Guests watching a match at the official opening of the International House squash court, 1969, UM805/213. International House Archives

What happened to the squash court?

Now demolished, the International House squash court was on the site now occupied by the Multi-Purpose Study Room. Funding for the court was provided by the Sunshine Foundation (a charitable foundation established by the family of the industrialist H. V. McKay) and Dame Hilda Stevenson (H. V. McKay’s daughter and the foundation’s chair). The court was opened by the Governor of Victoria Sir Rohan Delacombe on 16 July 1969.

Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe (the Governor of Victoria) and Dame Hilda Stevenson at the official opening of the IH squash court on 16 July 1969. UM805/211. International House Archives.

In 1970, the sports secretary Peter Nichols could report that many IHers were ‘playing squash at cheap rates, and enjoying the exercise’ (Nichols, 1970, p. 25). By 1977, squash had become ‘the only game that every student plays once in a while” (Khoo, 1977, p. 42). The following year, both the men’s and the women’s teams reached the semi-finals of the intercollegiate squash competition (Baba, 1978; “Girls [sic] squash”).

In 1983, Satadal reported that International House had at last ‘hit the big time in sport’, winning six grand finals including men’s and women’s squash (Dugdale, 1983, p. 26). The women’s squash team triumphed again in 1988.

The squash court was used for more than playing squash. It was also a venue for futsal and parties, as well as other events during Melbourne’s rainy winters (G. Verona, personal communication, 29 September 2020). The squash court was demolished to create space for the Founders’ Building and car park (now the Multi-Purpose Study Room).

International House women’s squash team. Reproduced from Satadal 1988. International House Archives


Baba, A. A. (1978). Men’s squash report. Satadal, 31.

Dugdale, J. (1983). Big four, look out! Satadal, 26.

“Girls [sic] squash” (1978). Satadal, 34.

Khoo, H. (1977). The IH sports scene, Satadal, 42-43.

Nichols, P. D. (1970). Sports. Satadal, 25.