60 Years of the Samuel Wadham Wing 

International House Collection

The second purpose-built accommodation wing at International House, ‘Wadham’, opened in 1963. Planning had begun in earnest in 1960, when International House launched an appeal to raise money for a new building. The goal was to raise £250,000 (equivalent to more than 7.5 million dollars in 2020) to construct accommodation for an additional 118 residents. The target was ambitious, but there was strong support. An editorial in The Age newspaper in early 1961 called on people to be ‘generous’ with their donations noting:

Something other than a vague and generalised call to Victoria’s generosity lies behind the International House building appeal for £250,000. International House … is not an experiment in idealism – it is a practical, yet imaginative, illustration of the reality and increasing closeness of Australia’s relations with the rest of the world and particularly Asia.

“An Appeal”, 1961

Construction began in April 1962 and finished in February 1963 (Larkins, 2018, p. 50). The new building, named after the second chair of the International House Council Sir Samuel Wadham, was opened on 23 March 1963. As well as bedrooms, it included a library, tutorial rooms, a gym, common rooms, a music room, staff offices and the formal entry to IH. Speaking at the official opening, Lord Richard Casey said

This building forms a microcosm of the world in which young people of many countries live, work and play together… They may be termed opinion-formers and can do much to help break down misunderstanding and social barriers between Australia and her overseas neighbours.

“New Student Quarters Opened”, 1963