Principal Farewell Morning Run

Welcome from principal

Welcome - principal
Ross A. Switzer

M.Ed. (Deakin), B.Ed.St. (Qld), Dip.T. (QUT), MACE, MACEL, MAICD
Welcome to Cromwell College, one of ten residential colleges within the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Cromwell is a home away from home for 251 students, generally ranging in age from 17 to 21. Despite demand for places at Cromwell exceeding supply each year, the College is deliberately capped as one of the smaller residential colleges within the University. It is the smallest coeducational College. This is to ensure that the unique blend of adult freedom and necessary academic and pastoral support structures blend in a small, values based community environment. Cromwell provides a safe and nurturing base from which to embark upon or continue university study.  Ask a Cromwell student the best feature of their College and they are likely to say to you things like, “strong community”, “close knit - everyone knows and looks out for everyone”, or “family feel.” From the moment you first enter Cromwell, this sense of community and warmth of spirit is evident. These special features have become the core of Cromwell College over six decades.

Cromwell College has five resident staff who live at the College to provide 24/7 support for the students. My wife Jenny and I reside in the Principal’s Residence and the Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Crome and his wife Jenny, live in Steele-Craik Lodge. Our two Student Advisors, Dr Portia D'Anverrs and Mr Dominic Retschlag live on site, as does Mr Fred Deckers (Maintenance Manager) and his wife Elizabeth. All resident staff are available at any time (day or night) to assist students. In addition, Resident Assistants (RA’s) live in each corridor of every Cromwell building, providing valuable pastoral care, friendship and advice to the students.  

A comprehensive academic tutorial program operates throughout the College, with academic mentors for each Faculty. There is a vibrant and active Cromwell College Students’ Association. Formal dinners are held fortnightly, where all students and staff wear academic dress. There is a Chapel for peaceful retreat and several active student based Christian groups. Domestic service programs are run annually. A comprehensive inter-collegial sporting, cultural and sustainability program operates.  Cromwell College students have complementary membership of UQ Sport / Gym facilities. An international community service program operates annually in Zambia.  All rooms at Cromwell College have been refurbished and are kept in an excellent condition. There is a regular housekeeping and a maintenance program. There is an impressive variety, quality and quantity of meals prepared by our own chefs. In short, the facilities, support and opportunities at Cromwell College are first class.

In addition to these fully catered facilities, Cromwell College also offers two and four bedroom apartment style, independent, self-catered accommodation options through its Campus Lodge facility, located directly across the road from the main College in Hood Street.

In University vacation periods, Cromwell College plays host to many conferences, school tour groups and other organizations visiting Brisbane. Located close to the city centre, with full catering, housekeeping and 24/7 emergency support, our prices and superior services and facilities offered are very competitive and widely regarded by our visitors as excellent value.

Cromwell has a proud and distinguished history spanning over sixty years. Since its establishment in 1950, generations of Cromwellians have gone on from the College to represent their fields at national and international levels. The Dining Hall and Common Room walls are adorned with honor boards, portraits and trophies telling the story of Cromwell’s rich past. New exciting chapters continue to be written through each cohort of students. 

I am very proud to be the sixth Principal of Cromwell College. My background in schools enables me to genuinely empathize with the student pressures of Year 12 and associated university entry. I am now in a unique position where I can assist students in their transition from school to university and beyond. It is a privilege to be able to serve the Cromwell community.  I invite you to peruse our website, but the unique spirit that is “Cromwell” comes alive through a visit. Every day is Open Day, so come and meet our students and staff, tour our facilities, and feel for yourself the unique “community” that is Cromwell.

Mr Ross A. Switzer
PRINCIPAL / CEO