Established in 1968, The John Flynn College is a private residential college and home to more than 200 Australian and International students studying at the James Cook University.

Named after The Very Reverend John Flynn, founder of the Australian Inland Mission and the Aerial Service which later became the Royal Flying Doctor Service, our college seeks to ensure that you are able to develop and grow in a supportive environment and enjoy the entire university experience.

The John Flynn College is affiliated with the Uniting and Lutheran Churches and has its foundations firmly based on Christian values. Our mission to promote enduring knowledge and a strong sense of community has made The John Flynn College the Residential College of First Choice amongst students.

Our Vision and Values

Here at The John Flynn College, our vision is to provide a setting in which students can study and relax in a caring and safe environment, enjoying maximum personal freedom, while respecting the rights of others who live in close proximity.

We are a caring community and have our foundations firmly based on Christian values, and as such, we value trust, unity, safety and concern for each other. Accordingly, we require residents to be considerate and respectful of the needs of their fellows.

We value excellence in all endeavors and are committed to building an environment where residents can achieve academic, social, sporting, cultural and personal excellence.

Spirit is central to our community and we believe faith, tradition, mutual respect and equality supports our growth.

We value our heritage as we acknowledge the dedication of Reverend John Flynn to isolated and remote Australians, whose commitment to serve is the basis for all community members as they interact with one another. Furthermore, residents and staff of The John Flynn College take pride in the traditions, standards and ethos established by decades of commitment to academic excellence.

By choosing our College, students can be confident they will have access to strong academic and spiritual support; and graduate as confident and responsible citizens contributing to Australia and beyond.

Our Heritage

Naming of the College

The establishment of a joint University College was a new adventure in co-operative work between the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. At early meetings of the joint committee of the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches, it was decided that the name of the College must have relevance to the Australian situation.

The joint committee arrived at a conclusion that the College should be name in honour of The Very Reverend John Flynn D.D., O.B.E. (25 Nov 1880 – 5 May 1951)

The name of John Flynn is appropriate, for in his own life and work there is a link between the two Churches. John Flynn’s mission was to the people of the inland, who could easily have been neglected. The John Flynn College is an expression of the same spirit, bringing the mission of the Church to our university men and women. The Flying Doctor Service, threw a mantle of safety over the people of the inland. The John Flynn College, exercising a sane discipline and providing a real fellowship, will continue in this tradition.

In John Flynn, Apostle to the Inland, W. Scott McPheat recalls that John Flynn was born at Moliagul, Victoria on 25 November 1880 and was baptised at the Methodist Church, where his father was a lay preacher. In 1891 the family moved to Sunshine, near Melbourne, and here John Flynn’s association with the Presbyterian Church began. His training for the ministry began in 1907, and almost immediately his great concern for the people of the outback found expression, for in 1909 he shared in a Shearer’s Mission. His later experiences in South Australia and the Northern Territory confirmed his concern for the people of the inland, and he began to plan how their need could be best met. Dr Flynn studied for the ministry and after his ordination in 1911, Dr Flynn was appointed to the Smith of Dunesk Mission in South Australia. In 1912 The Presbyterian General Assembly appointed Dr Flynn to report on conditions in the inland and the northern part of the continent. In his report, Dr Flynn emphasised a practical note that in the inland, the church must provide medical skill and assistance to go with spiritual comfort and guidance. He was made superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission in 1912 and started the Flying Doctor Service in 1928. From 1939 to 1942 Dr Flynn was Moderator-General of the Presbyterian Church in Australia. Dr Flynn originated radio contact between outback homestead and the Flying Medical Service. Dr Flynn won world fame as “Flynn of the Inland”.

20 January 1966 – “The John Flynn College” incorporated under Letters Patent.

2 October 1966 – Dedication of The John Flynn College site.
A brass plaque bearing the words, “This plaque commemorates the dedication of the site for The John Flynn College 2nd October, 1966” was unveiled. This plaque is situated at the western end of Harrison Wing.

Harrison Wing – Opened February 1967
Noted from Minutes dated 13 February 1968, item 224, that the Men’s block be known as “The Harrison Wing”. Named in honour of pioneer ministers of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches respectively, who jointly sponsored the foundation of the College.

Philp Wing – Occupied May 1968
Noted from Minutes dated 13 February 1968, item 224, that the Women’s block be known as “The Philp Wing”. Named in honour of pioneer ministers of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches respectively, who jointly sponsored the foundation of the College.

Wigney Lodge – Dedicated in 1973
Named in honour of Professor TJ Wigney, B.A. Dip.Ed. (Syd.), Ed.M. (Harvard) (1936-1991). Professor Wigney was Founding Principal of the College from 1967-1971. Known as Wigney Lodge, the Principal’s residence was erected overlooking the College at the highest point of the site.

Sir George Fisher Building
Noted from Minutes 27 August 1968, item 276 that the Facilities Building be named “Sir George Fisher Building”.

Sir George Read Fisher (1903-2007) – Mr George Fisher joined Mount Isa Mines (MIM) Ltd in 1952 as deputy chairman and then as chairman 1953 -1970. It was in this capacity that a large donation was made the Joint University Colleges Appeal . Mr Fisher received his knighthood in 1967. Sir George was elected as the first Chancellor of James Cook University on 16 April 1971 and retired on 15 April 1974.

Extensions to the Sir George Fisher Facilities Building – 25 March 1973 The Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, the Right Rev Fred McKay, colleague and successor to the late Very Reverend Dr John Flynn opened the extensions to the Sir George Fisher Facilities Building on 25 March 1973. The building brings the much-needed facilities of Senior and Junior Common Rooms, a music practice room, permanent offices and a television theatre.

Sutherland Theatre
A unique feature within the Sir George Fisher building was the television theatre. This room was styled in an amphi-theatre design. The room was named in honour of the late HA. Sutherland, Esq., the Queensland grazier, whose Trust has considerably aided the College in its years of growth. In the late 1990’s this room was converted into a conference room.

J S Love Dining Hall
First Formal Dinner in Dining Hall May 1968 Noted from Minutes 27 August 1968, item 276 that the Dining Hall within the Facilities Building be named “J S Love Dining Hall” The J S Love Estate was a benefactor of the College during the early years.

Traeger Place – Dedicated 4 September 1978
Named in honour of Alfred Hermann Traeger, OBE (2/8/1895-31/7/1980) – Pioneer Inventor of the pedal radio. He was instrumental in the establishment and early success of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia. During the 1920s he was contacted by Rev John Flynn to assist in experiments which were to enable remote family’s access to medical treatment by using radio equipment. Mr Traeger also developed a pedal generator to power a morse code wireless set. He made subsequent refinements to this system. A keyboard was developed which enabled unskilled operators to type their message in plain language and have it transmitted in morse. He later developed a voice-capable transceiver.

Traeger Place was a self-catering student village about 8 klms from the JCU campus. It was located on a seven acre bushland site in Gregory Street, Condon. It consisted of seven self-contained flats. Four of which were for married students with the choice of one or 2 bedrooms. This property was sold to Lifeline in 1999. The brass plaque dedicating this property was removed before the sale of the property and is now situated in Traeger House.

Stewart Close – Opened on 20 March 1987
Named in honour of Joan and the late David Stewart. Stewart Close was opened by Mrs Joan Stewart on behalf of the northern zone of the Queensland Synod of the Lutheran Church of Australia. The generosity was acknowledged of the Far Northern Zone of the Queensland Synod of the Lutheran Church of Australia in awarding $60,000.00 of its David and Joan Stewart Memorial Fund towards the building cost.

Cluster Buildings – Dedicated on 26 July 1982

McKay House
Honouring The Rev FJ McKay, CMG, OBE. Mr McKay succeeded Dr Flynn as Superintendent of the Australian Inland Mission from 1926-1932.

Martin House
Honouring The Rev JD Martin,BA (Melb) Dip Tert ED Admin (UNE) (2 Dec 1927 – 13 Apr 2011) who was the 2nd Principal of the College from 1972 – 1992. Rev Martin (Jim ) taught in the History Department at James Cook University, was Chairman of the Board of Studies in Social Work and a member of the Experimentation and Ethics Committee. Rev Martin was most notably known for many years as Chairman of the Marriage Guidance Council Northern Region. He also officiated at many marriages at The John Flynn College.

Rosendale House
Honouring Pastor G Rosendale AM. Rev George Rosendale is an Aboriginal Lutheran pastor from Hopevale, a former mission in far Northern Queensland. He discovered for himself the way to preach the Gospel to his own people and pioneered work that was to lead to “Rainbow Spirit Theology”

McCubben Place – Dedicated on 10 August 2007.
Named in recognition of Mrs Jean McCubben providing 10 years leadership on the College Council (1997-2007) as both a Council member and Chairperson. Mrs McCubben was made Fellow of the College in 2009.

Geoff Duce Drive – 2005
Honouring Mr Geoffrey Duce, BA,JP,MACS,MAICUD, was James Cook University’s nominee on The John Flynn College Council. Mr Duce was a member of the Council from 1983 until 2008 and was also a past resident of The John Flynn College. Mr Duce was made Fellow of the College in 2004.

Traeger House – Dedicated on 13 February 2005
This building was opened by Mrs Joyce Traeger, widow of the late Alfred Traeger

Lachie Marsh House – Dedicated on 10 March 2012
Named in honour of Mr Lachlan McLeod Marsh, MSc (Syd)., GradCertTheolStud (Syd Col Div). Mr Marsh was 3rd Principal of the College from 1992 until 2003. He also lectured Maths at James Cook University. Mr Marsh served on the College Board from 2009 until 2011. Mr Marsh was made Fellow of the College in 2002.


Elspeth Barnes – 1985
In honour of Elspeth Stuart Barnes (29/11/47-2/5/85).
Mrs Barnes was a Senior Fellow of the College from 1974 – 1978. Dr David & Mrs Barnes resided on College where Dr Barnes was a Senior Fellow and Deputy Principal, ably supported by Elspeth. Dr David Barnes was a research Scientist with the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Dr Barnes was appointed to The John Flynn College Council as a Graduate Representative in 1974. (children of Dr Barnes and the late Elspeth, Alexander and Lucy were both residents of the College in 1998 and 2000 respectively)

Sarah’s Garden – 2004
Named in remembrance of Sarah Jane Frazer (2/8/85-11/4/04). Sarah was a 2nd year pharmacy student who resided at the College from 2003 until her untimely passing when she, her younger sister, mother and father perished in a house fire.

Sally’s Place – 2007
Named in remembrance of Sally Kate Tagney (24/7/88-6/6/07). Sally was a 1st year pharmacy student who resided at the College in 2007 until her unexpected death caused by an aortic dissection.