Centre is located on the top floor of the Mercy Building at the McAuley at Banyo Campus.

The centre can accommodate events of up to 80 people sitting or 200 people standing. It features catering, bar and audio-visual facilities along with a boardroom. A balcony provides a break out space for guests to enjoy the 270-degree, expansive views.

Modelled on an oculus, The Gaudete Centre is an 'outward looking eye' across the surrounding region.

The Gaudete Centre is managed by The Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President and is available for internal and external bookings. Renee Hutchison has been employed as the Functions Coordinator to manage The Gaudete Centre.

Tours and bookings are welcome please contact Renee Hutchinson via GaudeteCentre@acu.edu.au

Photo of the Gaudete Centre


What is the meaning of Gaudete?

Pronounced gow-DET-eh, the term Gaudete comes from the Latin verb gaudere, meaning “you all rejoice”.

The notion of rejoicing has been central to the theology of Pope Francis, alongside the concept of mercy, for which the Mercy Building itself is named.

This is exemplified in his recent encyclical Gaudete et Exultate (“Rejoice and be Glad”), where Pope Francis calls upon all people to take delight in the world and the reality of God’s creation, as well as a responsibility and compassion for its creatures.

The imperative to be hopeful and thankful, as well as thoughtful and penitent, is particularly relevant to the Australian Church as it faces its current and future challenges.

Gaudete is also a term of profound, yet contemporary, theological significance within the Catholic tradition. The third Sunday of Advent is known as Gaudete Sunday and is a celebration of the coming of the Lord. The term acknowledges and celebrates a spirituality that is grounded in possibility, and potential.

Gaudete is also a term that emphasises holiness; as a dependence on God’s grace and the gospel of Christ but equally as an act of discernment that challenges us to be united with the death and resurrection in a unique and personal way.


History of the Mercy Building site

The site of the Mercy Building and The Gaudete Centre is historically significant, with a rich indigenous heritage dating back 40,000 years.

The McAuley at Banyo Campus was also formerly the site of the Pius XII Provincial Seminary, with a history extending back to 1863.

From 1955 to 1990 it was the home of McAuley College, where the Sisters of Mercy prepared teachers for Catholic schools.

The Mercy Building’s subtle blue and red colour scheme are a gentle reference to the blue of the Virgin’s cloak and the red of the blood of Christ, the warm golden natural timbers used throughout refer to the same colours so often found in Catholic artworks.

Designed with an underpinning ethos of 'community, unity and wholeness', the building is subtle in its architectural response, whilst maximising the prominent position from the top of the hill.


Spiritual significance

The modelling of The Gaudete Centre on an oculus or 'outward looking eye' is an aesthetic representation of spirituality.

Providing expansive views across the region, The Gaudete Centre connects those who are gathered within the space with the natural world. Seeing beauty and destruction surrounding us challenges us to reflect on our roles and responsibilities towards our created and common home. In the act of gathering we are also exposed to our shared human nature and to the unique commitments that distinguish what it truly means to be human.

The Gaudete Centre is a place that rejoices in gifts. The gift of the created world, of the personal gifts that God has placed in our hearts, and in that gift which is the mystery of other lives. It is a place that celebrates the uniqueness of each person and embodies the unfolding possibility that is the true purpose a Catholic university education. It calls us to celebrate the unity of Christ as existing in diversity and to acknowledge that this truth is an act of love.


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