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 249 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 six resident staff who live at the College to provide 24/7 support for the students. My wife Jenny and I (and our cavoodle “Ollie”!) live in the Principal’s Residence, and the Deputy Principal, Mr Michael Crome and his wife Jenny, live upstairs in Steele-Craik Lodge. The Dean of Students, Ms Krishna Stanton and her husband Robin live in Campus Lodge, as does Ms Robyn Slater, our Registrar and Campus Lodge Resident Manager. Two other resident support staff, Mr Callum Breetzke and Mr Dominic Retschlag also live on site. They are both mature age university students and recent past students of Cromwell. All resident staff are available at any time (day or night) to assist students. In addition, our Counsellor, Mrs Vicky Dawes is available by appointment. An external security guard provides a visible presence on site from 11pm until morning. Resident Assistants (RA’s) live in each corridor of every Cromwell building, providing valuable pastoral care, friendship, support and advice to our students.

A comprehensive academic tutorial program operates throughout the College, in addition to that offered at the universities, with academic mentors appointed within the college for each Faculty. In addition, Faculty breakfasts held in the college, allow our students to network with graduates already employed in their fields of study. The information technology is first rate with reliable Wi-Fi throughout. There is a vibrant and active Cromwell College Students’ Association. Formal dinners are held regularly, where all students and staff wear academic dress, and guest speakers inspire. 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 social program operates.  Cromwell College students have complementary membership of UQ Sport / Gym facilities. An international community service program operates in Zambia subject to demand.  All rooms and bathrooms 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. We are known for our food! 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.

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 almost 70 years. Since it opened its doors to students in 1954, 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 honour 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 for Jenny and I to be able to serve the Cromwell community.  I invite you to peruse our website and social media pages, 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)