Who we are

Emmanuel College is a coeducational residential college on the main University of Queensland (UQ) campus at St Lucia. Occupying an enviable position on the banks of the Brisbane River, with public transport and other amenities close to hand, the College is home to around 340 local and international students.

Our values

At Emmanuel College, students are at the heart of all we do and their wellbeing is our overriding priority.

The College is a community shaped by values of inclusivity, teamwork, diversity, self-respect and consideration for others. We expect honesty, accountability, trust and responsibility from our students and our staff. As a community of scholars we emphasise academic excellence, integrity and respect for the views and knowledge of others.

Our values have been formed out of our relationships with the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches since 1911, and in turn they shape the College experience and our connection with students. We encourage a culture where everyone can contribute to a more equitable society through compassion, community service and respect for all. These values form the basis for the relationships our students build and the choices they make throughout their personal and professional lives.


What we offer

Emmanuel College provides an outstanding collegiate experience in a diverse, vibrant and supportive community in which students achieve their personal and academic best.

We offer full-board accommodation, a comprehensive academic program and holistic care. We welcome students from the Brisbane campuses of UQ, Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University.

We also provide conference and event services and short-term accommodation for visiting students and conference groups.

As a not-for-profit organisation, we continually reinvest in maintaining the best student facilities and providing scholarships and bursaries.

We have graduate tutors on staff to help students achieve their academic potential. We also hold seminars and lectures throughout the year to expose students to professionals and thought leaders from the wider community, providing contacts and opportunities for the future.

We prioritise balance and wellbeing. Senior staff and student mentors are available 24 hours a day to provide a strong support network. Our busy calendar of sporting, cultural and social activities makes it easy to find opportunities for fun, friendship and non-academic achievement.


Our staff

If you wish to contact any Emmanuel staff, please email enquiries@emmanuel.uq.edu.au

Stephen Peake


Stephen was appointed as Principal of Emmanuel College in January 2020. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Queensland and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Griffith University. Stephen’s extensive business experience includes managerial roles with the National Australia Bank and his not-for-profit experience encompasses managing the investment service and trustee property portfolio of the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. His service to the church extended to directorship of the national superannuation fund for Uniting Church employees and realising its successful merger. Stephen is a member of Oxley-Darra Uniting Church and has been a member of the Emmanuel College Council since August 2018.

It's About Your Future (Emmanuel College UQ)

Paterson Boyd

Deputy Principal and Director of College Life

Paterson was appointed Deputy Principal and Director of College Life in October 2020. He holds a Bachelor in Clinical Exercise Physiology and a Masters of Business and Applied Finance. Paterson has previously served as a Council member and as Dean of Students at St Leo’s College within The University of Queensland, and, more recently, as College Dean at Burgmann College, Australian National University. His other appointments include board roles with Asia-Pacific Student Accommodation Association, Australian Institute of International Affairs, and UQ Young Alumni Advisory Board. With close to 10 years’ experience across the tertiary education sector, Paterson is an enthusiastic advocate for the residential college experience — as he describes it, “the gold standard” for a university experience and education. He has a keen interest in wellbeing, counselling and welfare services for students in tertiary residential settings, with a focus on positive cultural change.

Louise Hallo

Director of College Development

Louise joined Emmanuel College in 2018 following 15 years specialising in adolescent and young adult health and wellbeing in not-for-profit and hospital settings, including Red Kite, the Australian cancer charity that supports children and young people; the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital; and King’s College Hospital in London. She undertook her Bachelor of Social Work degree at The University of Queensland, while residing at Duchesne College, and received her postgraduate qualifications from The University of Melbourne. In 2019 Louise was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study at Universities in the US regarding Healthy Behaviours in Adolescents. Louise’s strong appreciation of what college life offers and the wonderful community it creates is invaluable in her work with and support for the students of Emmanuel.

Michael D’Arcy

Dean of Studies

BEcon, BA(Hons), GradDipL&T

Alexandra Mills

College Counsellor

BHlthSci(Psych), MCoun

Chris Morris

College Life - Senior Assistant

BEcon, BCom

Nicky Hart

Residential Experience Officer

Annie Chenery

Residential Experience Officer

DipBus, DipBusAdm


The Emmanuel College Council ensures that we operate in an efficient, transparent and ethical manner. It includes representatives from:

  • Emmanuel College alumni
  • Emmanuel College students
  • Presbyterian Church of Queensland
  • Uniting Church (Queensland Synod)
  • The University of Queensland Senate

Council members

Chairman Mr Stephen J Howell, FCPA FAMI
Deputy Chairman Mr Nicholas Young, BIntStudies
Treasurer Mrs Julie Bennett, BCom CA ANZ
Principal Mr Stephen Peake, BA GCertBusAdmin
The University of Queensland Senate representative vacant
Alumni representatives Mrs Julie Bennett, BCom CA ANZ
Ms Emma Szczotko, BLaws(Hons) BA
Mr Nicholas Young, BIntStudies
Presbyterian Church representatives Mr Ian Andersen
Mr Bruce Pearce, BSc
Uniting Church representatives Mr Stephen J Howell, FCPA FAMI
Student representatives three students annually
Co-opted members Dr Robert McLeay, BInfTech BSC(Hons) PhD

Council member biographies

Mr Stephen J Howell, FCPA FAMI

Position/s held: Chairman, Uniting Church representative

Stephen Howell is the Principal Advisor for Effective Governance Pty Ltd, a corporate governance consultant, forensic accountant, company director, former company secretary, external auditor, corporate regulator and CFO. Stephen has over 27 years’ experience as a governance professional with expertise in board governance, corporate regulation, compliance, risk management, administrative, civil and criminal law, and applied corporate governance. Stephen consults predominantly to boards, having a wide practice around Australia. He conducts board reviews, board evaluations, and individual director evaluations and assists boards with director skills analysis and development. He also provides boards with director remuneration advice and delivers professional development to directors and senior executives, particularly in applied corporate governance.

Stephen is an Elder of the Uniting Church and the Chairman of Elders at St Andrews Uniting Church, Brisbane.

Mr Ian Andersen

Position/s held: Presbyterian Church representative
Ian Andersen has been a Director of Fairholme College in Toowoomba since 2000, Finance Director since 2003 and Chairman of the Board since 2007. He currently serves on the Presbyterian Church of Queensland’s Finance and Administration Board and is a member of St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital Board and their Finance Committee. Mr Andersen has held a variety of finance, administration and management positions in both public and private sector organisations. He is a qualified Quality Assurance auditor. Ian currently works as a Community Engagement and Stakeholder Management professional with the Queensland Government.

Mrs Julie Bennett, BCom CA ANZ

Position/s held: Treasurer, alumni representative

Julie Bennett attended Emmanuel College from 1983 to 1985 and graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Commerce. She was the Students’ Club Treasurer and a student councillor on the Emmanuel College Council in 1985.

After graduating from University in 1986 she took up a graduate accountant’s role with Horwath and Horwath Chartered Accountants. In 1988 Julie was recruited by Duesburys Chartered Accountants, which eventually merged with Deloitte. After many years with Deloitte she went on to join a small firm of five staff in 1998. This firm, which has grown to a staff of 80, is now known as Pilot Partners and Julie is a Director in the Business Advisory Division.

Dr Robert McLeay, BInfTech BSC(Hons) PhD

Position/s held: Co-opted member

Dr Robert McLeay is the founder and Chief Technology Officer of DoseMe Pty Ltd, a translational research company founded in 2014 that enables medical practitioners to improve patient outcomes by individualising medicine dosing. Robert was a member of Emmanuel College from 2002 to 2004, and greatly enjoyed his time at Emmanuel. Robert’s research background and PhD are in bioinformatics. During his PhD, he developed several novel software tools that are currently integrated in a leading bioinformatics toolkit (the MEME Suite). Prior to commencing his PhD, Robert worked in the information technology industry as a software development team leader, managing large software projects in the telecommunications and ISP sector. Robert also holds an adjunct appointment at The University of Queensland Medical School.

Mr Stephen Peake, BA GCertBusAdmin

Position/s held: Principal of Emmanuel College

Stephen Peake studied Government, History and Law at The University of Queensland and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1982. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Griffith University.

Stephen’s extensive experience in the commercial and retail banking sectors includes managerial roles with the National Australia Bank for 16 years. In the not-for-profit sector, Stephen managed the investment service and trustee property portfolio of the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod. This role encompassed compliance, legal, property, contract and finance in hospitals, aged care, colleges and community initiatives. He is a member of Oxley-Darra Uniting Church and his service to the church extended to directorship of the national superannuation fund for Uniting Church employees and realising its successful merger with NGS Super.

A member of the Emmanuel College Council since August 2018, Stephen was appointed Emmanuel College Principal in January 2020.

Mr Bruce Pearce, BSc

Position/s held: Presbyterian Church representative

Bruce Pearce is the longest-serving present Emmanuel College councillor, having joined as a Presbyterian Church nominee in 1989. He was born in Crows Nest, educated at Pechey State School nearby, then as a boarder at Brisbane Boys’ College and at The University of Queensland. He resided at Emmanuel from 1962 to 1965.

Upon graduation with the degree of Bachelor of Science, Bruce joined the then Irrigation and Water Supply Commission as a hydrogeologist, serving the Queensland Public Service in various departments in the water industry from which he retired as a Principal Project Officer in 2015.

Among his professional memberships, he is a member of the Geological Society of Australia Inc, where he has served as Assistant Secretary of the Queensland Branch, and is a member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, serving on the National Committee for four years.

During his 28 years of Council service, he has held the positions of Deputy Chair, Deputy Recorder and Recorder. In 2009, Bruce was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College.

Ms Emma Szczotko, BLaws(Hons) BA

Position/s held: Alumni representative

Emma Szczotko attended Emmanuel College from 2011 to 2013 and graduated from The University of Queensland in 2016 with a dual degree in Law(Hons) and Arts (majoring in Art History and French).

Emma works in governance and reporting at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, combining her passion for the creative arts with her legal background, working closely with the Gallery’s Board of Trustees.

During her early career, she practised as a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills, a top tier commercial law firm, working both on transactional and litigious matters in a range of industries for both private and public sector clients. During this period, she also undertook a legal secondment to Queensland Treasury.

Throughout Emma’s three years at Emmanuel, she was heavily involved in College life participating in a range of cultural, sporting and community pursuits and served on the Students’ Club Committee and as a Wing Community Leader. She has always keenly supported and volunteered with local not-for-profit social justice organisations and is enthusiastic about fostering diversity and inclusion.

Mr Nicholas Young, BIntStudies

Position/s held: Deputy Chairman, alumni representative

Nick moved to Emmanuel College from Gladstone, and was a resident in 2009, 2010 and 2011 under the College leadership of Professor Gill and Dr Jane Thomson.

Currently working for the State of Queensland as the Director of Cyber Security for Queensland’s public safety and law enforcement agencies, Nick has taken a truly unique journey from when he departed Emmanuel, to joining again as a Council Member in 2019.

Nick also supports the work of the Board of Symbiosis International, a development organisation focusing on poverty reduction and connection in Bangladesh, and holds a Bachelors Degree in International Studies, while undertaking post-graduate study in Information Systems through Deakin University.


Respectful relationships

Respect for all members of the College is a non-negotiable condition of being part of our community.


Culture of respect

Respect — including self-respect — is fundamental to everything we do. We talk about respect often and use every opportunity to demonstrate and support respectful behaviours. Our staff and student leaders are trained to support all our students to develop a strong sense of personal identity and boundaries.

We cultivate respectful relationships from the start — in our initial interviews with prospective students and the first time residents meet as a group during Orientation Week. We focus on providing an informative and nurturing Orientation Week experience for new students that encourages them to build healthy relationships.

College student leaders provide support and guidance through Orientation Week and subsequent university milestones. Our staff mentor student leaders to be positive role models and to identify and call out unacceptable behaviour. Among all our residents we foster a culture of care for each other’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Through ongoing educational programs, we promote a culture of gender equality that supports all students to understand and accept the link between gender equality and respectful relationships. We regularly host guest speakers who are experts in areas such as consent, positive relationships, and respect for sexual diversity and identity.


Safe environment

To provide a safe place in which to navigate the transition from adolescence to adulthood, we:

  • Cultivate a positive environment with a focus on respectful relationships and prevention of any kind of abuse and harassment
  • Respond quickly, empathically and decisively when situations occur
  • Clearly communicate reporting procedures and highlight the many support services available to students at the College, at UQ and in the broader community
  • Operate a policy of zero tolerance of any serious misconduct
  • Make sure all students complete a compulsory online course on the topic of consent and attend sessions with senior College staff on understanding sexual consent
  • Continue to review and refine our approach

Reporting and responding

If an incident occurs, we will inform students of all their reporting options and give our full support if they choose to file a police report or engage external help or advice.

We thoroughly investigate all complaints. Students who transgress the College’s values and policies will be required to leave.

We provide professional on-site support for student safety and wellbeing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The College’s counsellors are trained first responders to sexual misconduct and are available to support students at any time. We provide counselling to minimise the risk of issues escalating and to make sure students get the support they need.

We have initiated a new College-wide survey to gather feedback from students each year about the culture of the College — what’s working well and what we can do better.


Pipe band

Our pipe band has been a celebrated part of the Emmanuel College community since 1998. The award-winning Emmanuel College Highlanders at the University of Queensland perform and compete at parades, festivals and events in south-east Queensland and northern New South Wales. Michael Bryce AM AE is patron and the tartan worn is Stewart of Appin. The band receives support and sponsorship from Emmanuel College and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital.

In partnership with the Society of St Andrew of Scotland (Queensland), Emmanuel College offers an annual piping scholarship to a student accepted into Emmanuel College and UQ who shows sound academic ability and superior talent as a piper.

Band membership is open to all members of the College, the University, and people from the wider community. Pipers and drummers who want to be part of a developing Grade 2 competition and performance pipe band are welcome to apply. Please email the pipe band secretary with membership enquiries.


Hire the pipe band

The Emmanuel College Highlanders are available to perform at festive and ceremonial events, such as parades, balls, concerts, parties, weddings and funerals. To enquire about hiring the full pipe band, a mini band or a solo piper, please contact Jess by email.

Positions vacant

There are currently no positions vacant at Emmanuel College. Positions are advertised here as they become available. Emmanuel College is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact information

Emmanuel College

Sir William MacGregor Drive

St Lucia QLD 4067 Australia

T / +61 (7) 3871 9100