Westmead Campus History

Acknowledgement of Country

With respect for Aboriginal cultural protocol and out of recognition that its campuses occupy their traditional lands, Western Sydney University acknowledges the Darug, Eora, Dharawal (also referred to as Tharawal) and Wiradjuri peoples and thanks them for their support of its work in their lands (Greater Western Sydney and beyond).


The St Vincent’s Boys’ Home on Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, is established by the St Vincent de Paul Society. The Home is run as a joint venture with the Marist Brothers from 1898-1968. The Marist Brothers become the sole managers of the Boys’ Home until 1985.

1896 St Vincent's Boys' Home

Did you know?

The ‘appeal’ plaques, by which the Order raised the finances from the community to build the home, still stands prominently at the front of the major block.

1896 St Vincent's Boys' Home - Feeding Chickens


Westmead Teachers’ College is formed. Its buildings are located in Moree Avenue, Westmead.


Nepean College of Advanced Education (CAE) is formed in November, amalgamating Westmead Teachers’ College and Kingswood College of Advanced Education. It operates from two campuses – one in Kingswood, and the one in Westmead.

Nepean College for Advanced Education


Nepean CAE’s student population grows, teaching programs across business, teacher education, arts, and applied science. The addition of nursing education at Nepean CAE leads to the rapid establishment of a School of Nursing and Health Studies.


The Westmead South site, with its 1.4 ha of space and ageing buildings, is restricting Nepean CAE’s future growth. The Nepean CAE Council negotiates the purchase of the former St Vincent's Boys’ Home site on Hawkesbury Road, opposite Westmead station. Nepean CAE now has two campuses in Westmead – the old school site, known as ‘Westmead South’, and the new St Vincent’s site, known as ‘Westmead North’.

 1985 Nepean College for Advanced Education


In 1986, Nepean CAE purchases additional land at Westmead from the Marist Brothers, and sells the original Westmead South campus, now in a deteriorating state, to the Department of Education.

 Westmead North Campus

Did you know?

The Farmhouse building (Building O) at Westmead is one of the oldest buildings in the Westmead area, originally used as a haven for travellers.

2014 Building O, Farmhouse


Western Sydney University is formally constituted on 1 January 1989, following the ground-breaking higher education reforms introduced by the Hawke Government. The University – then known as University of Western Sydney – is founded as a federated network, amalgamating Nepean College of Advanced Education, Hawkesbury Agricultural College. The Macarthur Institute of Higher Education joins the Federation in late 1989. The Westmead site becomes known as UWS Nepean’s Westmead campus.

 Naming of Westmead site as UWS Nepean's Westmead campus


The University is restructured from a federated network to a single, multi-campus university, with the University of Western Sydney Amendment Act 2000 abolishing university members.


The continued growth of the University’s UWS College offers the opportunity to use the Westmead site for the College’s pathway programs. An IELTS (International English Language Test) Centre opens.

 UWS College opens for pathway program and an IELTS centre opens


Western Sydney University calls for Expressions of Interest to partner with the University to redevelop and revitalise its Westmead campus. The redevelopment allows the University to create new and diverse revenue streams, with the income generated reinvested into its education and research. The University plans to transform the four-hectare site into a mixed-use development including education, commercial, retail, residential and community spaces. In late 2015, the University announces the sale of Lots 4 and 5 for the residential development component of the site.

 University seeks expressions of interest to partner with for redevelopment and revitalisation of the Westmead campus


Western Sydney University announces it is looking for an experienced development partner to transform the remaining lots of the Westmead campus into a vibrant retail, business and residential hub that will support the Westmead Precinct's future as one of Australia's most important health, medical and innovation districts. Western Sydney University maintains a strong presence at Westmead and retains ownership of the majority of the site.


Western Sydney University and Charter Hall unveil plans to develop the $350 million world-class Innovation Quarter (IQ) for the Westmead site. It will be a place for researchers, industry partners and clinicians to come together to address the nation’s most pressing health challenges. It will build on the University’s existing footprint in Westmead, and will be home for the University’s world-leading research institutes – the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development; the Translational Health Research Institute; and the NICM Health Research Institute.

 University unveils plans for $350 million redevelopment for the Westmead site to be known was the Westmead Innovation Quarter (IQ)


Charter Hall and Western Sydney University commence construction of the $350 million Innovation Quarter (iQ). The University announces Australia’s national science research agency, CSIRO will also be a key tenant at IQ, with CSIRO to move its world-leading research staff from its e-Health, Nutrition & Health program and Future Science Platform to the precinct.