Life at the Women’s College might mean a lot of time spent studying, but there’s a lot of fun to be had too. Students quickly discover that one of the great advantages of living within the University grounds is that they’re right on the spot for participating in an almost limitless range of sporting, cultural and social activities.
Many students continue school sports that they love – hockey, tennis, netball – and some take the chance to try things they’ve never had time to, or never thought of doing before: photography or rock-climbing, spending crisp early mornings out on the water rowing, or exercising with yoga or Tae Kwon Do. And if the College doesn’t offer the activity students want, the University and local clubs almost certainly will.
The Intercollegiate Rosebowl competition provides a tradition of intercollege rivalry. Hotly contested events include rowing, netball, tennis, athletics, swimming, hockey, soccer and basketball. Each match adds points which are tallied towards establishing an ultimate victor. The Women’s cheer squad is always in evidence.
All Women’s College students receive a Gold entry pass to Sydney University Sport and Fitness. The University Sports & Aquatic Centre is a 5 minute walk from the College. The Arena Sports Centre is even closer and between the two centres there are excellent facilities, a full timetable of fitness classes, and access to a wide range of sports clubs and activities. There’s literally something for everyone.
You don’t have to be a professional drama person to be involved in theatrical events at College. There are play and musicals staged throughout semester. Enthusiasts are encouraged to get involved in acting, singing or dancing in the chorus, working backstage on lighting or make-up, or playing in the orchestra.
Drama is a great way to make friends at College and to meet people at neighbouring colleges. The Women’s College drama group, the Phoenix Players, stages two plays a year and students can participate in Intercol plays and musicals, and in SUDS (Sydney Uni Drama Society) productions. Whether you’re interested in serious drama or comedy, there are plenty of opportunities to express yourself theatrically.
Music is a special part of life at the Women’s College. College offers many opportunities for the musically able or musically interested to express their abilities and explore their talents.
There’s the annual College Cabaret, which includes singing and instrumental music – and let’s not forget the College jazzband or choirs, and the Intercol Orchestra. Every year our talented music and drama students compete for the the prize in the intercollege performing arts challenge, the coveted Palladian Cup.
There’s always music at College on special occasions. Performance opportunities include Formal and Academic Dinners and special events with alumnae and guests. The College has several soundproof practice rooms with pianos in the new Sibyl Centre, and the gracious Main Common Room holds a beautiful grand piano. Its excellent acoustics make it a favourite performance space for musicians.
The Women’s College offers a residential scholarship for talented musicians attending the Conservatorium of Music or undertaking a major in music at the University of Sydney.
Debating and Intercol Oration
Our champion debating team always performs well in intercollege debating competitions. Debaters and supporters from each college gather over the annual competition weekend to tease out the pros and cons of their allotted subject, with adjudicators from the world-class Sydney University debating society calling the debates.
The atmosphere is formal but friendly; debaters wear academic dress and speak from a lectern. The topic might be anything from politics to pop stars. Debating is another great way to meet and compete with people at neighbouring colleges, and to be entertained and informed by the tactical wit of college friends.
Another important speaking event in the College calendar is the intercollege Oration. Each year a representative from each college competes with a prepared ten-minute speech for the Oration Cup. Speeches are judged on oratorical skills, content, and the cogency of the argument.
Oration themes range widely, but the presentation is always lively, challenging and topical.