Our History

Avondale University traces its beginnings to 1892 when its predecessor institution was established in Melbourne, Victoria, to educate young people for employment in the developing work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. In 1897 the College was relocated to its present site in Cooranbong, New South Wales. It initially offered courses in teaching, business, and biblical and mission studies.

Avondale has been preparing students for degrees since the 1950s, initially through external programs (BSc, University of London) and affiliation agreements (BA, Pacific Union College, California; MA, Andrews University, Michigan), and subsequently with Australian accreditation.

From 1974, Avondale has offered an expanding range of its own degrees with NSW government accreditation. A range of masters degrees has been added since the early 1990s. Doctoral studies have been offered since 2006.

The past decade has seen a significant development in staff qualifications and research output. Four research centres and an academic press have been established. There has been increasing interaction, including collaborative research with Australian universities, industry, and the professions. Scholarly activity has been facilitated by policies providing generously for staff research and professional development.

In December 2014, Avondale was granted self-accrediting status by the Tertiary Education Quality & Standards Agency (TEQSA). Then, in August 2019, TEQSA granted Avondale Australian University College status. Most recently, in July 2021, TEQSA made the decision to change Avondale’s provider category to Australian University.