Australian Catholic University commenced operation on 1 January 1991 and has six campuses, located in Ballarat, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney (2). The University was formed by the amalgamation of four Catholic institutions of higher education in eastern Australia, and is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (Australian Catholic University Ltd).
The University had its origins in the mid-1800s when religious orders and institutes began preparing teachers, and later nurses, for Catholic institutions. Through a series of amalgamations, relocations, transfers of responsibilities, and diocesan initiatives, more than 20 historical entities have contributed to the creation of Australian Catholic University.
The University is a public university, open to all, is a Table A listed higher education provider under the Higher Education Support Act 2003, and is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and the International Federation of Catholic Universities. The University is a member of Universities Australia (formerly the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee).
The three foundation faculties are Arts and Sciences, Education, and Health Sciences. The Faculty of Theology and Philosophy commenced operation on 1 January 2009 and the Faculty of Business commenced operation on 1 January 2010.
In 2011 the University had 22,923 students, 818 academic staff and 750 general staff.